Network Switch

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Hi guys I'm looking at throwing a Lan for me and my mates, we usually go to one of my friends houses because he has a basement but his family got fed up with us going there every month so I've decided to do it at mine.

Only problem is I don't have a switch, I've been looking into it and the ones I was looking at were the Netgear GS116 and FS116, however there were a lot of bad reviews and I'm unsure whether or not it is worth taking the leap into gigabit Lan given the extra cost.

I wasn't planning on providing internet access, because of my limited internet speed and download limit however I would like the capability to do so, such as using a wire to connect a switch or whatever is used to link the computers to my existing router.

Some of my friends suggested I should just borrow Lan hubs from my mate who has the basement but to be honest they were pretty crap so I'd rather just buy something better.

Any suggestions on what is worth buying would be very helpful and appreciated.

Price range is up to $300

Thanks guys
How many connection do you need? Gigabyte would be nice if you are doing file transfers at your party.

It would be no problem to connect from your router into the switch to allow internet to all computers connecting to the switch.

A switch is a switch is a switch. As long as your talking layer 2. They all do the same thing. Send out an ARP and build a MAC Address table to switch the packets back and forth. All the switch is, is a solution for all the old HORRIBLE network topology's. Such as token ring and all that crap.

You can run a 10 man lan party off of a fairly basic switch, easily. Try grabbing a 24 port Cisco switch. Find em on Ebay pretty cheap.
You can pick up 8 port switches pretty cheap at Best Buy, I bought a Dynex branded one (10/100 Fast Ethernet) for like $25, works the same as my 5-port Netgear one I bought for $40. You can chain switches to routers with Ethernet cords for more ports (router is DHCP server/Internet gateway, hook up 2 switches to it and you have 16+ LAN ports with Internet access easily).
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