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What network hardware for 7 wired computers + Wireless N?

Last response: in Networking
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January 25, 2010 1:42:27 PM

Hi, this will be my first post on Toms Hardware, have always found answers here in the past, but i have a specific question about networking hardware, and would love to get some feedback from the community here.

I work in a small business office, there are 7 computers wired into a crummy home router that has another home router daisy-chained off of it, both are 4 port. The owner and I would like to see this cleaned up, as well as adding a wireless network for his friends that he meets with. I have knowledge about computers and computer hardware, but have never really gotten into the business network side of things.

I have talked to a Cisco representative, as well as a few other technically knowledgeable people, and are getting different answers.

Some have suggested 4 port wired/wireless router (with wireless N so it will go through walls) and a 4 port switch for the other wired connections.

I found a 8 port wireless G switch online for about $1000.

And some are telling me that i should go with a 4 port wired router with switch with a wireless access point....

Would love to hear recommendations from all, and thank you all for your time.
January 25, 2010 7:03:46 PM

1st off you probably dont mean you have 2 routers (1 should be set to act as a hub or you will be having other networking problems)

depends on what you want out of the network, if you're running a domain or some file servers.

Do you have any firewall hardware already or are you relying on the router?

Wireless G should go through dome walls without too much of an issue - depends on the size of the network, then again for the extra cost of wireless N you may as well go for it. Remember your users will need wireless N as well to get the full benefit (wirless G will work but both sides to need to be N to get the range and speed bonus)

a 16 (more or less if you want, 16 24 and 48 are normaly used though) port switch connected to the the existing router will give you your basic ports. I'd then add on to this a wireless access point WAP - looks like a wireless router but only has 1 port on it (the incoming connection from switch)

I'd expect to pay $200 for the switch as a start (again depends on your needs) and about $75 for the WAP you can spend a lot more on these items - all depends on user load needs etc.
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