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Hooking up two things to internet simultaneously.

JC of DIJC of DI I think we're fucked up.I know I am.Registered User regular
edited September 2008 in Help / Advice Forum
I know - router, right?

I've currently got a setup going where I have to swap out cables to my cable box if I want to either be online on the computer or on my xbox.

I would like to just finally not have to do that anymore, but routers seem to be fairly spendy from a broke college kid's perspective. I really don't need any of the services of a router's software since I usually turned most of those things off when I did live in places where I had a router.

Basically, is there something that just works like a splitter for ethernet cables? Where would I find such a thing if so? I'd like to purchase it offline if possible - I've got a Walmart, OfficeMax, Target, and a handful of small computer repair places around my town.

JC of DI on
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360/PS3 - JCofDI | Steam

Posts

  • HorseraddishHorseraddish Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Yes, a router.


    <considers post>

    .......


    ............


    .................


    No seriously what's your question?

    If you're gonna punch someone in the face, aim for the back of the head.
  • JC of DIJC of DI I think we're fucked up. I know I am.Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Yes, a router.




    No seriously what's your question?

    My question is if there is something other than a router that would allow me to have two things hooked up simultaneously to the 'net.

    Like if you have a line run for cable and you need to offshoot another cable to a second room, you don't need to buy a box for 30 bucks to send out that second cable, you just buy a cheap little thing that has input to two outputs. Is there something like that for Cat-5 that would work?

    CRicciSig.jpg
    360/PS3 - JCofDI | Steam
  • ChubblyChubbly Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    No. What you are describing is a router. The only other possibility is a switch and a modem (if you're on DSL) and your modem has DHCP.

  • DeathPrawnDeathPrawn Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Say you have two computers in your house connected to the internet, both trying to view different web sites. You only have one connection to your ISP, so both web sites are being sent through that connection. How does it know which page goes to which computer? You need something to send the right pieces of data to the right computers. That's precisely what a router does: it routes data.

    The reason television cable is different is it's a single stream of one-way data. All of the TVs in your house get the same cable stream containing all of your channels, and they simply filter the frequency they want to read (i.e. the channel). Since it's all the same, you can split it all you want.

    Signature not found.
  • ProPatriaMoriProPatriaMori Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Despite what everyone else is saying, a router is not your only option here.

    If you've got a spare NIC floating around you could put a second one in your PC, run that to your XBox, and use the PC as a router. Windows will let you bridge the connections. A wired NIC will probably run you less than a router will anyway. The downside is, of course, you'll need your computer to be on if you want your XBox to see the internet.

    A hub would work fine too if you set all the addresses right (at least, I'm pretty sure this is the case, I've never bothered trying it). I doubt the price difference is all that big between a hub and router anymore though...what's the price of a consumer router, $30? That's probably mostly for shipping it to the Wal Mart.

    EDIT: A hub also basically does what you're describing. They're basically multiport repeaters, if they're powered, and will send whatever comes in one port out all the others. This isn't usually the best thing since now everything on your network is seeing traffic from everything else, and discarding most of it.

    ...looking around, though, most of the hubs I see are talking about 10BaseT, which makes them old. I just don't think anybody uses them anymore because the costs of switching traffic are absolutely negligible, so everybody just uses routers anymore.

  • HorseraddishHorseraddish Registered User
    edited September 2008
    My point was what you described exactly was a router/hub/switch and they aren't expensive so I couldn't possibly imagine what in the hell you were talking about. And yes a 2nd NIC would probably run you more in shipping than parts cost but chances are you have a laptop and you wouldnt even need one if you can set your laptop as the router, sharing it's WiFi signal out through your ethernet port to the xbox (if you have a wireless network around, but you probably dont because you'd have just used the wired internet for the xbox in the first place).


    But in all seriousness, I got a 5 port router, not a switch or a hub, for $20 about 5 years ago. If you can't afford that, skip the 30 case of Natty Ice for a weekend, hell or ask a friend or your dorm floor, someone probably has a second one sitting around. And then you have exactly what you want, for a very reasonable small cost, and if you care about issues like properly forwarding ports, the issue isn't complex as all hell as your other options would be.


    tl;dr - suck it up and get a router.

    If you're gonna punch someone in the face, aim for the back of the head.
  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    JC of DI wrote: »
    I know - router, right?

