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I have a PC running on Windows 7 and another one running Ubuntu 12.04.

I know I can directly connect both of them using a crossover cable, however I occasionally do have a laptop to connect as well, so a switch is a better option.

I would like to connect both of them using a D-link 5-port 10/100 Desktop switch which I have, but can't figure out how to do that. Also, I use a dongle to connect to the internet. I hope that does not create any additional problems.

Should I be going for a switch or should I buy a router?

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The switch will allow you to share information between all three computers, once you have connected them all to the switch with normal ethernet cables... providing they all have IP addresses in the same range.

You can manually set the IP addresses, OR you can set the computer that will have the dongle plugged into it to use Internet Connection Sharing... in which case that computer would tell the OTHER computers what IP address to use.

Should you buy a router? Only if you intend to purchase Internet service from a company that will provide you with a stand alone modem. You would connect the modem to the router, and the router would then "route" the internet connection to all the connected devices.

If you wish to stick with the dongle, you can still use a router, but setting it up would be more complicated, and actually redundant, since most of the functions of the router would already be done by the computer with the dongle plugged into it that you had set up for Internet Connection Sharing.

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@Bon...in short...it doesnt matter what OS ewe use when I use the switch...just IP needs to be in a same range...??? –  Roshan May 3 '12 at 19:03
    
@Roshan yes. It does not matter. I have multiple computers on my network... Windows, Linux, iOS, and occasionally a Mac. The switch is a dumb router... or rather, a router without the ability to do any routing. If you enable Internet Connection Sharing on the computer with the dongle, it will handle all the router functions, and the switch will enable all the computers to be connected and talk to one another, regardless of the OS on them. –  Bon Gart May 3 '12 at 19:05
    
thanka a lot man...i'll try & let you know if I do haveeee any problems :) –  Roshan May 3 '12 at 19:16
    
Just remember, when you use the switch, you won't use crossover cables any more. –  Bon Gart May 3 '12 at 19:26
    
Aah yes, I do know that...thanks :) :) :) –  Roshan May 3 '12 at 19:27
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