Re: hubs and switches
Well, saying "a router is basically a hub or a switch on steroids" is
somewhat akin to saying a car is basically a child's wagon on steroids; it
misses the central point of a router. Yes, a router will (often) have
several network ports built in (although technically I think that's just a
router and a hub in the same box); but what makes it a router is the
ability to program it to read packets and send them in the right direction
-- something neither hubs nor switches can do.
Furthermore, there's no requirement that a router have multiple (e.g.,
>2) network ports; to be a router it only needs to have one network
connection per network being routed (generally, for home use, one for your
DSL or cable modem and the other for your private network).
You're right that you don't need a separate router if you've got a machine
masquerading. Essentially what's happening is the masquerading machine is
acting as a router. There's no conceptual difference between a router and
a computer with two (or more) network cards, each plugged into a different
network; a dedicated router is cheaper and more secure than a computer
doing the job, but technologically speaking it's essentially the same
Andrew J Perrin - http://www.unc.edu/~aperrin
Assistant Professor of Sociology, U of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
firstname.lastname@example.org * andrew_perrin (at) unc.edu
On Wed, 12 Jun 2002, Tony Firecloud wrote:
> > a router is basically a hub or a switch on steroids. it usually does
> > the same job as hubs and switches, but it also allows you the ability
> > to connect *all* the computers it manages to the internet, if you have
> > an internet connection like cable modem or DSL. routers tend to be
> > more expensive though (pushing $100)...if you can afford it, then it
> > might be good for the possibility of a future internet connection, but
> > it's overkill for the job you've described in your email.
> > good luck!
> > -alan
> Well yes, I had planned on having my network connected to the internet.
> Kinda the whole idea of this was being able to use my new cable inter-
> net connection between a) the server, and then b) the two laptops, and
> for a final trick, c) my wife's win98 machine which would replace one
> of the laptops when necessary, as the windows machine doesn't need much
> network/internet time.
> But i'm pretty sure i don't _need_ a router for that, do i? Couldn't
> i send everything to the server (via the hub now) and have that box then
> send everything over the cable pipe? Masquerading, i think one calls it.
> Or packet forwarding? Or maybe i can't do such a thing if i want to use
> a hub(?); this is a new facet to my non-hubbed 5-NIC, 3-host, 1-internet
> connection idea, will take some figuring/reading i guess. But i'll
> definitely take your advice and get a hub or switch.
> Thanks for the link, looks like a good one; just what i need.
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