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I just got a Linksys SRW224G4 switch (24 10/100, 4 10/100/1000)

I already have a Linksys WRT54GS router. (I know it's old, but it works)

My problem is that well, I have no idea what I'm doing. I tried to hook up everything to the switch and have the router act as a peripheral on the switch, but I couldn't make it work. I am turning to you for help.

My devices that need to be hard wired

  • Wireless router
  • Windows Home Server (media streaming/data backup)
  • My Gaming PC
  • Roku (streaming media)
  • PS3 (streams some media from WHS)
  • TV (for the guide)
  • Blu Ray (for updates)

Ideally, I wanted to run the devices like this

Modem  -->  Switch  -->  Devices (including wireless router)

So that the router would act as a hotspot on the network. I have no idea how to set this up and am looking for some general guidance.

Currently, the router is set up for DHCP. Can the switch handle that or does my router have to sit between the switch and the modem? Does it matter which port on the switch goes out to the internet? How do I access the management consoles on the switch?

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What modem are you using? Does it have a built-in router? (If not, you'll have to connect the modem directly to the router's WAN port.) Cheap switches don't have management consoles. Their job is to be invisible. You seem to be asking how to do things horribly. Why do you want to force traffic to go device -> switch -> router -> switch -> modem -> internet -> modem -> switch -> router -> switch -> device rather than the much more logical device -> switch -> router -> modem -> internet -> modem -> router -> switch -> device. – David Schwartz Mar 16 '12 at 21:38
FWIW, I proved to myself 10/100 might be slower than cable modem service imho, it is worth upgrading everything touching the ethernet to Gigabit speed. – Chris K Jan 8 '14 at 20:30
up vote 4 down vote accepted

You will need to put the router between the modem and the switch, since the router is the one that knows how to do DHCP (allowing it to assign IP addresses to each individual device). To do this kind of setup, the cable coming out of the modem will have to plug into the Internet port on the router. The switch then should plug into one of the LAN ports on the router (any port will do). It doesn't matter which port on the switch you use, as any will work. If your router had 10/100/1000 ports on it, then you would probably want to be cognizant of the speed of the port, and decide which devices you'd want to have that extra bandwidth capacity. However, since your router can only serve out packets at 10/100 speeds, it won't matter. You can use any of the ports on the switch and there won't be a difference.

To access the configuration page of the switch, you should use the instructions present in the manual (it's in Chapter 4).

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The ports on the WRT54GS router are limited to 10/100, so connecting the router to one of the 10/100/1000 ports on the switch is no benefit over a 10/100 port. The four gigabit (10/100/1000) ports on the switch should be used for devices that might communicate with each other directly - i.e. the Windows Home Server, the PS3, the gaming PC, and the Roku if it streams from the server. The TV and Blu Ray only talk to the internet so the higher speed is not useful. – Dave Becker Mar 16 '12 at 19:46
Good point. I didn't think to look that one up. – Ben Richards Mar 16 '12 at 20:17

The router has to sit between the switch and the modem, yes. You can't plug the modem directly into the switch.

The switch doesn't know how to do DHCP or NAT or any of the other things that make a router a router, so you need to have the router doing that. Plug the modem into the WAN port on the router, and the router into the switch. Then plug everything else into the switch (whatever ports you need for the speed you want).

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The router belongs between the modem and the switch. You'll still achieve all the goals you're looking for - it will still be a wireless access point. It doesn't matter what port your plug it into (just put the LAN port of the router into any port on the switch).

As far as management console, it depends, it's either web-based or you need a serial cable. Take a look at the documentation for the switch.

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