General Networking/Lan/Wan/LAN switch to switch connection


Pls, i want to know hw i can connect 4 to 5 switches together so dat they can ping each other. And also connect them to a cisco moderm.

Hi Basil,

I assume these are managed switches, and not un-managed switches?  The latter don't have IP Addresses and won't be able to ping each other.  Managed switches have a management IP address, which should be manually assigned, and that will allow them to ping each other and for you to remotely configure them across the network.

Switches can readily ping each other when simply connected to each other via whatever appropriate physical medium they use - most commonly a standard Ethernet patch cable or possibly a crossover Ethernet patch cable.  Traditionally, crossover cables had to be used in this instance but more modern switches often allow for standard Ethernet cables as the switches themselves support auto-parity.  There is usually one interface denoted as an uplink port, with a small push-switch, that is usually meant to be used to connect one switch with another.

Please be sure to use at least the minimum cable standard that will support the full speed of the physical interface.  For example, if the connection is copper Ethernet, as opposed to fiber (multi-mode or single mode) - you will want at least Cat 5e cables and possibly Cat 6.  The specs on the switch should help reveal what the correct cabling will be.  If you provide more details, I would be glad to help.

Try to avoid having too many switches connected in a series.  The best thing would be all switches connecting to the same "core switch", and the core switch then directly to a router.  This minimizes the number of hops that packets take across the network.  But, sometimes the physical layout requires that one or more switches are "daisy chained" in a row or series - to reach a further location within a building.  Try to avoid any more than 3 switches connected in this fashion.  Also, be sure to limit individual cable runs to no more than 100 meters (330 feet).  Otherwise, the cable won't be able to handle it's job properly and you'll get slower speeds and/or packet loss.  If someone is making those cables, make sure that they use a good quality tester that not only makes sure that the wires are connected properly but that each line is done to meet the accepted desired spec (usually 1 Gbps but sometimes 10 Gbps).

When you ask for cisco modem I assume that you are really asking about connecting to a cisco router?  The cisco router will act as the gateway between your LAN (local area network) and the Internet.  The router may also have an integrated firewall, as well as providing network addressing for the network via DHCP.  The connection between the router and a switch is nearly always just a standard ethernet cable.

I hope this helps and please let me know if you need further assistance.


General Networking/Lan/Wan

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Jeff K


I'm a Network and Application Performance Specialist, and have worked for some of the best software companies in the world.


I have over 20 years in Information Technology & Networking.

Lots of hard work, study and real-world experience. I've had some formal training along the way but most of my knowledge is from working in the field, not the classroom.

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