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General Networking questions


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#1
hal_jordan

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Good morning! I have a few questions that I cannot seem to resolve, despite trying to look it up.

1) As far as I know, a hub does NOT route packets; yet, I have been to several businesses (including the one I am employed at) that uses hubs (and switches). From what I can tell, I am going through a hub, then from there into a router (we are on a domain) and from there I am not sure.
I have internet access, and therein lies the confusion. If a hub does NOT support routing, then how can I get to the internet?
Wouldn't a switch be better in every situation?
If not, then why?

2) Is WEP necessary when I am using MAC level security on my wifi router? In addition, I also have shares, but they are all password protected; is WEP really worth the bother?

Thanks in advance!
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#2
dsenette

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1) As far as I know, a hub does NOT route packets; yet, I have been to several businesses (including the one I am employed at) that uses hubs (and switches). From what I can tell, I am going through a hub, then from there into a router (we are on a domain) and from there I am not sure.
I have internet access, and therein lies the confusion. If a hub does NOT support routing, then how can I get to the internet?
Wouldn't a switch be better in every situation?
If not, then why?

hubs and switches do not route...routers route....but hubs and switches DO forward packets across the network (as that's what they're made to do) so the reason you've got internet/network access through the hub is because somewhere in the mix there is a router...you're just not plugged directly into it...you're plugged into a hub...or a switch...

hubs (dumb hubs) are basically just etherenet ports...they work almost exactly like a phone splitter and just multiply the amount of places that you can plug rj45 into...they don't care what kind of traffic they push through...they just push it

switches on the other hand stop broadcast traffic which allow for network segmentation..switches can also impliment vlans (google it...not enough time to explain that) which are basically virtual lans within one physical lan...switches do care what the traffic is that's coming through them...but the don't care that much

routers route (what a shocker) information (packets) between dissimilar networks (networks with different ip ranges...like your internal network and the internet) they are like mailmen (fe-mailmen?) who know exactly who all the letters they get go to and where they live...or at the very least...where the next post office that might know where they live is..

as far as switches being better in all occasions....there's no such thing as "all occasions" in networking...but...i tend to prefer using switches over hubs because they're smarter...but when you just need extra places to plug something in...why waste money?


for the security deal give this a read
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#3
jaxisland

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Hello, Im going to try and solve these for you.

1) A hub is also known as a Repeater, all it does is it takes incoming data and sends it out all ports. Now by saying that it doesnt route packets, is true. The Hub makes no decision on what port to send the data back out it just goes out all ports.

A switch will make a routing decision based on the physical or MAC address of the sender and receipient. It will also maintain a routing table so it knows what port to send out future packets to that destination. If an unmanaged switch does not know where to send it, it will act like a hub for that packet and flood all ports until it learns where that destination is.

For your situation going through a hub is fine because if its small it wont cause too much network congestion and it reaches the router. If you are going into a router after that then thats probably your link to the internet or firewall. Now a router will make forwarding decisions based on IP information but thats not your question.

With the advances in nanotechnology, a hub has become not as good as a solution as an unmanaged switch. You can use hubs but they will add network traffic that is neccessary, but on the other hand, hubs are less expensive. The only thing I use a hub for is monitoring specific points of network traffic. I place the hub betweeen the two points I want to monitor than I can plug in a computer to another port on the hub and use Ethereal to monitor traffic. But in todays world, just using an unmanaged switch at a bare minimum would be more pratical.

2) I would enable WEP just because it is so easy to MAC spoof and get in that way. That info is broadcasted and can be seen by unauthorized persons. I am not a fan of wireless, but I have set them up. Keep the MAC filtering, enable WEP and keep the passwords. A multi-layered security approach is always the best.

I hope this answers your questions!
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#4
jaxisland

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To add to dsenette's post a managed switch will do VLAN's but not an unmanaged.
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#5
dsenette

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didn't want to get as complicated as that answer could get :whistling:
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#6
jaxisland

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I completely understand, This area is more my speciality so I got excited to see a post about it. I could go on forever! :whistling:
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#7
dsenette

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indeed..router's alone could go on for 12 pages haha
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#8
jaxisland

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If anyone wants to sit and read for a couple days straight we could go through setting and configuring a Cisco router, lol.
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#9
hal_jordan

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"If anyone wants to sit and read for a couple days straight we could go through setting and configuring a Cisco router, lol."

Well...now that you mention it, I have a 2500 and a console cable (bought it off of Ebay for $50.00) and it has a password of course, so I need to crack it locally in order to get into the IOS.
I'd like to be able to learn the best way to congure a Cisco router, but I am not sure if that's practical without being able to emulate multiple routers and nodes (Like Boson or VMWare for the PC's); since I do not have free rangne access to a WAN, VLANS or anything else other than my little workgroup, should I start down this path?

I have a CCNA study guide, but I need practical hands on before I can even attempt it.

Thanks for all the replies, I will setup a a hub and play around with it at home.

I haev to come here more often (I've been reading the wi fi setup docs, and I will enable WEP). I'll forward this site to others that I know that have simular gaps i their knowledge.
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#10
jaxisland

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Once you get in, set it up locally and log into it. Just getting used to the syntax and different things will be a great help before your CCNA.
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#11
hal_jordan

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"If anyone wants to sit and read for a couple days straight we could go through setting and configuring a Cisco router, lol."

Well...now that you mention it, I have a 2500 and a console cable (bought it off of Ebay for $50.00) and it has a password of course, so I need to crack it locally in order to get into the IOS.
I'd like to be able to learn the best way to congure a Cisco router, but I am not sure if that's practical without being able to emulate multiple routers and nodes (Like Boson or VMWare for the PC's); since I do not have free rangne access to a WAN, VLANS or anything else other than my little workgroup, should I start down this path?

I have a CCNA study guide, but I need practical hands on before I can even attempt it.

Thanks for all the replies, I will setup a a hub and play around with it at home.

I haev to come here more often (I've been reading the wi fi setup docs, and I will enable WEP). I'll forward this site to others that I know that have simular gaps i their knowledge.
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#12
dsenette

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i've ot a CCNA book that i think came with a disk that simulates ALL kinds of routed networks (maybe even a fram relay somewhere in there) i'll see if i still have the disk...if i do...i'll see if i can get it to you
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#13
dsenette

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rats...i don't have the simulator disk..i do have the sybex study guide disk though...with practice exams...it's just a bit old...
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#14
dsenette

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http://www.cisco.com...080094795.shtml here's how to recovery the password on a 2500
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#15
hal_jordan

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http://www.cisco.com...080094795.shtml here's how to recovery the password on a 2500


Thanks for the link, I will do this when I get home.

Regarding the hub / router question that I had:
Does the placement of the router matter? For example, I have a broadband modem plugged into a router and then a hub connected to the router via the uplink port. Without any configuration, everyone should be able to get online, right?

Same with a switch, right?

Woudn't they be limited to transfer rates if on hub as opposed to a switch?
Hub 10/00 divided among the nodes vs. 10/100 for all nodes.
Is that correct?
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