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I have a router (10/100) connected to switch #1 (8 port 10/100) to switch #2 (24 port 10/100) with 16 devices connected to switch #2 via patch panel. Can I (should I) connect Uplink port on switch #2 to a standard port on switch #1 and connect Uplink port on switch #1 to a standart port on switch #2? Then connect standard port on switch #1 to router. Would this give me 2 pathes between switches? The reason is I have a network hard drive connected to switch #1 and want 2 or more devices running backups to the network hard drive at the same time. I am thinking about upgrading switch #1 to a 1 gig switch but I don't think that will help throughput if the backups all passthrough switch # 2.

If my swithces do not have Uplink ports, can I connect 2 (or more) unused ports connected to unused ports on the other switch to establish multiple pathes?

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On unmanaged dumb switches, making 2 or more connections like this just creates a network loop that kills your network with a flood of packets until you break it yourself by disconnecting all but one of the links between the switches. On slightly less dumb switches that do Spanning Tree Protocol, the loop will be detected and the redundant links will be automatically shut off (just one will be left up). On smart manageable switches, you could set up multiple links as an aggregate to get the increased bandwidth you're looking for.

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Thank you. That is what I thought the answer would be but a never read it anywhere. –  Jim Richardson Apr 24 '12 at 18:27

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