    I've currently got a setup going where I have to swap out cables to my cable box if I want to either be online on the computer or on my xbox.

    I would like to just finally not have to do that anymore, but routers seem to be fairly spendy from a broke college kid's perspective. I really don't need any of the services of a router's software since I usually turned most of those things off when I did live in places where I had a router.

    Basically, is there something that just works like a splitter for ethernet cables? Where would I find such a thing if so? I'd like to purchase it offline if possible - I've got a Walmart, OfficeMax, Target, and a handful of small computer repair places around my town.

    Routers can be had for under $50. Hell, a couple I just looked up on Newegg are around $25, though I can't vouch for their quality. You can get a decent Linksys or Netgear for around $40. Even for a broke college student that doesn't seem like it's too spendy. You could also check around Craigslist and see if you can get a used one for a good deal.

    A hub alone would require that you get another IP address assigned from your school or ISP, which may or may not be simple.

    Though as suggested, if you are completely broke and can't afford the $50 or less for a router, you can do what ProPatriaMori suggests by getting another network card for your PC and sharing the connection.

  • ProPatriaMoriProPatriaMori Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    OP specifically mentioned picking something up locally, so shipping costs aren't a worry here. Also, I don't know where you're getting the "probably a laptop" and wireless bits since OP mentions ethernet cables.

    OfficeMax lists this network card for $15. Routers at WalMart and OfficeMax seem to start at $35-$40.

    Or, now that I actually think about it and look there are indeed Ethernet splitters. Amazon has one. These are basically unpowered hubs.

    Looking at WalMart.com under ethernet I also see a NIC (labeled "Ethernet Adapter") and a couple "ethernet switches" for about $25.

    Take your pick, OP.

  • EchoEcho staring is caring Super Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited September 2008
    Be aware that getting a switch/hub instead of a proper router will require your ISP to actually provide you with several IP addresses, which may or may not cost extra.

  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2008
    Your two options:

    router. Keep in mind they generally last about 4-6 years, if you take care of them.

    extra ethernet card in your computer, and let the computer share the internet connection. requires computer to be on.

  • brandotheninjamasterbrandotheninjamaster Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    This router is rather inexpensive. if anyone can sympathize with someone being broke thats me. Just save up some $ and buy something half-way decent that won't require any "jury rigging".

    If you still want to go the other way:
    http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=CX-8169SC&cat=NET That goes for about $8.50. Then I guess you would need a cross over cable to run from your x-box to your computer. http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=24507-DT&cpc=SCH ($8.99)

    Just some friendly advice:
    Go with the router man, option 2 seems like a headache. Its probably worth the extra $10 just to use the router.

  • ceresceres Just your problem OoSuper Moderator, Moderator mod
    edited September 2008
    You want either a router (linksys or netgear, one of the home ones for like $50-70) or a switch. There are some dumb switches you can buy at the store for about $10 that have 5 ports. If you want something you don't need to worry about programming and your connection supports it, a switch like that may be the way to go. Small, non-fuckwithable switches are basically ethernet splitters.

    But yeah, if your connection won't support a switch as-is, you're better off just getting a router. If you get one that supports wireless and you aren't going to use any wireless, you should probably just turn that off.

    I want your respect, and I wanna be here
    But I don't want to rule the Nightosphere
  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    ceres wrote: »
    You want either a router (linksys or netgear, one of the home ones for like $50-70) or a switch. There are some dumb switches you can buy at the store for about $10 that have 5 ports. If you want something you don't need to worry about programming and your connection supports it, a switch like that may be the way to go.

    If the ISP supports that.

    The hassle and headaches that come from using an extra Ethernet card and setting up all the fuckton of routing (or even worse, trying to get Internet Connection Sharing to work in windows) are not worth it. Wash someone's car and take the $10 to buy a router.

    A switch will probably not cut it in this scenario, there are very few ISPs that give out multiple IPs for that to work.

  • embrikembrik Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Here's the deal -
    Some ISPs are starting to give out DSL/Cable modems with a single port out, but they still perform network address translation (NAT). In those cases, a simple switch will work, since the modem is capable of translating several internal addresses into one out. HOWEVER, this is the exception, rather than the rule. Unless you know for a fact that your modem does NAT, and you haven't paid for a business-class connection where they issue you more than one static IP address, you need to either use the ICS that Windows provides (which means extra NIC, and the PC has to be on), or get a router. The router does the NAT for you.

