Small Office-Too Many switches?

Discussion in 'Networking Issues' started by TSICtech, Dec 2, 2005.

  1. TSICtech

    TSICtech Network Guru Member

    Hello, new to the forum - hope I can get some advice.

    I'm re-networking a small office that has been patched together with 4 year old Lynksys switches, two Airport base stations, and possiblly some hidden netgear switches for print sharing. OS X based with PC guest-clients who need wifi access.

    At first, they asked "Everything is slow and sometimes bottlenecking, but we have a dedicated high speed DSL service that should be faster on our networ. Can you install one of those new, fancy Lynksys Broadband routers for our DSL, that will also network our printers and server?"

    Hmm, I want to clean up their entire network - remove extra switches and old hubs, check continuity on wires, and get ONE lynksys product that can do all of what they are asking. The problem is that I don't know of a Wifi router that will work best and can handle more more than 4 hardwired clients, which means I have to uses swtiches...right?

    Does Lynksys make a Boradband router/ switch/print server WITH more than 4 ethernet ports? (other product)?

    Thanks -
  2. OldeBill

    OldeBill Network Guru Member

    Linksys "God Box"? Don't think so.

    Sorry, I don't Linksys makes a quite the Swiss Army knife of wireless routers that your customer is dreaming of. (For that matter, I'm not actually a big fan of needing to site my printer close to my wireless router/access point. My AP is in the basement next to the modem, the printers are on the 2nd floor in the office.)

    What I've implemented myself, and what might work for the customer is a two box solution. A wireless router like a WRT54G v4, or v3 if you can get it, (or one with with integrated modem if you've really got a Jones to reduce the number of boxes). And, a 2nd box as a print server and perhaps more 10/100BASE-T LAN ports. (Me, I'm actually using the print server and switch parts of an SMC BR14UP with the WAN disabled and printers attached to both parallel and USB ports.)

    Good hunting.
  3. NateHoy

    NateHoy Network Guru Member

    Start from the top of your network (eg. the Internet connection). You need a solid router to handle that, and if it supports WiFi, all the better. You may want better than Linksys, like a real, honest to goodness Cisco unit, if you have enough clients that this is becoming a problem.

    However, if you already have the Linksys, start with that.

    To that Linksys, directly connect ONLY SWITCHES. Put your best, most modern, most manageable switches as high up th chain (closest to the Linksys) as you can.

    Save hubs for small local workgroups, where needed. That way, you aren't taking a fast switch and putting it "behind" a slow collision-prone hub. Better yet, take all the hubs out, donate them to someone who can use a simple hub, and replace them all with good switches.

    If your network is small enough or condensed enough, rip out all the hubs AND switches and get yourself one really good switch, or one for each floor, or whatever you can do. The fewer layers you have in your star, the fewer failure points you're going to be fighting here.

    How many clients are you looking at?
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