[ubuntu-uk] Can I use a desktop PC as a network hub?

Andrew Oakley andrew at aoakley.com
Fri Feb 22 14:02:10 GMT 2008

Kris Douglas wrote:
> On Fri, Feb 22, 2008 at 12:58 PM, James Grabham <jgrabham at googlemail.com> wrote:
>> Instead of plugging all my wired computers into the router, can I shove some
>> more NICs into the srever, and plug them into this, making it act as a hub
> That would work well, we have a similar system that basically

Er... yes, but not easily.

Each NIC would need its own IP address; I'm not aware that you can 
assign the same IP address to multiple NICs without a great deal of hassle.

It's relatively easy to share the modem across multiple NICs with 
different IP addresses, but the final devices would not be able to talk 
to other devices without setting up routing, which is reasonably 
advanced. For example:

Modem -> PC -> Laptop1
             -> Laptop2

...would prevent Laptop1 talking to Laptop2 unless you set up routing.

Given that you can buy a brand new network switch for less than five pounds:


...this is an extremely complicated way of achieving a very simple 
result. Instead I recommend:

Modem -> PC -> FiveQuidSwitch -> Laptop1
                               -> Laptop2
                               -> Printer
                               -> etc.

If by "modem" you mean "Broadband modem with Cat5" rather than "USB 
modem" or "pre-broadband modem", then you can achieve even better 
results with:

Modem -> FiveQuidSwitch -> PC
                         -> Laptop1
                         -> Laptop2
                         -> Printer
                         -> etc.

Andrew Oakley

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