Using a router instead of a switch

by on February 3, 2010

Q: I have my high speed Internet connection though roadrunner. I have 6 computers and an Xbox that I use Xbox Live with. We have the system setup with the roadrunner modem and then a switch. We have to reboot different devices daily to get them working again. How can we fix this rebooting problem?

A: The key here is that you need to be using a router instead of a switch. A switch is used to connect different network segments, which usually only exist in larger networks. The switch stops traffic from going to the other segments that don’t need to go to them.

Say you have an accounting team and a marketing team. The idea would be to setup all the accounting people and servers on one segment and all the marketing people and servers on another segment. The idea is that these people would usually use resources on their own network. The accounting people might connect to QuickBooks and when they do this the data, thanks to the switch, would be kept on their own segment.

Without a switch that request for data and the data itself would be sent out to everyone and that would eat up bandwidth making the network slower for everyone. So a switch is a great device but it is not a router. A router, on the other hand, is created to connect multiple computers or devices together and also connect to the Internet. So the device you really need in your situation is a router and that should help stop the rebooting.

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