NIC's and Hubs

Bill Horne bhorne at
Tue Feb 1 22:12:32 EST 2000

----Original Message-----
From:	Henry Smith [SMTP:hjpsmith at]
Sent:	Tuesday, February 01, 2000 5:34 PM
To:	discuss at Blu.Org
Subject:	NIC's and Hubs

Hi again,

Still trying to get my LAN up and working. Got some more RAM for 
Gateway P5-60 as people had suggested. But now I come up with 
two questions.

 2.) Also, I am thinking that a hub is a hub is a hub <G>, so 
just about any
hub ought to do if that is the case. Does anyone care to comment 
on this as

[Bill Horne]  In general, a 10BaseT hub is a 10BaseT hub:  one 
size fits all.  However, if you're going to spring for the 
100BaseT cards, and you have more than three clients in the 
network, I'd recommend spending the extra money for an 100 Mbps 
Ethernet switch, since the greatest gain in Ethernet efficiency 
will come from eliminating collisions on the LAN

Be warned, however, that 100BaseT is the current "commercial 
standard", and cards/switches are priced accordingly.  You can 
buy used 10Base2/10BaseT cards for ~$8/ea on Ebay, while 
100BaseT units are usually at least $90.  The switches are also 
much more expensive.

At $8/ea, 10 Mbps is a fine starting point, and you can relagate 
them to print servers with no regrets if you want to upgrade 
later.  A typical 10BaseT segment running full duplex 
point-to-point will have throughputs in the 700 KiloBYTE/second 
range, which will be adequate for even the fastest ADSL or cable 
hookups:  it's only if you add many clients to a segment that 
performance drops, and even in crowded LANs it'll be around 250 
KiloBYTES/second.  In any case, you can still boost performance 
for very short $ by simply putting another $8 3c509 NIC in your 
IPCHAINS box and thus (effectively) using it as an Ethernet 
switch, aka router.  Of course, if you do a lot of heavy file 
transfers between machines, where the Internet bottleneck 
doesn't apply, then you'll want more speed.

Whatever you do, don't cheap out on the wiring.  With data 
speeds constantly on the rise, it pays to put in CAT 5 wire and 
connectors AS A MINIMUM, and some newer (admittedly expensive) 
houses are now being sold with siamese fiber connections already 
in the walls.

YMMV, usual disclaimers apply, this tape will self-destruct in 
five seconds...

Bill Horne   
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