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Server Routing Switch vs Router

This is a discussion on Server Routing Switch vs Router within the Protocols and Routing forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. Hey there, Just a quick one here. I have a server which I would like to hook up to my


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Old 03-24-2013, 06:11 AM   #1
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Hey there,

Just a quick one here. I have a server which I would like to hook up to my network. What is the difference in connecting it to a switch vs connecting it to a modem?

You have:
1. internet-modem-server-switch-4x PCs on the 4 ports
2. internet-modem-switch-server port 1 and 3x PCs on the remainder 3 ports

Cheers

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Old 03-24-2013, 11:48 AM   #2
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Hello,

If your Modem is also a Router and has enough ports for your wired devices you won't need a switch. If you have a few devices that requires wired connection then a Switch is feasible.

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Old 03-24-2013, 11:59 AM   #3
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The difference depends largely on what you wish to do with the server.

If you want to use it for a proxy or firewall, or to do complete traffic monitoring, you would want to connect it in between the modem and the rest of the network.

If you want to use it for other purposes, it wouldn't be necessary to connect it in between the modem and the rest of the network.
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Old 03-24-2013, 12:43 PM   #4
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You understand the difference between a modem and a router?
I will answer your question literally

1. internet-modem-server-switch-4x PCs on the 4 ports

Which means your server will have to act as a router with two nics and provide dhcp ip to the lan based pcs by running rras.

2. internet-modem-switch-server port 1 and 3x PCs on the remainder 3 ports

Modems only provide one ip address via the isp and don't do NAT so only one of the 4 devices will get internet access.
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Old 03-24-2013, 02:59 PM   #5
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All consumer modems (cable and DSL, that is) I've used do have internal DHCP servers, and do perform basic NAT.
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Old 03-24-2013, 09:56 PM   #6
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By defination modems are not routers. They only pass thru from the isp a ip address. They do no do dhcp or do anything more than modulate and demodulate a signal. Hence their name

This is not to be confused with equipment that provides both the modem and router in one device. We call that a router not a modem.

You don't call something by its base device but if a combo unit by its higher function.

Since the world as a whole still does not provide for a majority of us both services in one device this is an important concept to keep in mind when discussing international posts.

It is the same concept behind soho routers that provide a router and a switch with 4 ports in the same device. We call them routers but they are not truely only a router.

Don't lose sight of the concepts of what each device does.

This is also why I answered the question with a question and "literally" answered.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:25 AM   #7
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I apologize for the lack of consideration for the use of the word "literally." Mostly that's a result of the almost universal misuse of the term. The expanded clarification is useful for making sure which use the OP intends for the term "modem, " as there are many such devices billed as modems which are modem+router combinations.

I was referring to devices I have personally come into contact with, as opposed to all those available. I have not seen, in the US or abroad, a residential gateway device that did not perform DHCP. It was not intended to be argumentative, but simply a personal observation.
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Old 03-25-2013, 03:59 AM   #8
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Thank you all for your responses.

This time, I'll upload a better image of what I am trying to achieve. and to better understand why such a setup would need to be made in a particular way.

Please take your time in answering my requests.
If anyone has any suggestions to better builds, feel free to write them down.
Be completely honest, positive or negative feedbacks would be appreciated.

If there are answers that you guys have already answered. doesn't really matter if they are repeated even in a better understanding. I am relatively new to networking.

Sorry also, turning on the server remotely from the outside world, would it need to be connected to a PoE port? or, can you just enable WakeOnLan in Bios and use a 3rd party software on a laptop remotely?

Cheers.
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Old 03-25-2013, 08:30 AM   #9
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Fjandr I did not mean to come off as argumentive, my apologies. Just thought, since N3Rd iT appears new to IT, I would clarify concepts. You have always given good advice from my observations.

N3Rd iT here are answers to your questions;

I would suggest you stay away from VPN's until you fully understand network topology connections using routers and switches. Once you understand this you have a foundation to then understand the different flavors of VPNs.

1. There are two considerations where you place equipment. Shortest path and practicality. For example if you don't have enough power near the router and your switch is in another building which does you would place the NAS in that building not at the router. Thats the practical part. Where would the NAS be closest to the users? On the same switch the users occupy. This would be the shortest path. Data would not have to travel thru the router switch to get to the 2nd switch.

2. Software routers allow you to load applications like proxy servers which will allow you to monitor/control user internet access. This tends to be slower than a hardware router. There is an old saying. If you have the choice between hardware and software, with all things being equal [as far as feature set] you should always choose hardware because its faster.

3. Given the info above where do you think the xbox should go and where do you think the network printer would go? Hint: xbox uses internet. Printer is for users.

