In my media closet directly behind my TV, I have my modem. I also have at least 4 other internet enabled devices, such as DirecTV DVR, BluRay DVD; Roku and laptop. I would like all of these to be connected directly to the internet via hard wired connection. Should I use setup internet Modem to wired router and plug in the devices to the wired router; OR, should I plug a Netgear switch into the modem and connect all the devices to that? I am confused over best way for each device to connect direct to the internet, and which piece of internet hardware I should be using.
If your goal is to have each device be able to access the internet, I would go the modem>router>end device route. Routers offer much more in ways of control over your network through their web interface. While I am not 100% sure, but I believe switches lack the DHCP service which assigns IP addresses automatically to connected devices. Long story short, go for the router. - Sub