please advise on port switch


Standard Member
hi people
i was hoping you great people can help me.
i would like to know the following.
i have 100meg virgin broadband, i have run 3 cables around the house then connected 3 port switches would i loose speed through the port switches?
also does it matter what brand you use. i have 1 netgear and 2 cheap ones which run 10/ 100 though
thanks for your help


Distinguished Member
In the sort of networks we use at home, data travels around them in discrete little units called packets - like letters in the post.

Ethernet switches are like sorting offices: They receive a packet, read it's destination address, decide which port(s) to forward the packet through to get it towards it's destination, then send them on their way.

...would i loose speed through the port switches?
What do you mean by "speed"..? Strictly speaking, in data networking there's no such thing as "speed." What's the "speed" of you local postal sorting office? Or the "speed" of your postman? Hopefully you see that the question you pose is somewhat meaningless.

The rate (speed) at which data packets get transferred between devices (clients, switches, routers - everything) in ethernet networks is exactly the same for everything because the transfers rates are prescribed in the standards. It's 10mbps, 100mbps or 1000mbps. Hardly anything uses 10mbps these days.

Having received a packet, it takes some amount of time for a switch to perform its forwarding decision making and this time is usually called latency (lag.) Better swithes do this faster, so check out the spec sheets. However, latancy is usually measured in a few microseconds (millionths of second) so it's practicaly unnoticable. Contrast that with the times that things like PING report back which is measured in milliseconds (1000 times longer than microseconds.)

Were you get more variance between swithes is in their capacity handle lots of packets at the same time: If you think about a 4 port switch, it could be receiving packets on all 4 ports simultaneously so it needs enough horsepower to cope with the (potential) traffic levels. Switches usually quote this in their spec sheets, often measures in "packets per second." Obviously higher capacity is better if you've got a busy network. (SOHO LAN's tend not to be very busy.)

also does it matter what brand you use. i have 1 netgear and 2 cheap ones which run 10/ 100 though thanks for your help
The brand in and of itself doesn't matter (beyond things like customer service, quality, etc.) Manufacturers produce different capability products for different points in the market. So a SOHO/Desktop (say) 4 port switch is going to be much less capable than an enterprise class core switch with 48 ports, and or course they are priced accordingly. However, the 4 port switch has only got to handle 4 ports, not 48, so it doesn't need to as much capacity. As long as it can handle all the traffic from 4 ports, then it's just fine.

Higher spec. switches also have lots of bonus "features" which would be of interest to corporate business or a complex network design, but wouldn't be any use in your average home.

So if you really want to get into a number game comparing one switch with another, then you need to dig out the spec sheets and compare the latency and capacity figures. But in your average SOHO depoyment, it's probably not worth worrying about. Switching is an intrinsicly "fast" operation and will bearly be noticable compared to all the other latencies your data transfers are going to be subject to.
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Standard Member
thank you for replying
i was just asking cause when i connect the cable through port the speed is slower. if i go direct from router i get full 100 meg very new to all this so trying work it all out


Distinguished Member
Try a different cable.

Check that your links are actually coming up at 100mbps - many switches have indictor lamps that show the established link rate.

If you post the exact make/model of your switches (and router) we can check them out.

If you're getting a noticable performance drop off, then it's possible you've got some kind of problem rather than an issue with a particular switch model (though the latter is not impossible.)


Standard Member
virgin super hub
High Quality 5 + 1 Uplink Port 10/100 Fast Ethernet Network LAN Switch with UK AC Power Adapter
Description: 5 Port 10/100 Network Ethernet Switch with one UPLINK Port provides you with a high-performance, economic, and a handy option. It supports auto-negotiation of half or full-duplex transfer modes for each port and supports automatic MDI/MDIX detection providing true plug and play capacity without the need for configuring crossover cables or crossover ports for networking to expand easily. 5 port 10/100Mbps LAN switch is used for medium and small sized offices and home networking.
Data Flow control ensures against possible Packet loss. LED indicator indicates the status of power, corrosion, speed, and half/full duplex mode. Adopts storage-and-forwarding technology together with dynamic memory allocation, to guarantee data that can be transmitted to every port efficiently.

Supports: Windows95, Windows NT, Windows 2000, Windows XP, VISTA, Window 7, MAC Linux UNIX, Packet-driver for TCP/IP Unix DOS Novell
thats one.
the other port switch is a Netgear 8-Port 10/100 Network Switch


Distinguished Member
Would that be a TP link switch with a model name something like - TL-SG1005D..?

What is the NetGear?

BTW - how are you determining the link rates you are obtaining?


Distinguished Member
There's not much to go on there, but that PlusCom device looks pretty bog standard and Netgear are fairly well resputed.

Online speed testers are not the best thing for testing throughput as the ISP link tends to be the bottleneck. and thus the speed tester is effectively only testing the ISP link performance.

If you've got more that one PC available, tools like NetIO or iPerf are a much better way to test you local equipment's performance.

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