Building a Fast Ethernet Network from Scratch
Building a Fast Ethernet 100Mbps network is a snap!
All you need are a few desktop or lap top network adapters, a Fast Ethernet hub, and a Category 5 network cable for each computer.
To make things even easier, we stock ready-made as well as custom network starter kits that come with everything you need to connect two computers together. The Fast Ethernet Starter Kits include two 32-bit desktop network cards, two Category 5 network cables, and a high speed 4 or 5 port hub, making it ideal for home or small office use.
EXPANSION MADE EASY
Expanding a Fast Ethernet network amounts to nothing more than plugging in additional hubs and network cards.
Fast Ethernet networking rules allow no more than two hubs to be connected together in one area. This is called the two-hub rule. This is fine if you don’t plan on expanding too much; you could connect two 24-port hubs together, for example, and you’d be set to handle up to 48 users. A standard Fast Ethernet hub is perfect for this task
However, as your needs grow, you might find yourself needing to handle fifty, sixty, or even hundreds of users! Fast Ethernet’s solution for this problem is the stacking hub. You can read more about Stacking by following this link, “What is Stacking“. A stacking hub is a specially designed hub that can be “stacked” together with other hubs just like it. Once a stack of stackable hubs has been connected together, they act as a single hub, thus effectively fooling the network into thinking that only one hub is present! The expansion possibilities are enormous! As an example, if you connect six stacking hubs together, and each hub has ten ports, you’re given a total of sixty ports, and the stack acts as one hub, which doesn’t violate Fast Ethernet’s 2-hub rule.
When considering a new hub for your Fast Ethernet network, consider how much you’re going to need to grow in the future. If you plan on extensive growth, choose a stackable hub so you can add other hubs to it without reaching the 2-hub rule. If, on the other hand, you only expect modest network growth in the near future, a standard Fast Ethernet hub will more than meet your needs.
Need to know: “How to Speed up an Existing 100Mbps Network“
Need more information on Stacking, then see: “What is Stacking“.
Need information on Hubs, Switches, Bridges, then see: “Hubs, Switches and Bridges“.
Do you need to review accepted standards for cabling? Go here: Siemon’s Standards Overview
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