Forum OpenACS Q&A: Response to Serving up OpenACS from home

Posted by Gilbert Price on
<i>First stumbling block - which do I need to split my dsl connection for a server and a couple of laptops all sharing the connection, a router (I think this is it based on the reading I've done), a switch or a hub? Also, in a nutshell, what are the differences among the three?</i>

<p>You'll want to use a multi-port router. I use the Linksys BEFSR41 4-port router myself. It's cheap, works great, and has been reliable for the past 2 years on my Roadrunner service. More information is available <a href="">here</a>.

<p>The primary difference between using a router vs. hub is that while the hub will work, you internal network is exposed to the world. There is no "router" to route data packets to the proper machine or to shield the network from outside attack.

<p>Another consideration that immediately strikes the wallet, Roadrunner encourages the use of a hub for home networks. They also charge $9.95 for each additional IP address at each cable modem. Each machine that come up on the hub, will request and get an IP issued from you ISP's DHCP server. With a router, you only have one public IP address, the rest of the network is hidden behind the router and the IP addresses are either generated by the router (if you enable DHCP) or are manually assigned by you. I use the private IP range in the 10.XXX.XXX.XXX for my LAN. Roadrunner only charges me for one connection, and I have 3 machines online 24x7.

<p>A switch is just a smart HUB, it can send data packets to the actual port for the machine that needs to receive the packet without sending the data packet to machines that don't need the packet. IOW, a hub shows the data packet to all the machines on the network, the one the packet is intended for will actually do something with it, the smart hub (switch) will send the data packet to only the machine that needs to act on it, the router will switch and route packets from one sub-net to another.