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  1. #1
    SitePoint Wizard bbolte's Avatar
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    Network Hubs vs Routers

    I am contemplating setting up a network between 2 pcs and a mac to share a cable modem and a printer. I'm wondering about the difference between using a router with a firewall as opposed to a network hub and installing software firewalls on each machine. I'm not overly concerned with hacking, but want security that is easy to setup and maintain. Anyone have any thoughts or tips?

  2. #2
    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    In working with Cable/DSL, the advantage is to go with a router. A router acts like a proxy - it functions as the IP address assigned to you by the cable company mapping requests back and forth between the PCs and itself. This isn't the best worded explanation, but it basically allows you to share a single IP with up to 255 PCs, printers, etc...

    A hub acts more like a spliter. It still requires each PC to have its own IP address and I believe the cable company charges an extra $5 a month per additional IP.
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  3. #3
    We are vigilant icehousedesigns's Avatar
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    Netgear has some good routers you should take a look at that I've recommended to several people.

    http://www.netgear.com

    Models are RT311 ( just 1 port out, you can break it out to a hub ) or a RT314 which is a 4 port version.


    The router will take care of assigning non-routable IP's to the client machines...which is pretty good for security..since all the Internet can see is your router. Just make sure your router is configured correctly
    Last edited by icehousedesigns; Dec 18, 2001 at 10:15.

  4. #4
    epsilon transition cupid's Avatar
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    Originally posted by westmich
    A hub acts more like a spliter. It still requires each PC to have its own IP address and I believe the cable company charges an extra $5 a month per additional IP.
    Not necessarily.. If you run NAT on one of the machines, it can act as the gateway for all of the other machines. The machines on the inside, would then use unroutable ips (i.e. 192.168.0.x)

    This means you only use that one ip, and you're still sharing the connection.

    I recommend a hub. It's MUCH less expensive than a router, and perfect for small projects like home networking with 3-4 computers. If this were a corporate office, I'd suggest something more substantial.. like a router.
    Last edited by cupid; Dec 19, 2001 at 21:42.

  5. #5
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    as an alternative to both, try a switch. In effect, a switch IS a router, but it is cheaper. There is a speed issue here also. Regarding the questions about the firewall, in my opinion, coming from my knowledge of what we have in effect where I work (in a government agency) you cannot have too many firewalls. Have one in the switch and one on each of your machines. Just a thought.

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  6. #6
    SitePoint Wizard bbolte's Avatar
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    a switch?

    haven't heard of that, who makes them? about how much? and this will still allow the pcs and the mac to share a printer?

    Cupid - what is "NAT"?

  7. #7
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    Here's a good one from Netgear

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    Aaron Brazell
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  8. #8
    SitePoint Wizard bbolte's Avatar
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    man, that was quick!

    thanks for the help. i will look into that further, i couldn't find a price on it though...

  9. #9
    SitePoint Wizard westmich's Avatar
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    Try this link - http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...u=l48-1150%20p

    This is what I was first describing. A router can also be considered a switch depending on how it handles traffic internally - the difference is between a hub and a switch, a router can be either.

    I have never heard of NAT, either.
    Westmich
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  10. #10
    SitePoint Wizard bbolte's Avatar
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    that would work!

    thanks much! and here is what NAT is (found it there)

    Network Address Translation (NAT)ŚMaps private, protected, internal IP addresses to single shared public IP address and Internet account

  11. #11
    Prolific Blogger silver trophy Technosailor's Avatar
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    here's a price comparison. I'm fairly certain you can find cheaper ones, but hey...I just looked real quick.
    http://shopper.cnet.com/shopping/res...r.pl.pr6296993
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  12. #12
    We are vigilant icehousedesigns's Avatar
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    Many people confuse NAT with DHCP. They are 2 different things.

    NAT is network address translation. It basically allows many computers to access the Internet with 1 IP.

    DHCP ( Dynmaic Host Control Protocol ) is the actual process that leases out these IP's, while NAT is the process that actually makes it all work

    You CAN use NAT without DHCP...and you can use DHCP without using NAT..if your leasing out routeable IP's.
    Last edited by icehousedesigns; Dec 19, 2001 at 16:10.

  13. #13
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    I've done it in just about every possible way..

    1) Used a Linux box as a gateway (NAT/IP Masquerade setup)
    2) Used a Linux box as a gateway (NAT/IP MAsquerade setup) WITH DHCP

    NOTE: Used hubs on ways 1 & 2..only because I was using dial up at that time..

    ..then I moved to cable..

    the hubs didn't work because the cable company limited the ip to 1 mac address.. so I bought an 8 port nat router - which works perfect.

  14. #14
    SitePoint Wizard bbolte's Avatar
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    mkaufman, which way did you prefer? router or linux box?


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