    Also - the NAT provides a layer of security that a directly connected Windows PC cannot match (at least, not without extra software).

    "Damn you and your Daily Doubles, you brigand!"

    I don't believe it - I'm on my THIRD PS3, and my FIRST XBOX360. What the heck?
  • DaenrisDaenris Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Or, now that I actually think about it and look there are indeed Ethernet splitters. Amazon has one. These are basically unpowered hubs.

    No, no, no, no. And no. All this allows you to do is run two computers/devices over a single length of cable, until the other end of the cable at which point you need another thing to decouple them back into two ports. It will not allow you to hook up two computers/devices to a single ethernet port and have it work.

    Since one of the reviewers at Amazon can certainly explain it better than me:
    From reading the reviews, it seems, at least from the first one, that the person didn't know how to use the item.. This is NOT a 3 port switch. You can NOT plug the male plug into a switch and have it run two PCs... It is splitting the 4 pairs (8 wires) into TWO separate two-pair outlets.

    Ethernet only uses pins 1, 2, 3, and 6, leaving 4, 5, 7, and 8 unused. This device connects pins 1, 2, 3, and 6 on the male to 1, 2, 3, and 6 on one of the femals jacks, and pins 4, 5,7, and 8 of the male go to pins 1, 2, 3, and 6 of the OTHER female, giving you two separate paths of pins 1, 2, 3 and 6.

    The idea is that if you need two PCs where you only have one jack in the wall, you plug one of these into the jack, and another one into the patch panel, and it allows you to hook two PCs to two separate switch ports. You will STILL need 2 separate switch ports to connect your two PCs, and you will ALWAYS need these splitters in pairs because you'll need to have one on each end of your 4-pair house cable.

  • RohaqRohaq Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    You need a router.

    Your modem has an IP on one network, it connects whatever's hooked up to it directly to that network, giving it said IP.

    A switch or hub wouldn't allow all devices connected to that modem to share the internet connection, since both devices can't share the same IP.

    In lamen's terms, a router connects to the modem, connecting to the ISP network, then creates a second network for your local machines connected to your local ports/wireless, assigning them individual IPs. It then routes the data between the networks.

    If you're a student, you probably have housemates; why not get a wireless router and split with one or more of your housemates for internet access? Saves you money in the long run, and as long as nobody's going crazy with the torrenting, saves you a shedload of money. This is what I did last year, and aside from some issues with my ISP, we had very few problems sharing the net between four of us. I even installed the DD-WRT custom firmware on our router and restricted torrent traffic to certain times in order to make sure that one particular housemate didn't rape our connection.

    Spoiler:
  • DmanDman Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    I got a router and 2 short Ethernet cables for 25 dollars, unplugged the end of the cable that went into my computer from the internet and plugged that into the "in" of the router and plugged the two new cables into 2 of the 4 "out" ports and connected up my 2 computers. Then I plugged in the power cable for the router.

    It could not have been easier.

  • JC of DIJC of DI I think we're fucked up. I know I am.Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    Well thanks for the replies, everyone.

    I have yet to come across a router around here which is less than $40. It's not a lot of money per se, but given that I don't need the software firewall and security measures that usually come packed in with them I can't help but feel like part of that $40 is just going to waste.

    Still though - it does look to be the simplest option so I'll just start setting aside some money and try and find a cheap one eventually here. Thanks again, all.

    CRicciSig.jpg
    360/PS3 - JCofDI | Steam
  • FyreWulffFyreWulff Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2008
    The point of the firewall being on the router is that it can't be turned off with a simple Firefox/IE browser exploit. Like you can do with Windows.

  • bowenbowen Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    JC of DI wrote: »
    Well thanks for the replies, everyone.

    I have yet to come across a router around here which is less than $40. It's not a lot of money per se, but given that I don't need the software firewall and security measures that usually come packed in with them I can't help but feel like part of that $40 is just going to waste.

    Still though - it does look to be the simplest option so I'll just start setting aside some money and try and find a cheap one eventually here. Thanks again, all.

    Trust me, it's not going to waste. It's not particularly powerful itself, but more robust than anything you'll get software side. The $40 isn't for the firewall portion of the NAT router, believe you me.

