General Networking/Lan/Wan/split

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QUESTION: Hi Ralph,

I would like to ask how to split an Ethernet plug into two computers. My condition is like this: I have a Ethernet plug at my table, that plug line is come out from main switch in my office and support multiple IP. My question is, is it possible to split the plug at my table, because I want to use two computers on my table and both computers using different IP. If possible can you let me know how/ using what kind of switch/hub to split one Ethernet cable into two.

Thanks,
Fendi

ANSWER: Hi Fendi,

Ethernet connections cannot be split the way an analog phone connection can. Each ethernet connection must go from a network port on a router or switch directly to the end device.

One thing you can do is add additional network ports to connect to. The device you need is a network switch. These are available with different numbers of network ports; you can buy a 4-port switch for less than US$20. You would connect your existing network connection to one port on the switch, and that would leave you 3 open ports for other devices. You would, of course, need an additional ethernet cable for each device you want to connect.

I hope this helps,
Ralph

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Ralph,

Thanks for fast reply. In my condition is it possible to use ZyXEL GS1100-24 10/100/1000Mbps 24-Port Gigabit? Because I found this switch unused at storage room and I am not sure it still can be used or not. So I tried using it and plug the wire from my table to the switch and add another wire from switch to computer, but the seems like the computer cannot detect it. My question is, in my condition that switch can be used or not, if yes, that's mean the switch is damage.

Thanks,

Fendi

Answer
Hi again Fendi,

I took a quick look at the specs of that switch:

http://www.zyxel.com/us/en/products_services/gs1100_series.shtml?t=p

and it should be perfectly suitable for your needs.  Here are some things to check:

- Most modern switches have "auto sensing" technology built in. This is helpful if connecting a switch to another switch, as you are, because a special cable is not needed. If you can find one, you should try a "cross over" Ethernet cable to connect your switch to the network, and regular "straight through" ethernet cables for the devices to connect to the switch.

- Some switches have a special port or two for connecting to other network ports. If your switch has this, use it for the network connection.

- It may be that this device was in a storage room because it is faulty.

- When you make the connections, you should see LED lights that indication a connection has been made.

- This switch seems to have some power-saving technology built in. It may be shutting down ports that it thinks are inactive. You may want to try other ports.

Good luck!

Ralph

General Networking/Lan/Wan

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Ralph Becker

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General networks, including LAN (ethernet, cable modem, DSL), dialup (modems), WAN (frame relay, ATM), and other related networking technologies.

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I have worked for 20 years in various network companies, in capacities including development, customer service, and operations.
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