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General Home networking questions

Last response: in Networking
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February 2, 2010 1:49:02 PM

Okay, The more I read about switches, the more confused I get. I am looking for any help. Here is what I have. Two main machines, xbox 360, and direct tv dvr. Those are ran off of a gigabit router. I also have three laptops ran off of wireless n from the same router. I am at the point where I want to hook up a media extender to a different tv, and I am out of ports. What I was wanting to know is there a way that I can incorporate a switch into the network, while retaining internet service to all the pc's... Or do I need to buy another gigabit router. I could do that also and use it as an extender for wireless also. (I think).
February 2, 2010 2:44:45 PM

Buy a gigabit switch, 5 or 8 port, run network cable from any port on the router to any port on the switch. All done.
How many ports are on your router? Most home routers have 4 or 5 ports built in. Wireless connections do NOT take away from the amount of wired connections you have.
If you have 4 wired connections you can run 4 systems wired and 200 wireless if you want.
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February 16, 2010 2:16:50 PM

It has 4 ports on the router. and all are filled. xbox, direct tv, blu ray player, and my pc. I can do a switch I just dont understand how they work. A router sees the ip of its destination computer and routes it directly to that pc. So in a switch do all the pc's see all the packets? I am just confused of how to set up ip's with a switch. They would all have different ip's, would they all have to be static, and just accept the packets that comes across with that ip? I just need the basics so I can understand how it works, so I can build from there.
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February 16, 2010 2:20:22 PM

Can I do a second router. I can get them cheaper than the switch?
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February 16, 2010 2:35:32 PM

A switch only directs the packet to the appropriate computer. The other computers do NOT see the packet. All the computers can either use DHCP or have static IPs. Doesn't matter to the switch as long as no 2 computers have the same IP.

You can use a router but the router part won't be used. A stand alone gig switch will be easier to setup and more efficient. I picked up a 5 port Netgear switch for like 30 bucks at Frye's awhile back. No problems so far. Plugged it in and it worked.
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