January 14th, 2002, 05:31 PM
planning a v. small (2 network) at home so I can learn about services such as nfs, samba, ftp, web, mail, etc. on linux
Before I go off the deep end and buy another box for this proj. can someone tell me whether I need a hub/switch.
I guess my question for y'all is:
Under what circumstances do you need/ not need a hub/switch for a LAN?
If someone could point me towards a suitable info source I would appreciate it.
January 15th, 2002, 05:38 AM
I'm not an expert but I believe always, unless you use a cross-cable to connect two PCs.
January 15th, 2002, 06:38 AM
There are two basic cables you can use: BNC and CAT5. BNC is older and many network cards don't use it anymore, whereas CAT5 is newer, faster, and better and easier to sort out in GNU/Linux.
With BNC, you just connect a cable between the two computers and bingo! You're done. The connectors are round and look a little like TV aerial sockets in case you're wondering.
With CAT5 you need to use either a hub or a crossover cable. Crossover cables are usually quite hard to find, and much more expensive than your usual CAT5 cable, but using it does mean one component. Getting a hub and some normal CAT5 would be a lot easier but possibly more expensive.
Do you think you might expand the network in the future? If there's any chance of this I'd go for the hub, because then to expand all you need to do is get some more CAT5 which is cheap. If you chose to expand and you had the crossover cable you'd just have to go and buy two new CAT5 cables and a hub -- expensive.
If you're looking to investigate networking, I'd reccomend you read up on the theory of the cabling first. Things like different kinds of network (star, cluster, distributed, etc.), different kinds of cables and connectors (cat5, BNC, RJ45, etc.), and different network protocols (TCP/IP, IPX, etc.). Have a look in your local bookshop or spend a few hours on google and Yahoo! and I'm sure you'll build up a good understanding. HKnowing your networking makes learning the services A LOT easier.
January 15th, 2002, 12:15 PM
thanks for the info. I had known about crossover cable, but forgotten. I'm learning as much as can manage about networking before the services.
dunxster (expat from uk in us)
January 24th, 2004, 06:56 PM
If you can find someone local that has the tools you can make a crossover cable cheaply.
You might check with a repair place or a local cabling contractor. Just a suggestion I am definetly not an expert.
January 25th, 2004, 06:03 PM
Crossover cables are usually on the shelf at places like Best Buy. I'd get a hub or switch myself even with only 2 computers. Crossover cables become useless when that 3rd device wants to be on your network.