I'm about to drop my DSL service and go cable. I can either rent the modem ($5/mo) from the provider or buy one. If I buy one, by what criteria should I be judging the various modems?
Right now, I have our home network hardwired (1 desktop, 2 laptops). My desktop has the DSL modem (internal), running the laptops off/thru a Linksys 5 port "workgroup switch". The networked printer is hooked up to my desktop via LPT1. We are all running the same version of XP.
We are considering going wireless. Would I be better off to go with a wireless modem or wireless router and adapters? I'm asking from both financial and performance/reliability standpoints. From a cursory online search of Bad Buy/Jerkuit City, it looks like conventional modem= $60-80, wireless = $130. I haven't begun to look at adapters for the laptops. Any advice there?
Possibly stupid question: There is no need to have a wireless connection on my desktop, can I hardwire the desktop off a regular cable modem then the laptops off a wireless router and still keep the printer networked via my desktop?
BTW, what are the technical differences between a router, a hub and a switch?