gigabit ethernet lan

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by koko, Oct 22, 2004.

  1. koko

    koko Got Root?

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    after searching through osnn.net, i've found the reason i can't get my network speed up to 1000mbps - my router. it's a linksys befsr81 and is rated for 10/100 speeds only.

    i've scoured the net in search of a router deisgned for home use that can handle 1000mbps and i can only find switches.

    anyone seen a home/small office router that's 10/100/1000?

    2nd question - why are they selling gigabit ethernet cards if no one can really use all the speed those nics can handle? :rolleyes:
     
  2. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    1rst - a gigahertz Switch is what you need. There are 2 ways to split a LAN signal one is a Switch and I keep forgetting the name of the other because no one uses it anymore.

    HUB/Switch/Router are all being carelessly used interchangeably.

    -HUB just takes an ethernet signal and gives you more connection points. Also, called a Switch.
    -Router can take a single WAN (Internet) adress and share it between several computers on a LAN by generating fake internal addresses. The Router may also contain a HUB or Switch which will provide 4-6-10-20 seperate ethernet outputs.

    2nd - same reason people are buying 64 bit CPUs when there is almost no software and no windows operating system that can use them. Future growth potential.


    So:

    You can keep your existing router to make the multiple internet addresses (you won't get more than 10mbps off the net) and then plug one wire from the router into a new gigahertz switch with 4 or more outputs in it. The new switch then ties your network computers together at their best speed up to 1 gbps. Note only traffic between computers with 1 gbps NICs can use the higher speed.

    OR

    I don't know if anyone would bother making a router that works at 1gbps input speed. You could try looking for a router that is 100mpbs input speed but will have a built in 1 gbps switch for your LAN.
     
  3. fimchick

    fimchick OSNN Senior Addict

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    Skip it all and get you an OC12 backbone :p
     
  4. Zedric

    Zedric NTFS Guru Folding Team

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    LeeJend:
    1. It's gigabit, not gigahertz.
    2. A switch and a hub is not the same thing, just more like eachother than a router.

    But yes, what you want is a gigabit switch (a small 5-port or 8-port will probably do) that you stick between the router and the computers.
     
  5. fitz

    fitz Just Floating Along Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    Zed... thanks for correcting the misinformation. Especially the hub/switch being the same comment. I almost screamed when I read that.. lol

    Just to clarify (or muddy) the waters a little more - a router will route packets between two networks/subnets.

    Hubs and switches generally work on the same network. Hubs are a little more "chatty" and have a single backplane shared between all the ports on the hub - meaning they share the 10MBit (or 100MBit bandwidth between all the ports). A switch isolates each port and, in theory, each port should have a full 10Mbit (or 100) of bandwith all to itself.

    And if you to go more deeper into it, you could go into the idea of bridges (which is technically what most cable/DSL "Modems" are.. but let's stay away from that right now.

    edit:
    To clarify why you want the gigabit hub or switch and not the router (and to hopefully answer his second question):

    Your maximum DSL and/or cable providers speeds usually top out at around 6MBit. Technically, a 10Mbit router is all you would need to get the full bandwitch from the internet connection.

    So, from a router perspective, you don't need a gigabit networking because your router is your "gateway" to the internet.

    why do they sell gigabit networking? because you can connect two computers on the same network to eachother at those speeds. But you would connect those with a hub or a switch.. not a router

    --fitz
     
    Reg likes this.
  6. Reg

    Reg eXperienced!

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    Actually, I believe the word you are looking for is a Gateway, not a bridge.

    A router is in fact, a layer three device that routes information from one network to another network (or subnetwork) based upon IP addresses. SOHO routers (or routers that are used in homes and small offices) are technically not routers at all, but are mearly gateways. Most SOHO routers include a switch (some include a wireless access point).

    A gateway is a device that forwards information from one location to another location. It is your access point out of your network. Routers (commercial) are gateway devices, but are not consider gateways because they dynamically forward information to a destination based upon IP address where as gateways simply forward information to its next hop (which may be a router or some other device). A commercial router that statically forwards information to another point (just as with SOHO routers) would be technically considered to be a gateway.

    Modems are also gateways. The purpose of a modem is to convert signals from one format to the next and transmit that information to its next location. Since a modem does not dynamically forward anything, rather is simply sends it to your ISP, it is considered a gateway.

    Bridges are layer two devices that forward information based upon MAC addresses. Bridges do one of two things with a packet that enters it:

    1. Sends the packet through another port if the destination MAC address is listed in the bridge's known MAC table.

    2. Send the packet through an uplink port if the MAC address is NOT listed in the bridge's known MAC table.

    Now, you are probably saying, "That sounds just like a switch." You would be partially correct. See, bridges and switches are the exact same thing, the only difference is in function. Bridges DO NOT contain multiple ports. Rather, the contain an in port and an out port. The purpose of a bridge is to prevent broadcast traffic from a segment on your network from flooding traffic that does not need the information. For example, if I work in the accounting department and I'm sending information to our server which is also located in the accounting department, I can use a bridge to prevent the data from my computer from going to say, the marketing department since the bridge would notice that the destination MAC address is listed in its table and would not forward it through its out port. Switches, on the other hand, have multiple ports. They can be used to accomplish the exact same thing as bridges, but the purpose that is generally given to switches is to:

    1. Prevent Broadcast Traffic off the switch and
    2. Speed up the network since bandwidth between the ports are NOT shared just as fitz said.

