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

Rob Beard rob at esdelle.co.uk
Fri Feb 22 15:35:18 GMT 2008

Quoting James Grabham <jgrabham at googlemail.com>:

> Right, Im setting up a p3 800mhz 256mb box as a firewall, file server, media
> player and to use for other stuff.
> Now I will have
> Modem>PC>old wireless router
> If I do this, I will have all network traffic coming at it through a single
> 10/100 connection.
> 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
> as well.
> So Id have eth0 eth1 eth2
> Will this work.
> Will I need patch or crossover cables.
> All help much appreciated.

It's an expensive and complicated way of doing it.  I'd keep it how  
you've got it at the moment.  It might not be such a good idea to run  
a firewall on the same box as a server.  What sort of media are you  
storing?  You should be able to support up to high definition video on  
a 10/100Mbit connection.  I have 8 machines connected to my server for  
media sharing, over a 100Mbit connection and it runs fine.  My server  
is even running VMWare too so it's technically split into two machines.

If you did decide to go ahead though, you'd need crossover cables to  
go from the PC to the NIC on the server, plus you're limited on how  
many slots you have.  If you're worried about bandwidth maybe you  
should invest in a gigabit switch and gigabit NICs.


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