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Thread: Ethernet Splitter & Switch Question

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    Ethernet Splitter & Switch Question

    Hi all,

    The situation is that I have three devices (a printer, a laptop, and a desktop) that require ethernet connectivity. However, my uni room has only the one wall socket.

    I have seen some £5ish splitters but after reading around for a bit it seems these don't do what I want to do, so the remaining option is a switch such as this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Netgear-5-Po.../dp/B0007SQEQ4

    1. Is this suitable?
    2. Is there a better way for under £40?
    3. With the switch can I LAN the laptop and desktop or would I need a router for that?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Re: Ethernet Splitter & Switch Question

    Switch.

    ... unless whoever provides your network connection for some reason prohibits more than one device being connected at the same time.

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    Re: Ethernet Splitter & Switch Question

    Quote Originally Posted by smargh View Post
    Switch.
    You might also consider a broadband router, as you may only have one IP address allocated to your network socket.

    Quote Originally Posted by smargh View Post
    ... unless whoever provides your network connection for some reason prohibits more than one device being connected at the same time.
    Yes, you need to check that. A friend of mine is Sys-Admin for an Oxford college, where the students are not allowed to connect more than one device, and students who ignore the rule get their network switches confiscated, or their ports turned off for a second offence.

    If that is the rule, I would buy a nice long Ethernet patch cable, so that you can switch it between the desktop and the laptop whenever you need to. The printer will have to connect to one or the other via USB.

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    Re: Ethernet Splitter & Switch Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Skulltrail View Post
    2. Is there a better way for under £40?
    You won't get a gigabit switch for much less than £40, but that is only useful if you need fast transfer of gigabyte sized files between your two machines, (Though in most cases a USB hard drive would be faster still). The net connection to your room is unlikely to be Gigabit speed, so you will not get any benefit there.

    If you don't need a Gigabit switch, then you should be able to find a 100 Meg switch for under a tenner. This one for example, though there are loads about from all the usual places.

    As I said in my other post, check that switches are allowed before you buy one, and definitely don't buy anything with WiFi on it, as they will most certainly be banned.

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    Re: Ethernet Splitter & Switch Question

    I think for safety's sake I'd go for an ethernet router: something like this edimax. Just plug the WAN port into your wall socket, and you've got a nice 4port LAN in your room without any bother. Since you'll only be connecting one device to the uni network they shouldn't have any issue with it - after all, you could acheive exactly the same effect with any PC as long as it has 2 network connections...

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    Re: Ethernet Splitter & Switch Question

    Also a router will stop everyone sending print jobs to your printer.
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    Re: Ethernet Splitter & Switch Question

    Quote Originally Posted by smargh View Post
    Switch.

    ... unless whoever provides your network connection for some reason prohibits more than one device being connected at the same time.
    I've investigated this with a couple of VMs and it seems that only one IP is allowed to connect at a time - if I bridge the connection only one works, but if I use NAT both can function.

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    Re: Ethernet Splitter & Switch Question

    Thanks for the info guys.

    Can I just confirm what I think you have told me as my knowledge in this area is admittedly poor:

    By getting a non-wireless router, it would in effect provide network address translation for my machines so that within my LAN each could have it's own IP, but from the network socket's point of view, all in and outbound data would be requested from a single IP.

    Is this correct?



    On a side note, I've looked through the terms of service / terms and conditions and it doesn't specifically mention not being allowed to connect multiple devices, and makes provision for XBOXs and PS3s to be connected, so I'm pretty sure I am allowed to be doing this!

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    Re: Ethernet Splitter & Switch Question

    Yes - that is correct! However (and I know you have checked) but check again as I have seen T&Cs for uni lans that specifically prohibit the connection of hardware that permits more than one device to be connected to a network port.
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    Re: Ethernet Splitter & Switch Question

    Quote Originally Posted by Skulltrail View Post
    I have seen some £5ish splitters but after reading around for a bit it seems these don't do what I want to do
    Just a quick word on splitters. They are useful, they can get you out of a jam, but they are not a good permanent solution. Basically, if you have cabling installed in walls and quickly need a second run into a room, you can install one part of the splitter at the wiring cabinet and connect two ports from your switch to that one run of cable. Then you connect the other end of the splitter to the port in the room you want the extra connection and hook up two systems to it. Only works up to 100mbit as gigabit uses all 4 pairs of cable to get the speeds required.

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    Re: Ethernet Splitter & Switch Question

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    Yes - that is correct! However (and I know you have checked) but check again as I have seen T&Cs for uni lans that specifically prohibit the connection of hardware that permits more than one device to be connected to a network port.
    The only thing I can see in the T&Cs relates to "Personal use of the communications infrastructure should not cause unwarranted expense or liability to be incurred by the College or otherwise impact upon the delivery of services to others through its scale or nature."

    I don't see how it will cause expense or liability as my total usage will not change, its just a question of the "scale" aspect.

    If you want to have a look at full wording it is below:

    http://www.mediafire.com/?nvnsimh9ga1rgzb

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    Re: Ethernet Splitter & Switch Question

    That looks straightforward - the reason I queried it is because I have just connected a laptop to a University LAN, and the T&Cs of the connection specifically mentioned hardware that permitted multiple connection, servers and so on was prohibited.
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    Re: Ethernet Splitter & Switch Question

    They could perhaps argue that using multiple devices takes bandwidth unfairly as you are using two machines not just one but should be alright, depends how anal they are.

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    Re: Ethernet Splitter & Switch Question

    Another alternative would be to use Internet Connection Sharing under vista/7 and share the internet over a spare network port or a wireless card. This can be a bit hit and miss but potentially much cheaper.

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    Re: Ethernet Splitter & Switch Question

    Quote Originally Posted by joel_spencer View Post
    They could perhaps argue that using multiple devices takes bandwidth unfairly as you are using two machines not just one but should be alright, depends how anal they are.
    I don't think it is anything to do with bandwith usage, at least not directly. One heavy downloader using one PC could easily download 100 times what a normal user with their laptop, printer and XBox all connected via a forbidden router.

    I think the issue is more to do with who manages the network. The network admins want a stable network, which means that they manage all the switches, and they get to approve every device connected. The OP will probably find something in their T&C's that say that anti virus must be up to date. If students start connecting routers & the like then the network admins loose some of their control, and the network becomes less stable.

    I don't know about Imperial college, but Oxford Uni has a 10 Gigabit connection to the public internet, and every network point in the whole place gets a globally routable IP address without any NAT translation. That is an amazing net connection, but the possibilities for abuse in the wrong hands are incredible. The admins want to keep a tight reign on the users, especially the least trustworthy ones (the undergraduates), to prevent trouble.

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