Increasing network hubs / switches

I have a belkin wireless router on my ground floor living room with four ethernet ports on the back.  I have all four ports used with cables running from the router to varous rooms in the house.

If I have one ethernet cable coming into one of my rooms, how easily can I connect more than one device to that cable?  Am I right in thinking that I can simply buy another router{?} or switch to add another x number of ports?  Will this slow down the overall network on that ethernet cable rather than having a dedicated cable for each of the devices in my room going back to the main router in the living room?
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Patmac951Connect With a Mentor Commented:
You cannot split an Ethernet data cable like a coaxial cable for cable TV.  An Ethernet cable requires that it is cabled end to end in a specific pattern and it cannot be split.

As far as question 1 above goes the switch will require you to plug it into an electrical outlet.  But there is not additional setup for a regular switch you can purchase them at Best Buy or Staples.  Just do not purchase a managed switch because those require configuration setup and they must be assigned a static IP.  

If you just buy a regular small 4 port switch that you can find at any consumer electronics store for under $40.00  

All you have to do is plug it into a power source and attach the ethernet cables and you are done.
Tyler LaczkoCommented:
You should purchase a switch.
In a small home network like this you won't notice the slowdown.  You can just add another switch, (I wouldn't bother with a router), to your network off of one of your existing cables.
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Tyler LaczkoConnect With a Mentor Commented:
If both devices connected to the switch are running at 100% they will only be able to use 50% of the cable.

This will not matter since your network is probably 100 mb or 1 gb and your computer bottlenecks are most likely alot lower than that speed. eg hd write 5 MB/s
Patmac951Connect With a Mentor Commented:
In a network this size you should not experience any latency issues, simply add another switch in the other room and you will be fine,  you do not need a router simply a switch.

I have done this many times actually in large network settings where you only have one cable and it is cheaper to simply buy another switch than add more cabling.  It is not the most ideal situation but it works.  As the previous post mentioned the one cable connected to the new switch will be handling all the traffic back to the main router but in a home network of your size you should not seem any problems.
abdb469Author Commented:
1. Is it possible to find a switch that does not require another mains electrical socket (to cut down on more cables and mess etc)?

2. What is the downside to simply splitting the cable with a cable splitting device rather than getting a switch to do this?

3. How difficult is it to setup i.e does it require software installation or just plug and play?
Patmac951Connect With a Mentor Commented:
Just to clarify my last post in the room that you need additional computer/Ethernet connections plug the cable from your main router that is already in the room into the new 4 port switch, this will leave you 3 additional ports.  Then just plug in your additional devices into one of the other ports.

The switch is designed to route data traffic efficiently and it will have no problem communicating with your main router as long as the cable from the main router is plugged into one of the ports on the new switch.
abdb469Author Commented:
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