  • codetrapcodetrap Registered User
    edited September 2008
    JC of DI wrote: »
    I know - router, right?

    I've currently got a setup going where I have to swap out cables to my cable box if I want to either be online on the computer or on my xbox.

    I would like to just finally not have to do that anymore, but routers seem to be fairly spendy from a broke college kid's perspective. I really don't need any of the services of a router's software since I usually turned most of those things off when I did live in places where I had a router.

    Basically, is there something that just works like a splitter for ethernet cables? Where would I find such a thing if so? I'd like to purchase it offline if possible - I've got a Walmart, OfficeMax, Target, and a handful of small computer repair places around my town.

    What you've described is a network hub. It's a non powered device that you plug everything into, and everyone can see everyone else. The next level up is a switch. It does the same thing, however does it more intelligently. Next come the Routing switches. These are commonly just called "Routers" but they're not true routers in the classic definition. This is your Linksys WRTG type and Dlink devices that you can pick up relatively cheap. (I just saw some for $25 CAN yesterday)

    The long and the short of it is this. If your ISP will assign you two ip addresses, once for your computer, and one for your Xbox, then a hub or a switch will work just fine. If they won't, then you'll need to get a router) LinkSys or Dlink are by far the most common ones.

    Also, taking into consideration that these home routers are so cheap, you might not be able to find a hub anymore.. that it's probably simplest and most cost effective to go with one of these home routers.

    Here is one that will work just fine for $21US and free shipping..
    Zonet ZSR0104CP 10/100Mbps Broadband Router w/4port Switc
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833130014

    < insert witty comment here>
  • HorseraddishHorseraddish Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Thats a huge if, and even if they will give you 2 IPs, they'll probably ask you to upgrade to a business account or some kind of family plan, or sell you a router with their brand name on it.

    If you want to hook up 2 things to the internet, at the same time, without any fuss of any kind from device level to your ISP, you have to have a router, there isnt really any other solution that is that robust and that cheap. Much in the same way if you want to take a shit, you need toilet paper - sure you could tear a few pages out of a note book but that just seems ill-advised.

    Again, if you can't come up with $35 for a router of any sort, you have serious financial issues and you should probably pawn the xbox. Or you know, pass on the next dime bag or two, or 30 case of coors, problem solved.

    If you're gonna punch someone in the face, aim for the back of the head.
  • TofystedethTofystedeth veni, veneri, vamoosi Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    codetrap wrote: »
    JC of DI wrote: »
    I know - router, right?

    I've currently got a setup going where I have to swap out cables to my cable box if I want to either be online on the computer or on my xbox.

    I would like to just finally not have to do that anymore, but routers seem to be fairly spendy from a broke college kid's perspective. I really don't need any of the services of a router's software since I usually turned most of those things off when I did live in places where I had a router.

    Basically, is there something that just works like a splitter for ethernet cables? Where would I find such a thing if so? I'd like to purchase it offline if possible - I've got a Walmart, OfficeMax, Target, and a handful of small computer repair places around my town.

    What you've described is a network hub. It's a non powered device that you plug everything into, and everyone can see everyone else. The next level up is a switch. It does the same thing, however does it more intelligently. Next come the Routing switches. These are commonly just called "Routers" but they're not true routers in the classic definition. This is your Linksys WRTG type and Dlink devices that you can pick up relatively cheap. (I just saw some for $25 CAN yesterday)

    The long and the short of it is this. If your ISP will assign you two ip addresses, once for your computer, and one for your Xbox, then a hub or a switch will work just fine. If they won't, then you'll need to get a router) LinkSys or Dlink are by far the most common ones.

    Also, taking into consideration that these home routers are so cheap, you might not be able to find a hub anymore.. that it's probably simplest and most cost effective to go with one of these home routers.

    Here is one that will work just fine for $21US and free shipping..
    Zonet ZSR0104CP 10/100Mbps Broadband Router w/4port Switc
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833130014

    Just picking nits, but aren't hubs usually powered, as they have to send that one signal to multiple ports. They also create packet collision. Though with just two devices that may not be an issue.

    steam_sig.png
  • HorseraddishHorseraddish Registered User
    edited September 2008
    OP specifically mentioned picking something up locally, so shipping costs aren't a worry here. Also, I don't know where you're getting the "probably a laptop" and wireless bits since OP mentions ethernet cables.