    Repeaters are layer one devices that simply reamplify and retransmit a data single. A repeater can be used to extend your cabling beyond the limit of you cable. Repeaters (as with bridges) contain an in port and an out port. Now, you are probably saying, "Why do I care about repeaters." The reason is because a hubs is the EXACT same thing as a repeater. The only difference here is that, just as with a switch to a bridge, a hub is a repeater with multiple ports. A hubs main job is to split a connection comming into it into several connections, amplify those connections, then send them out of the ports. Because a hub does nothing more than transmit data through its ports, the bandwidth through the ports are shared. This is also why you do not see "Gigabit Hubs."

    Now, if you want the benefits of a hub (increase network distance) with the bandwidth control of a switch, you may consider a "Smart Hub." These devices do come in gigabit and are slightly more expensive than a switch.

    But, if all you need is Gigabit ethernet, a switch is all you need.
     
  7. fitz

    fitz Just Floating Along Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    Technically, a gateway connects to two networks with different data data formats (ie - TCP/IP to AppleTalk)

    And the word I am looking for is a bridge as most DSL/cable modems provided are bridges.

    This is the bottome line.. the rest of this discussion is a technical discourse on terminology..

    Shall we discuss VLAN's? :)

    --fitz
     
  8. Reg

    Reg eXperienced!

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    Actually, we can leave VLANs alone for now, lol

    I'm sorry to say, however, that a modem is NOT a bridge, but a gateway. A cable/DSL modem contains a bridge, and I'll agree with you there, but the bridge is only a portion of the modem (the portion that you connect your ethernet or USB cable to). The actual modem's function is to (in the case of DSL or a Cable modem) convert the digital signals being sent from your computer into analog (for cable and dialup modems) or telephone digital (DSL) signals.

    The only bridging function on the modem is the ethernet/USB port that prevents traffic not outbound for the internet from leaving your network (collision domain).

    You can find out more about Bridging and their concept at http://www.linktionary.com/b/bridge.html

    Now, I'm not trying to rat on you fitz. I know this stuff because it used to be my line of work (CCNP, JCNA, Novell, MCSA).
     
  9. fimchick

    fimchick OSNN Senior Addict

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    @REG:
    "Repeaters are layer one devices that simply reamplify and retransmit a data single. A repeater can be used to extend your cabling beyond the limit of you cable. Repeaters (as with bridges) contain an in port and an out port. Now, you are probably saying, "Why do I care about repeaters." The reason is because a hubs is the EXACT same thing as a repeater. The only difference here is that, just as with a switch to a bridge, a hub is a repeater with multiple ports. A hubs main job is to split a connection comming into it into several connections, amplify those connections, then send them out of the ports. "
    ________________________

    Actually there are two kinds of hubs -- active and passive. Hubs are NOT, by default, repeaters that amplify a signal. A passive hub will simply take your signal and pass it along on its happy way. An active hub, however, will amplify your signal.

    P.S. Not educating you, just clarifying your statement :)
     
  10. Reg

    Reg eXperienced!

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    Yeah, that is true. Most commercial hubs, however, are active (meaning you have to actually plug them in). Most soho hubs are passive.
     
  11. LeeJend

    LeeJend Moderator

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    Oh well, if we're going to nitpick:

    Definition: A network switch is a small device that joins multiple computers together at a low-level network protocol layer. Technically, network switches operate at layer two (Data Link Layer) of the OSI model.

    Network switches look nearly identical to hubs, but a switch generally contains more "intelligence" (and a slightly higher price tag) than a hub. Unlike hubs, network switches are capable of inspecting the data packets as they are received, determining the source and destination device of that packet, and forwarding that packet appropriately. By delivering messages only to the connected device that it was intended for, network switches conserve network bandwidth and offer generally better performance than hubs.

    As with hubs, Ethernet network switches are the most common. A network switch offers differing port configurations starting with the four- and five-port models, and support 10 Mbps Ethernet, 100 Mbps Ethernet, or both.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    So while the internal details of operation and performance are different both devices perform the same function. Both allow you to connect multiple devices on a LAN. Either HUB or Switch will work, the HUB just has lesser performance.
     
  12. LordOfLA

    LordOfLA Godlike!

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    switches tend to have some kind of packet cache inside them whereas a hub doesnt,and a port running 100mbps FD is actually pushing 200mbps :p
     
  13. Zedric

    Zedric NTFS Guru Folding Team

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    Like the book in a networks course said: "A switch is a high perfomance, multi interface bridge." Sounds like he's selling something, but it's true. :)
     
  14. fitz

    fitz Just Floating Along Staff Member Political User Folding Team

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    LMAO!!

    I think the person who started this thread got a LOT more than he bargained for..

    Anyway, Reg: I agree with you on the bridge is only a portion of what a cable/dsl modem is.. but it's just easier for me to view it as a bridge and not worry about the gateway/translation portion.

    Don't worry about ratting on me reg.. i'm all for spirited discussions on technical topics.. so long as it doesn't get nasty and/or personal! :)
    As for knowing stuff... it still is my line of work. I don't have the CCNP (I do have a handful of other letters after my name though ie: CCNA, MCSE NT4/win2k, A+, N+, etc..) but looking at some of the practice tests and such, I could probably pass the CCNP tests pretty handily.. just too lazy and busy at work right now to do it.

    --fitz
     
  15. koko

    koko Got Root?

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    thanks for all the helpful info. eventually, after i get all my nics replaced with gigabit ethernet nics (already have 3), i'll buy a gigabit switch and hook that to my router. i checked all my cables again and thank god they're all cat5e. ;)