Networking 3 rooms with switches??

Hi there,

I wonder if anybody can confirm something for me..

I have 3 rooms, each room is connected by 1 cable of cat 5e... actually what happens is

Room A cable to Room B

and Room B cable to Room C

hence Room B has 2 cables, 1 coming from room a and another coming from room b

I want to be able to network all 3 rooms together, now i believe that if I install 1 8 port hub in each room then i would end up with 2 much colliisions on the network, because hubs are not smart i.e learning where as Switches are...

Switches would learn where pc 13 is and pc 5 is .. and instead of broadcasting on the networking it would directly travel to correct room..

Is this right?? I think I am on the right lines.... can somebody confirm this...

If this is true can anybody suggest a low cost SWITCH (learning hub) for a small installation..... 8 port switches would do, actually one room only needs a 4 port one...

Something like a 3com or LINKSYS or  similar but as low price as possible..

Any help anybody can offer would be really great


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Hi ianinspain,

May be I am thinking differently here than the actual situation you have.

Why dont you buy a Dlink or linksys router (with in built switch) and then connect all the computers in that room with it.
Or Why not even go to a wireless router and avoid cabling ??

May be you can give us some more information

Ah when I reread your question , looks like there are not just 3 Pcs..

How many Pcs are there. Do you have the capability for them to go wireless , like PCI wireless card fo desktops and Wireless card for laptops ? What OS they all have (should not matter) but just asking..
ianinspainAuthor Commented:
Yes I could go wireless, but I would rather use cat5e.. 100mbit, there will be approx 7 pc's more or less... Most have XP .. and one other will have windows 2003 server and one other linux....

I wanted to put a switch in each room, potentially giving access to 7 Pc's (8 port switch/hub - 1 connection for linking room)

I think i remember reading if i use standard hubs they will poll the network and cause a lot of collisions or something like that, and I had to use intellegent switches... I think...

But not 100% sure.

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ianinspainAuthor Commented:
why would i need a router?? is this better?? a little confused now..

I thought 3 switches ... 1 in each room...

are you suggesting putting 3 routers ...1 in each room??

I have my ADSL router seperate which will connect to a pc in Room A on a separate network card... and I use Internet connection sharing from windows 2003 server currenly

I said about one wireless router assuming you are going to have only 3 computers overall..
Again it is not clear to me if there are 7 pcs in one room or overall 7 pcs...  

Why dont you put one 8 port switch and then connect all computers to that switch

router (one room)  <------> Switch (8 port)  (another room) and then from here connect to all machines in that room ..

Definitely you should go for switch if you can afford.

ianinspainAuthor Commented:
there will be 7 pc's in total..

Problem is the rooms are not cabled enough ...

there is a 1 cable to each room

Which is why i was thinking have hanging off a Switch (hub) off each office...

Would this cause problems??
Having switch should not cause any problems as long as the cables are not faulty and the configuration of the switches are fine..
considering economic issue and broadcasting network you could set up one router and three switch
a pc router would do, an old pc can be your router with the least specification 486 processor, without hardisk and at least 16mb of memory, and NIC depending on how many interface would like to setup.. you can google for LIVECD ROUTER. its free.. the rest of your network can be segmented by using switches..
Ianinspain, I am sorry to see all the confusion you have received in the replies so far.

Your question is simple and clear, and the answer should be equally simple and clear: YES, IT WILL WORK the way you suggest.

Connecting swithces in a cascading model as in this case (Room A connects to Room B which in turn connects to Room C) is not ideal, but given the small number of computers and hopefully a relative low traffic volume, it will work nicely. However, it will not work well if traffic load increases.

Any simple, cheap switches you can find everywhere will work.

To all the guys that will now tell me that there are so many better ways of setting up a network: Yes, I am aware of that. And I can do it. But this guy did not ask for that.


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Steve McCarthy, MCSE, MCSA, MCP x8, Network+, i-Net+, A+, CIWA, CCNA, FDLE FCIC, HIPAA Security OfficerIT Consultant, Network Engineer, Windows Network Administrator, VMware AdministratorCommented:
Even with a hub, I really doubt that you will see even enough collisions to worry about with your small usage, however, little switches are super cheap, so I would just use them.  You should be fine.

Netgear switches would work well - the autouplink feature would work well for you so you don't need to worry about using different types of cables when going from switch to switch and from PC to switch.  Just drop one of them in each room and you should be good.  A 16 port unmanaged switch from netgear is about $80.  

Oh, and you'd probably want to setup one of those Win2k3 servers as a DHCP server to hand out IP addresses, or you can use one of the cheap firewall/router combos to share out the internet connection (in place of using internet connection sharing) and act as a DHCP server on your network.  

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