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Is it wise to use multiple Ethernet connections from router to switch?

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  • Routers
  • Switch
  • Ethernet Card
  • Networking
Last response: in Networking
November 10, 2011 1:28:56 AM

I just rewired my house using Cat 6 and installed a patch panel and a D-Link DGS-1024D 10/100/1000 24 port switch. I have a Netgear WNDR3700 Router connected to a ATT DSL bridge. I am upgrading to U-verse and a 12Mbps internet connection. My question is; I have a 4 port switch on my router which I presently have one ethernet cable connected to the 24 port switch, would I gain any advantage or disadvantage to connecting another Ethernet line between the router and switch or even all four ports? I have 6 open ports on my switch.

I know my internet connection is way slower than the single connection as is, but my son loves his x-box live gaming and I like to watch Hulu/Netflix at the same time. Would there be any advantage at all? I personally think the only advantage would be redundancy, but could it cause a delay of some kind?

Thanks Robert

More about : wise multiple ethernet connections router switch

November 10, 2011 2:36:45 AM

I haven't really heard of this, but I would not advise connecting more than one cable from the router to the switch. This would avoid possible "confusion" of DHCP assignments.

Also, since the traffic will only flow through that single cable when it is going to the internet, the amount of traffic would not bottleneck a Cat 6 cable (your internet connection is the bottleneck). Hence the heavier and speedier traffic between your LAN computers will flow only through the switch.
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November 10, 2011 3:02:43 AM

Connecting multiple ethernet cables between the router's switch and the 24-port switch is pointless (but would not cause any DHCP conflicts). Once a switch learns a pathway between itself and another switch (or any other network device for that matter), it will use that same pathway every time, exclusively. So again, adding more cables between them accomplishes nothing. The only point in having a cable between the switches is to increase how many different devices you can attach to the router (switch, PC, laptop, DVR, etc.).
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November 10, 2011 3:11:39 AM

Thank you, that is what I thought. I was in the middle of my 110 punch downs on my patch panel and thought I would ask just to make sure. Thanks again.
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November 10, 2011 9:42:31 AM

P.S. I'm assuming here that we're dealing w/ UNMANAGED switches. However, it's possible that a 24-port switch might be MANAGED. A managed switch could establish several VLANs (virtual LANs), effectively creating several "virtual switches" off the same physical switch. In that case, you would HAVE to use multiple connections between the router's switch and the managed switch, one for each VLAN that needed Internet access. You might do this, for example, if you felt that a single connection between the router and 24-port switch was proving to be a bottleneck. By segmenting the 24-port switch, you potentially increase the bandwidth between them.

For home use, this whole scenario is unlikely and frankly, overly complicated. But in an office setting, it wouldn't be that unusual at all, where you might have much larger Internet “pipes” (or more of them). So I just wanted to be clear in distinguishing the situation between managed and unmanaged switches.
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