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I have five desktop machines and three laptops in my office. I share the Internet with the desktops by connecting them with network cables to a Belkin wireless router. However in this router there are only four possible ports for connecting desktops.

What should I do to connect my fifth desktop machien so that it can also have access to the Internet?

Should I connect a switch to the router and then attach the desktop machines to the switch?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Yes, you need to buy a switch.

Connect that switch to one of the router's LAN ports (i.e. one of those where a "normal" computer will go). Then connect your computer(s) to one of the switch ports.

Make sure that if you have a Gigabit LAN router, you also buy a Gigabit capable switch. That will improve your network performance.

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That is exactly how...Router--->Switch>---PC's.

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Yes, exactly that!

An unmanaged switch will do exactly what you want with ease - just plug in and you will get extra ports.

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Connecting up a switch is exactly what you want. In the meantime, if one of your desktops has a second NIC, you can connect this additional desktop to that NIC and turn on ICS (Internet Connection Sharing) on the desktop that has internet access. Most gigabit cards support Auto-MDIX these days so a crossover cable shouldn't be necessary.

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