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Thread: Ethernet quandary/question

  1. #1
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    Ethernet quandary/question

    I live in a rural area and have wireless internet service with a receiver mounted on the roof. The cable coming in the house looks like a heavy duty ethernet cable and plugs into a port labeled "POE" on their supplied modem. Outside of the A/C power cord the only other connection on their modem is an ethernet cable connected to the "LAN" port. That ethernet cable went to router that I purchased at the time I got the service.

    I only have 2 ethernet connections to the router - my desktop PC and my smart TV. The only wireless device I used was my cell phone. But a while back I changed my phone service plan and then turned off the wireless connection on my phone. About a week ago my router died. So rather than buy a new one I just plugged my PC directly into the modem LAN port and that worked fine. The once or twice a week when I want to stream a movie on my TV I simply disconnected the PC cable from the modem and plugged the TV cable in.

    Since I now only need to switch between 2 ethernet connections to the modem I figured they must make a splitter of some kind so I wouldn't have to keep physically changing cables. I discovered the ethernet switch which looks like it would work but all the information I can find on line about them shows that they are always connected to an ethernet port on a router to expand that port.

    Does anyone know if this kind of switch can plug into a modem LAN port to expand it. Or is there some kind of device out there that would give me a couple of ethernet connections without a wireless feature (like all routers seem to have).

  2. #2
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    Here's the rub...your service most likely only hands out a single IP address via the antenna that's powered by the "Power over Ethernet" (PoE) port on the antenna side of the "modem". Without a router, you only have a single IP address to work with so you cannot just use an Ethernet switch to hook up multiple devices at one time. You need a router for multiple devices because one of its functions is to take that single IP address on the WAN side and route traffic between it and the multiple IP addresses the router hands out on the LAN side for your devices. So the bottom line is that you need a router to have multiple devices hooked up simultaneously. And beside all of this, you want/need the router for security, too...it's your firewall.

    And you can certainly buy wired only routers...there are plenty of choices available on Amazon and other sources from the various known brand names. And to be fair, you can also buy wireless only access points that don't have the router function, either...
    Last edited by Jim Becker; 03-16-2019 at 8:40 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Jim, thank you for a good explanation. I wasn't even thinking about missing a firewall. I also didn't know that there are wired only routers. I'll start looking for one.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by John Ziebron View Post
    Jim, thank you for a good explanation. I wasn't even thinking about missing a firewall. I also didn't know that there are wired only routers. I'll start looking for one.
    Even the ones with wireless and gigabit Ethernet ports are pretty cheap. Here's one on Amazon - just under $40. I'm not necessarily recommending this one, just using it as an example. I don't know it this one is good or bad.

    Mike
    Last edited by Mike Henderson; 03-17-2019 at 1:02 PM. Reason: Spelling
    Go into the world and do well. But more importantly, go into the world and do good.

  5. #5
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    Here is the one I use to connect to my phones. You could also get a switch but that would cost as much as this router

    https://www.microcenter.com/product/...eless-n-router

  6. #6
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    Oh, and you can generally turn off the wireless portion of a router if you don't want to use it if the "deal is right". I never used the wireless portion of the VZ provided router for our FiOS setup because 1) it was in the basement of the 250 year old portion of our home and wouldn't actually provide much signal anywhere and 2) our home needed a mesh network (with hard wired connection to all the nodes) to get a quality wireless experience because of building materials, etc, and 3) the VZ unit had older radio standards that didn't provide the same level of performance possible with more current devices. So it was only used as a gateway router with the wireless turned off.
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    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #7
    If you're unplugging one, replugging the other, and it works both ways, I don't see why one of these basic ethernet hubs wouldn't work?

    hub.jpg
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
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  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    If you're unplugging one, replugging the other, and it works both ways, I don't see why one of these basic ethernet hubs wouldn't work?

    hub.jpg
    Probably would. Managed Ethernet switches is what I used to build my 20 cpu network in my classroom when I had only two drops. Originally used unmanaged ports/switches as you have pictured, but by the time I got to the teens on my network you could tell the collisions slowed it down some. Going to managed switches showed improvement. With just 2-3 devices sharing it, you may not notice the difference in an unmanaged switch...maybe in a streaming situation?.
    Comments made here are my own and, according to my children, do not reflect the opinions of any other person... anywhere, anytime.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    If you're unplugging one, replugging the other, and it works both ways, I don't see why one of these basic ethernet hubs wouldn't work?

    hub.jpg
    I explained that in my post above. Without a router, it's one device at a time...only one IP address. Any switch must be behind a router that provides IP addresses for the local network.
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  10. #10
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    I'm not familiar with PoE (power over ethernet). Seen the term but don't know what it means. Does that require some sort of power source beyond the everyday ethernet port?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Harms View Post
    I'm not familiar with PoE (power over ethernet). Seen the term but don't know what it means. Does that require some sort of power source beyond the everyday ethernet port?
    PoE is just a protocol for supplying a small amount of power from a router to a device, typically. For example, one common use now is in building security camera systems. One router or switch can power a couple dozen or more cameras, and the only cable going to them is an ethernet cable. Much easier to provide emergency power to a switch than dozens of cameras individually.
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curt Harms View Post
    I'm not familiar with PoE (power over ethernet). Seen the term but don't know what it means. Does that require some sort of power source beyond the everyday ethernet port?
    It's a standardized method that allows a device to be powered from just the Ethernet cable...examples being "commercial" wireless access points, antenna systems like the OP has, VoIP phones, etc. There's PoE and PoE+; the latter is required for certain high-draw devices, but not needed for most devices. It's historically been rare in home systems, but there are certain applications as in the OP's case, where it's useful. Who wants to run power up to the roof for an antenna system? PoE can be provided by a single port injector like the OP has or be available on one or more ports on a regular Ethernet Switch. IE...it eliminates wall warts for many devices that meet certain power profiles.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
    If a basic e-hub won't work, this one should...
    hub2.jpg
    ========================================
    ELEVEN - rotary cutter tool machines
    FOUR - CO2 lasers
    THREE - fiber lasers
    ONE - vinyl cutter
    CASmate, Corel, Gravostyle


  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    If a basic e-hub won't work, this one should...
    hub2.jpg
    Sure, but if a router is only $20...
    Can probably find a used one for almost nothing.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev Williams View Post
    If a basic e-hub won't work, this one should...
    hub2.jpg
    Yea, it should, but it's very low end and only supports 100mbps on the LAN side. But...it's not a "hub". It's a router with an integral Ethernet switch. It may seem anal, but an Ethernet "hub" and an Ethernet "Switch" are not the same thing. The former pretty much no longer exists in the real world, too. For decades...
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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