    Because he's a college student and statistically college students go to school with laptops and they have built in wifi cards these days.

    Just because he doesn't use the wifi - many dorms/campuses are not entirely wireless - doesnt mean it isnt there. What it does mean is I would more hesitant to suggest an expansion card for a slot he doesnt have, and NICs for PC card slots are harder to come by...

    If you're gonna punch someone in the face, aim for the back of the head.
  • codetrapcodetrap Registered User
    edited September 2008
    codetrap wrote: »
    JC of DI wrote: »
    I know - router, right?

    I've currently got a setup going where I have to swap out cables to my cable box if I want to either be online on the computer or on my xbox.

    I would like to just finally not have to do that anymore, but routers seem to be fairly spendy from a broke college kid's perspective. I really don't need any of the services of a router's software since I usually turned most of those things off when I did live in places where I had a router.

    Basically, is there something that just works like a splitter for ethernet cables? Where would I find such a thing if so? I'd like to purchase it offline if possible - I've got a Walmart, OfficeMax, Target, and a handful of small computer repair places around my town.

    What you've described is a network hub. It's a non powered device that you plug everything into, and everyone can see everyone else. The next level up is a switch. It does the same thing, however does it more intelligently. Next come the Routing switches. These are commonly just called "Routers" but they're not true routers in the classic definition. This is your Linksys WRTG type and Dlink devices that you can pick up relatively cheap. (I just saw some for $25 CAN yesterday)

    The long and the short of it is this. If your ISP will assign you two ip addresses, once for your computer, and one for your Xbox, then a hub or a switch will work just fine. If they won't, then you'll need to get a router) LinkSys or Dlink are by far the most common ones.

    Also, taking into consideration that these home routers are so cheap, you might not be able to find a hub anymore.. that it's probably simplest and most cost effective to go with one of these home routers.

    Here is one that will work just fine for $21US and free shipping..
    Zonet ZSR0104CP 10/100Mbps Broadband Router w/4port Switc
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833130014

    Just picking nits, but aren't hubs usually powered, as they have to send that one signal to multiple ports. They also create packet collision. Though with just two devices that may not be an issue.


    Hubs are just wiring concentrators. There is no electronics in them at all, hence no need for power. It's also true that they don't do anything for collisions, which is why they generally don't run at full duplex. 100 half, or 10 half is what your nic will set itself to. If the NIC goes to Full Duplex, then it turns off CSMA/CD and nothing really works well.

    < insert witty comment here>
  • RohaqRohaq Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    FyreWulff wrote: »
    The point of the firewall being on the router is that it can't be turned off with a simple Firefox/IE browser exploit. Like you can do with Windows.
    Not just that, but since routers generally run NAT to share the single IP, it means that any computers connected to the net are not accessible from the outside, adding another layer to your security.

    Spoiler:
  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    codetrap wrote: »
    codetrap wrote: »
    JC of DI wrote: »
    I know - router, right?

    I've currently got a setup going where I have to swap out cables to my cable box if I want to either be online on the computer or on my xbox.

    I would like to just finally not have to do that anymore, but routers seem to be fairly spendy from a broke college kid's perspective. I really don't need any of the services of a router's software since I usually turned most of those things off when I did live in places where I had a router.

    Basically, is there something that just works like a splitter for ethernet cables? Where would I find such a thing if so? I'd like to purchase it offline if possible - I've got a Walmart, OfficeMax, Target, and a handful of small computer repair places around my town.

    What you've described is a network hub. It's a non powered device that you plug everything into, and everyone can see everyone else. The next level up is a switch. It does the same thing, however does it more intelligently. Next come the Routing switches. These are commonly just called "Routers" but they're not true routers in the classic definition. This is your Linksys WRTG type and Dlink devices that you can pick up relatively cheap. (I just saw some for $25 CAN yesterday)

    The long and the short of it is this. If your ISP will assign you two ip addresses, once for your computer, and one for your Xbox, then a hub or a switch will work just fine. If they won't, then you'll need to get a router) LinkSys or Dlink are by far the most common ones.

    Also, taking into consideration that these home routers are so cheap, you might not be able to find a hub anymore.. that it's probably simplest and most cost effective to go with one of these home routers.

