[PLUG] Advice on switches for home network

Steve Bonds 1s7k8uhcd001 at sneakemail.com
Mon Jun 10 23:56:05 PDT 2002


I'm never one to get offended by "stupid" questions meant to clarify
things.  Your question was completely legitimate.

Yes, the linksys hubs in question were marketted as hubs, but behaved
strangely.  The uplink port echoed to every other port, but the non-uplink
ports only echoed unicast traffic to the uplink port.  Multicasts and
broadcasts went to all ports.  Strange, eh?

I wish I could remember the model of these.  They didn't all do it
either-- I suspect that they might have used some strange internal chipset
for one production run that was flawed.

This was pre-blue and black when they were white.  ;-)

I've found the NetGear equipment to be far more consistent.  (Consistency
is worth the extra 15% to me...)

  -- Steve

On Sun, 9 Jun 2002, Anthony Schlemmer aschlemm at attbi.com XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX wrote:

> Here's a stupid question for you which I hope doesn't offend you...With 
> some or all of the traffic not being broadcast to all ports are you 
> sure that a hub was being used? The fundamental difference between a 
> hub and switch is that a switch routes packets directly between systems 
> and doesn't send packets to all ports unlike a hub. 
> I'm not sure I've seen any of those little blue and black boxes from 
> Linksys which weren't either a switch or a router. I've not used one of 
> their DSL/Cable routers and so I don't know if they are a switch or a 
> hub.
> Tony
> On Saturday 08 June 2002 23:59 pm, Steve Bonds wrote:
> > For unmanaged switches/hubs the two big low-cost brands are Linksys
> > and NetGear.  I've used both quite a bit and have been very happy
> > with NetGear (formerly Bay Networks).
> >
> > I have seen a number of strange failures on the Linksys (hubs that
> > weren't really hubs-- not all traffic was echoed to all ports,
> > intermittent failures, poor 100BaseT-to-10BaseT buffering, etc.)  The
> > NetGear has been much more consistent for some fairly heavy use.
> >
> > I have heard good things on the Linksys from people I trust, so my
> > experiences might be somewhat unusual.
> >
> > A good place to get and share opinions on hardware like this is
> > http://www.epinions.com.
> >
> >   -- Steve Bonds
> >
> > On Sat, 8 Jun 2002, Stuart Mathews smathews at pcez.com wrote:
> > > I'm hoping to avoid unnecessary pitfalls of setting up a small
> > > network.
> > >
> > > I have a DSL connection with a 2 Linux PCs, and will soon add a
> > > Thinkpad and a printer. I'll need some kind of switch to link
> > > everything up. Any ideas as to what they cost, what features I
> > > need to keep an eye out for, as well as advices on who makes good
> > > (bad!) switches? I'm guessing I'll probably see the best
> > > selection at Fry's??

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