In the course of replacing my cable modem, I discovered that the raw Internet throughput coming out of the cable modem is 12 Mb/sec, while the Internet throughput coming out of my five year old SMC 8-port router is only 5 Mb/sec. After five happy years with no hardware issues it is time for an upgrade.
I do need the 8 ports as I have 6 active right now (including printer, wireless access point and game machine).
After some research I am wondering if I am better off trying to find an8 port router or a 4 port router and an 8 port gigabit switch.
The advantage of the gigabit switch is for copying files locally - mainly for doing backups but I also run a desktop as the file server for all the other machines. I saw some postings about super performance on the gigabit LAN using jumbo packets (MTU). However, now that I'm searching for faster Internet throughput from my network, I don't want an extra device if it will slow me down much.
Alternatively, a single 8 port router is one less device in my path and one less device to deal with. However, 8 port routers are much less common in the consumer space.
Finally, in either configuration, I could add wireless capability to the new router. This would be in addition to the existing wireless on another floor. I assume they can work together and have laptops seemlessly move between the router and the existing access point. I wouldn't dare try this unless they were from the same manufacturer. Since my access point is Linksys, then either I get a Linksys router or replace the existing Linksys access point too.
Performance, ease of maintenance and future proofing the setup is more important than spending a few extra dollars to do it right. Good security and protection from the Internet is also something I require of the router.
If you made it this far, please feel free to share your thoughts or opinions.
BTW, In looking up a few routers, I can't seem to find any published specs on Internet degradation through the devices. How is this characterized?
Thanks in advanced.