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Please help with NIC speed

Posted on 2002-05-23
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Last Modified: 2013-11-09
I am a teacher at a small school. I have set up a network using Windows NT 4 on the server and various OS's on the workstations. I can't network at 100mbs but must cut the speed down to 10mbs. Even with good cards  (upgraded Dell NIC with Win XP) I just get a blinking light on the NIC if my cat5 run is over 75ft. It works great with the lower speed.

Could it be my low end Netgear hub and router?. What hardware do you recommend to upgrade? Also, is the increased speed that much of a benefit if I'm not working with lots of graphics - just the internet?

Thanks, Mike
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Question by:mikeinjax
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by:mmedwid
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Cat 5 should be able to do 100 Mbps over a distance of 100 meters.  You certainly need to verify that your netgear device is a 100MBps device and I would recommend that it be a switch rather than a hub.  The reason is that a hub will only allow you to autonegotiate to 100/Half Duplex.  
Also be certain that both ends of the connection (the switch/hub being one side and the workstation being the other) are set to AUTO-negotiate.  I suspect that this is your real problem:  You are hard coding your workstations to operate at 100Mbps and the hub/switch is set to AUTOnegotiate.  You need to either set BOTH ends to AUTO or BOTH ends to 100/FULL (if it's a switch) or 100/HALF (if it's a hub).  The reason for this is a bit involved.  Perhaps someone our there is less lazy than me!  :-)
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mmedwid earned 75 total points
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The question of "Is 10Mbps enough for my needs" is a good one.  If you have a 300k Internet feed and nearly all your traffic is from these workstations out to the Internet...then 100Mbps gear is a waste.  At least if you already own 10Mbps gear.  

If there is a great deal of traffic between all your workstations (backups or large file transfers or whatever...then yeah - faster is better.
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by:mmedwid
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If you just HAVE to know more about ethernet and their duplex settings issues:

http://www.cisco.com/univercd/cc/td/doc/cisintwk/ito_doc/ethernet.htm#xtocid29
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