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Using a multi port ethernet card as a switch?

Last response: in Components
March 9, 2012 2:52:35 PM

Does anybody know how to use a 4 port pci ethernet adapter to act as an ethernet switch that uses tha motherboards built in port to connect to the modem/router? If so please help! Thanks in advance

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March 12, 2012 4:28:36 AM

If you(re not planning on using it as a windows machine , install ununtu server , then use aptitude to add shorewall (aptitude install shorewall) . For a quick fix on the nic , just make a bridge of the 4 interfaces , then use that br0 as interface 2 in the shorewall 2 ionterface setup.

If your 4 port adapter is 100 mbit , it probably doesn't have auto crossover. So in that case you'll have to buy some crossover plugs.

Then install isc-dhcp-server if you want dhcp functionality and other toppings ..openvpn , poptop, freeswan , samba , utorrent , dns , ntp heaps more ....

shorewall is an iptables frontend , and makes it easy to configure.

You can set rules for traffic between ports of the bridge as well.


For windows it's probably easiest to use something like winroute (if that thing still exists , idk it's been ages) or something equivalent (there's even internet connection sharing in the later versions of window ; not very configurable though); and as with linux , bridge the nic's on the 4 port card. (ctrl click on the interfaces , right click select make bridge)
If you want to do traffic control between those ports on windows however , you'll probably need to make each port a different subnet and add routes.
There is elaborate firewall/routing software for windows .. one of the better firewalls I've messed around with was FW-1 from checkpoint software.

All in all I would recommend linux tbh .. straight server package.. any disto will do , but I like debian and ubuntu server personally /shrug. There are special firewall disto's if you don't want to mess around manually. Using a server diqsto instead of a firewall disto has the added benefit of easily being able to add programs with more specific behavior later on.
March 13, 2012 7:30:08 AM

Wow very helpful thanks, ill be using windows xp fyi :) 
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March 13, 2012 7:30:37 AM

Wow very helpful thanks, ill be using windows xp fyi :) 
March 13, 2012 7:31:43 AM

Wow very helpful thanks, ill be using windows xp fyi :) 
March 24, 2012 11:05:45 AM

Best answer selected by Matt_1.