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Using a Gigabit switch to manage the LAN?

Simba

Distinguished Member
i have a 5port 100mbps switch with the internet fed from my sky hub (80meg sky fibre pro) via powerline adapter to it.

i then have all my devices connected to the switch - PC, PS3, streaming device etc.

i want a gigabit switch....is it possible for the switch to handle the LAN between the devices instead of having to route back to the router (sky hub) via the powerline to negate any losses or will it do that anyway e.g. streaming from PC?

if so which swtich?

thanks
 

cjed

Well-known Member
If I understand correctly, you have everything plugged into a switch, which is then connected to your router via a Powerline link. In this case, the traffic between the devices will NOT go via the router, the switch will pass the packets directly between the devices, this is already happening with your 100 Mbit/s switch. You can certainly replace the switch with a Gigabit one, but this will only make any difference if the devices on the switch that you're transferring data between both have Gigabit ethernet interfaces.

All the simple, unmanaged Gigabit switches are pretty much the same, I've used ones from TP-Link, Netgear, Zyxel and Tenda - I've not had any problems with any of them. If I was getting another I'd probably get a Tenda switch, they have all the ports and power connector on the back, and the indicator lights (which also show link speed) on the front. Might be worth considering an 8 port switch, only a little extra and significant room for expansion.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
In the sort of switched ethernet infrastructures one builds at home, traffic takes the most direct (least hops) pathway between between any two end stations. That's to say it is not necessary for all traffic to "go via your router." So as described, the traffic flow between (say) PS3 & PC goes PS3---switch---PC.

If you did a rip and replace of your existing switch for a GBit one, then the traffic flows will be the same - it's just that traffic transitting to/from any switch port will do so in a tenth of the time if the devices connected are GBit capable. If your devices are "only" 100mbps, then a GBit switch will make no difference - the applicable switch ports will fall back to 100mbps operation.
 
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Simba

Distinguished Member
If I understand correctly, you have everything plugged into a switch, which is then connected to your router via a Powerline link. In this case, the traffic between the devices will NOT go via the router, the switch will pass the packets directly between the devices, this is already happening with your 100 Mbit/s switch. You can certainly replace the switch with a Gigabit one, but this will only make any difference if the devices on the switch that you're transferring data between both have Gigabit ethernet interfaces.

All the simple, unmanaged Gigabit switches are pretty much the same, I've used ones from TP-Link, Netgear, Zyxel and Tenda - I've not had any problems with any of them. If I was getting another I'd probably get a Tenda switch, they have all the ports and power connector on the back, and the indicator lights (which also show link speed) on the front. Might be worth considering an 8 port switch, only a little extra and significant room for expansion.

yeh thats correct.

setup is Fibre Modem> Router (Sky Hub)>powerline adapter> 5port 100mbps switch> DEVICES (PC, PS3, Streaming device etc)

im using one of these just now TP-Link TL-SF1005D 5-Port 10/100Mbps Unmanaged Desktop Switch: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

but as i need more ports i might aswell get an 8 port switch and go for gigabit...

so as i understand it then...the switch can still maintain the LAN between devices? i.e. if i disconnect the powerline to the switch then the LAN is still active?

i was thinking of moving the router in front of the powerline adapter, would that be a better setup?

so:

Fibre Modem> powerline adapter> Router (Sky Hub)> 8 port 1000mbps switch> DEVICES (PC, PS3, Streaming device etc)

i was looking at:

Netgear GS105 5-port Gigabit Ethernet Switch: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

Netgear ProSafe Plus 8-Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

TP-Link TL-SG1008D 8-Port Unmanaged Gigabit Desktop Switch: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

TRENDnet TEG-S82g 8-Port Gigabit GREENnet Switch with Metal Case: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories

Amazon.co.uk: Customer Reviews: Tenda G1008D 10/100/1000 8-Port Mini Switch
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
...but as i need more ports i might aswell get an 8 port switch and go for gigabit...

You may as well as the cost difference between 10/100 and 10/100/1000 (AKA Gigabit) is usually so small these days that you might as well buy Gigabit and future proof a bit.

so as i understand it then...the switch can still maintain the LAN between devices? i.e. if i disconnect the powerline to the switch then the LAN is still active?

Yes it is, though of course you'll loose Internet connection and connection to the DHCP Server in your router which dynamically allocates IP addresses. The latter isn't an immediate problem the minute you pull the cable out, but as devices need to acquire IP addresses (ie at power up or lease expiration time - typically 12-24 hours or so) they cannot contact the DHCP Server a get a new lease and thence fall off the network because they loose their IP addresses. If you manually assigned your IP it wouldn't be a prblem, but for most people that's such a PITA that they don't bother and rely on DHCP.

i was thinking of moving the router in front of the powerline adapter, would that be a better setup?

so:

Fibre Modem> powerline adapter> Router (Sky Hub)> 8 port 1000mbps switch> DEVICES (PC, PS3, Streaming device etc)

It'll make practically no difference since most of the traffic over your powerline link is traffic to/from the Internet and it makes no difference to that traffic whether the powerline hop happens before or after your router.

Where it might make a difference is traffic between your local wired devices and any wi-fi devices Associated with your router if your powerline link is constraining those traffic flows. The flip side of the argument is that wi-fi traffic to/from the Internet isn't going over your powerline link at present and swapping as you suggest means it will, so it could actually be detrimental to your wi-fi clients Internet usage experience. If it's working well enough as is, I wouldn't bother changing, I think it will cause you more problems (now and in the future) than it solves.

If your want to really make a difference to the traffic flows between your router and switch, then - depending on how well your powerline link is performing - the best upgrade would be to get the drills out and lay in some "proper" network cables and ditch the powerline link altogether. You know you want to - now you've just got to persuade SWMBO. :D
 
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