Creating a Wired LAN

If you have two or more computers to connect, and they’re all in the same room and close to one another, you can use a traditional Ethernet hub and Ethernet cables to connect the computers with cables. You’ll need exactly one NIC and one Ethernet cable for each computer in the LAN. Figure 49.1 shows an example of four computers connected in a traditional LAN. Notice how each computer connects to the hub only — no cables run directly from one computer to another computer.

FIGURE 49.1 Example of four computers connected in a traditional Ethernet LAN

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By the way, in Figure 49.1 a printer can be connected to any computer on the LAN. In fact, you could have several printers connected to several computers. All computers will be able to use all printers, no matter which computer that printer is (or those printers are) connected to. In addition, a printer with a network interface need not be connected to a computer at all, but rather can be connected directly to the network.

Traditional Ethernet speeds

When it comes time to purchase network interface cards, cables, and a hub, you’ll need to decide on the speed you want. As with everything else in the computer industry, network speed costs money. However, in the case of networks, the cost differences are minor, whereas the speed differences are huge. The three possible speeds for Ethernet LANs are listed in Table 49.1 ...

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