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Which would be the best option for hooking up 2 or more Internet devices up to the splitter/switch/hub, getting no significant speed loss, and both working at the same time with individual local IPs? I have 60Mbps Internet.

I am having friends over with at least two more computers, and our router is all the way across the living room; a hallway and room away. I somehow managed to install a single Cat 6 Ethernet cable through the attic and out the walls, but that only connects one device currently. Any tips on what would be the best option for my situation?

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    While this question has been answered well, i would like to point out that hubs are rather obsolete nowadays, and switches are fairly inexpencive, so if you have to choose between the two , switch is pretty much always the correct choice – Jarmund Oct 10 '15 at 7:13
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    Related: Switch or Router for LAN party? – Arjan Oct 10 '15 at 10:11
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If I understand correctly, you have a router in one room and a single Cat6 cable coming to where you want it.

I would recommend a switch, as it doesn't route traffic to every end-user, like a hub does.

Depending on what you're using it for (I'm getting a hint of a LAN party), you would want to go with Gigabit. 10GbE is a bit excessive (and useless) unless you have 10GbE NICs on each computer.

  • You were spot on with the LAN party, thanks for letting me know which kind of switch I needed too. – Shane Smiskol Oct 10 '15 at 0:09
  • Would I still need the Gigabit switch if my internet is only 60Mbps, but 3 computers are hooked up? – Shane Smiskol Oct 10 '15 at 0:12
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    @TrivisionZero If you're hosting the game from a local computer and not an online server, then I would recommend it. If you're hosting it from an online server, then you're only going to be capped out at 60Mbps. However, Gigabit switches can be relatively cheap depending on how many ports you want. – user507671 Oct 10 '15 at 0:13
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    @TrivisionZero You never know what you might need it for, but if your budget is tight you can go with the 100Mbps one. – user507671 Oct 10 '15 at 0:17
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    @TrivisionZero In the year 2015, the choice is typically something like $20 for a 10BT/100BT personal switch versus $30 for a 10BT/100BT/1000BT switch. I would spend the $10 so in a few years your 10BT/100BT switch is not sitting around waiting to be thrown away, – JakeGould Oct 10 '15 at 0:19
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Which would be the best option for hooking up 2 or more Internet devices up to the splitter/switch/hub, getting no significant speed loss, and both working at the same time with two individual local IPs?

A switch would be your best choice.

The problems with splitters are they take advantage of the fact that 10BT and 100BT only need 4 wires connected to the Ethernet port to operate. But 1000BT (aka: Gigabit speed) requires 8 wires for connectivity.

So it depends on what your end-goal is but if you have people on a LAN sharing connections and maybe gaming, a real Ethernet switch would work best. If you just need some basic connectivity and speed is not an option, a splitter would work.

And an Ethernet hub is useless unless you have one lying around. A hub is just a dumb switch.

  • In a sense, a hub is far worse than a "dumb switch." – Michael - sqlbot Oct 10 '15 at 0:51
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    @Michael-sqlbot Nah, it’s not worse. You could charge children $1 a piece to see the hub. – JakeGould Oct 10 '15 at 6:50
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Almost certainly the switch, especially if you’re using Cat6. Why? A “splitter” needs to be set up on 2 ends, and turns one 8 strand Ethernet cable into two 4 stranded fast Ethernet connections. Complete waste with Cat6.

Hubs are almost extinct. The last one I’ve seen did plain old Ethernet.

A switch (or for that matter a cheap router set up in AP mode) would be the logical choice here. They don’t cost all that much, don’t have the problems of spamming data everywhere, you have better speed (especially if you get a decent gig-e capable model!), do switching rather spamming packets every which way as a hub.

There’s no real question about what to use.

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An ethernet hub doesn't exist at speeds over 100Mbps. The difference between a hub and a switch is that a switch creates new collision domains. Switches don't route. Those ones are called routers. Switches switch. Creating a new collision domain is USUALLY what you want in the case of multiple machines using a large percentage of the total link speed to transfer unicast packets.

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