Sharing a switch port

we have 20 new PCs being setup in a conference room. We have only 5 jacks in the room wired to our ethernet switch in the wiring closet. The powers that be want to just buy a 24 port switch, plug the new PCs into the switch and use 1 port on the switch connected to 1 of the existing jack that goes back to the switch in the wiring closet. The switch in the wiring closet is connected to a router to the internet and internet browsing is going to be a big use here. My concern is that performance will suffer due to all 20 PCs going through 1 port. Shouldn't we at least buy five 4 port switchs and make use of all 5 jacks in the conference room.

Or, connect a wireless router to 1 of the jacks and put wireless NICs in the PCs (Vista Home Basic o/s). Does that buy us anything? Thanks for any advice and please let me know if the scenario needs clarification. TIA

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If those 5 jacks in the conference room all wind up going to the same IP router anyway, and if traffic between the PCs in the conference room is negligible compared with traffic from those PCs going through one router to the Internet, then I don't think you'll see that much difference. The bottleneck will most likely be the single router. I am assuming here that the router is connected internally via 100 Mb/s Ethernet, as are all the PCs to the switch.

Going this route will give you less performance than what you described before, because the actual throughput of the wireless will be less than the 100 Mb/s I am assuming for your wired network. However, it is certainly a good way to go, IMO. If your wireless LAN is 802.11g, you should get about 25-26 Mb/s of actual throughput, shared by all the PCs in the conference room.


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Albert Manfredi

What is the bandwidth of your uplink (routerinternet)?

If it's less than the bandwidth to a single pc, then there's no issue.

Also, making sure that the switchrouter link is faster than the individual pcswitch links (eg. 1Gbit vs. 100Mbit) would take care of most issues, but that only makes sense if the uplink is faster than a single individual pcswitch link.

Not necessairily. If the five most active pcs happen to be on one switch that still doesn't help you much. And (again) if your uplink isn't fast enough the entire point is moot.

Also, one managed switch is easier to deal with than five. Unmanaged... the small cheap 5-port stuff can be quite annoying. With five switches you have a five times higher probability one will fail, but only one fifth of the network will be affected. Pick your priorities.

As pointed out, due to a variety of issues wireless is likely to be (much) slower than wired, so if speed is a concern it'd be pretty low on my list of things to look at. It certainly does have uses, but for your stated goal it's unlikely to gain you much.

You should describe the speeds of the various links in more detail. Your uplink speed relative to the rest of the network is the key here.

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Thanks for the posts. All PCs are connecting at 100mpbs; The uplink from switch to router is 100mpbs. We have a fractional T1 at 768kbps.

"but that only makes sense if the uplink is faster than a single individual pcswitch link." Can you explain this in more detail (to a novice). Each PC connects to the switch at 100MBPS. Thanks!

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You *should've* trimmed the rest of the post instead of quoting all the material then quoting some of it again. Please see RFC1855 (google for it). There are also specific netiquette guidelines for google posters, though those are generally summarized as ``find yourself a real news server''.

Well, your question relates that you are concerned that the connection between switch and router is the same speed as the links between each pc; meaning that in the worst case, when all 20 pcs are trying to use their link at full speed, they will be able to use at most 100Mbps/20=5Mbps.

pc -\\ pc -- [switch] -- [router] -- { internet } pc -/

So, you have pcs connected to a switch at 100Mbps, one switch connected to a router at 100Mbps, and one router to the rest of the internet, at

768kbps. One can observe that when the primary use is internet use[1], the most important connection is the router internet one, and also that 100Mbps / 20pcs is much larger than 768kbps / 20 pcs.

What I implied above was that the router internet connection was likely to be much slower than 100Mbps anyway (that turns out to be true) so that upgrading your internet connection would be required before worrying about the switch router connection starts making sense.

[1] Presumably meaning ``world wide web browsing'', -- the WWW is not the same as the internet, but built on top of the internet. WWW-browsing tends to spurts of traffic whenever someone clicks on something, making contention unlikely unless people start to download large blobs of data.
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others will point this out also.... But - how many "other" PC's in your location are going to be using the Internet ? vs any internal servers ?

The 100mbps switches & ports are now like high speed 100mph on-ramps via your router to the Internet highway..... which is moving at 1mph (768k) ...

SO - do you really think your local Ethernet jack vs port vs switch is a concern ???

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Hi there. I recommend the following:

  1. Use a pair of Siemon 4-Pair T568A/T568B Jack Modular Y-Adapter for
10BASE-T Applications for each extra CAT5 run you want.
formatting link
The specs has 10MBps maximum, but for short runs, I have been able to push 100Mbps without errors.

  1. Purchase additional used network switches (or a larger one) from eBay or other sources for the price of a new 24-port switch.

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