    Here is one that will work just fine for $21US and free shipping..
    Zonet ZSR0104CP 10/100Mbps Broadband Router w/4port Switc
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16833130014

    Just picking nits, but aren't hubs usually powered, as they have to send that one signal to multiple ports. They also create packet collision. Though with just two devices that may not be an issue.


    Hubs are just wiring concentrators. There is no electronics in them at all, hence no need for power. It's also true that they don't do anything for collisions, which is why they generally don't run at full duplex. 100 half, or 10 half is what your nic will set itself to. If the NIC goes to Full Duplex, then it turns off CSMA/CD and nothing really works well.
    Except most hubs are powered and act as a repeater and regenerate the signal. They also use the power to power the leds that let you know the ethernet connection is good, signal collisions, etc.

    There ARE passive hubs which are little more than a patch panel in a nice little box, but I've been messing with this stuff starting with home hobbyist stuff as far back as '96 or so. The ONLY passive hub I've ever seen was a broken passive token ring hub that a college teacher brought into class one day and is of course completely different than an ethernet hub.

    That said, you'd be hard pressed to even find a hub for sale these days, so it's largely irrelevant.

  • GdiguyGdiguy San Diego, CARegistered User regular
    edited September 2008
    OP specifically mentioned picking something up locally, so shipping costs aren't a worry here. Also, I don't know where you're getting the "probably a laptop" and wireless bits since OP mentions ethernet cables.

    Because he's a college student and statistically college students go to school with laptops and they have built in wifi cards these days.

    Just because he doesn't use the wifi - many dorms/campuses are not entirely wireless - doesnt mean it isnt there. What it does mean is I would more hesitant to suggest an expansion card for a slot he doesnt have, and NICs for PC card slots are harder to come by...

    Eh, I've seen NICs for very very cheap - they're the kind of thing you can find lying on the "clearance pile of crap for $10" at any microcenter/office depot

    However, when you add in the pain in the ass dealing with setting up the routing to work correctly, it's likely worth it to just get a router (ESPECIALLY if you're trying to hook up a 360 to live through this; I have an insanely pain in the ass time connecting to my friend who has his 360 hooked up like this, because it requires a large amount of fiddling to get the 360 to believe it can connect well through the firewall settings on the two connections)

  • codetrapcodetrap Registered User
    edited September 2008
    Except most hubs are powered and act as a repeater and regenerate the signal. They also use the power to power the leds that let you know the ethernet connection is good, signal collisions, etc.

    There ARE passive hubs which are little more than a patch panel in a nice little box, but I've been messing with this stuff starting with home hobbyist stuff as far back as '96 or so. The ONLY passive hub I've ever seen was a broken passive token ring hub that a college teacher brought into class one day and is of course completely different than an ethernet hub.
    That said, you'd be hard pressed to even find a hub for sale these days, so it's largely irrelevant.

    I've got one or two kicking around. Little 4 port passive hubs that were built prior to the integration of the repeaters. I still remember the day when repeaters and bridges were separate devices. :P 5-4-3 rules and fun stuff like that.

    < insert witty comment here>
  • Jimmy KingJimmy King Registered User regular
    edited September 2008
    codetrap wrote: »
    Except most hubs are powered and act as a repeater and regenerate the signal. They also use the power to power the leds that let you know the ethernet connection is good, signal collisions, etc.

    There ARE passive hubs which are little more than a patch panel in a nice little box, but I've been messing with this stuff starting with home hobbyist stuff as far back as '96 or so. The ONLY passive hub I've ever seen was a broken passive token ring hub that a college teacher brought into class one day and is of course completely different than an ethernet hub.
    That said, you'd be hard pressed to even find a hub for sale these days, so it's largely irrelevant.

    I've got one or two kicking around. Little 4 port passive hubs that were built prior to the integration of the repeaters. I still remember the day when repeaters and bridges were separate devices. :P 5-4-3 rules and fun stuff like that.
    Nice. I wish I had kept some of my old stuff like that around just to show off my useless old crap to younger geeks later in life. Old hubs, some bnc nics from my very first ethernet rig, null modem adapters for playing Doom and Doom 2 deathmatch from prior to real network stuff being readily available to the home user, etc.

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