4. Answer depends on what type of vpn we are talking about. For example if you did a site to site vpn you wouldn't have internet access.

5. I think you can answer this question based on answer to #1
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Old 03-26-2013, 04:30 AM   #10
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Wand3r3r,

You have been most helpful. The answers are very helpful but as I am still trying to understand, I am new for awhile until I get the grasp of it. But i will still be asking lots of questions so hang on lol..

In a modem when you first turn it on and put your Account settings to configure it to be connected to the internet, Why are there different settings to connect? for e.g. you have dynamic ip, static ip, PPoA etc. The majority of ISPs you connect with the PPoA or PPoE.
When would you use the 'static ip' option? I have my IP address from my ISP and tried putting that in but I did not get internet access.

Thanks,
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Old 03-26-2013, 08:22 AM   #11
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Why do some cars have the steering wheel on the left side instead of the right side?

Same reason for the different options in a modem/router. BTW that is a router not a modem. You don't have to set anything in a modem since that is handled by the isp.

Static ip is used when you want to do web/email hosting/ internally or doing remote access to the lan.

Are you familiar with Google or Ask, or How things work? Lots of good resources out there.
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Old 03-26-2013, 10:17 AM   #12
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To clarify on the static IP description, using static is not a choice you just decide to use unilaterally. Your ISP has to provide you with a static IP and will likely charge you extra for it; most do not, and assign dynamic IPs to your CPE (consumer premises equipment, e.g. modem or router) via DHCP.

It may be helpful to know what connection type you have and what country you are in.
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Old 03-26-2013, 11:20 PM   #13
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Fjandr,

I have a static IP from my ISP and am not being charged extra. It still doesn't make sense to me. I tried configuring my modem to be encapsulate by a static ip instead of PoE and get ip conflictions. is there a source on the web that describes each of them and when you would use them?

If you connect a server to a switch and then connect another 4 PCs to the switch, what is thepurpose of having 2 ethernet ports on the server?

lets say you have your internet line- router- home pc, xbox, 2nd home pc.

on the switch, which is added to the router...you have your server, plus 4 other PCs networked.

In this scenario, would you need to turn on your server in order for the pcs that are on the switch to access the internet? or why and how is the server configured to always have to be on in order for the pcs to be accessing the internet?
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Old 03-27-2013, 02:05 PM   #14
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"static ip instead of PoE "

PoE is power over ethernet and doesn't apply concering ip addressing.

do yo mean PPPoE?

"If you connect a server to a switch and then connect another 4 PCs to the switch, what is thepurpose of having 2 ethernet ports on the server? "

There is no purpose given the criteria. Its just an extra port. Just because its there doesn't mean you have to use it.

"would you need to turn on your server in order for the pcs that are on the switch to access the internet?"

Certainly not. Why would you think it would? Internet isn't going thru the server.

"why [you need to figure out the why] and how is the server configured to always have to be on in order for the pcs to be accessing the internet?"

Google internet connection sharing so you understand how this is setup. the why it has to be on for pc internet access is self explainatory.
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Old 03-28-2013, 12:20 AM   #15
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The only reason the server would need to be on for others to access the Internet is if you were using it as a proxy, gateway, or router and had it set up between the modem and the switch. If it's just attached to the switch and not directly to the modem (and assuming it's not providing DHCP to the other machines), there would be no impact on others reaching the Internet.

As far as setting up your modem, you need to refer to the ISP documentation for that. If you have a static IP, they should tell you how to set up the hardware directly connected to your ISP.
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Old 03-28-2013, 01:44 AM   #16
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So let me get this straight.

Say you have a modem ---> router ----> proxy server ----> switch----> 4desktop pcs.

Eg this setup, you generally would have a pc connected to the router plus perhaps Xbox or ps3.

Now.. By connecting a proxy server 'between' the router and switch (I.e. 2 nics, 1 connects to the switch the other to the router). Then having 4 or more pcs depending on the ports. You can monitor traffic ONLY to the pcs connected to the switch and by having Internet access for ONLY them pcs, theoretically the 'proxy server' has to be on?

And the network devices that are connected to the router don't have to have the proxy on and just free surf the web?

What do you guys think of my scenario?
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Old 03-28-2013, 08:23 AM   #17
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"you generally would have a pc connected to the router plus perhaps Xbox or ps3."

Normally you would not have them connected to the router since the whole idea of a proxy server is for everything on the lan to run thru it. You are mixing home with business setups.

In your example the proxy would have to be on for the pcs to access internet as well as the server would need two nics though products like analogx only require one to act as a proxy.

Usual way at home to control or limit bandwidth /access is via the router/firewall using QoS and url/domain blocking/word filtering. No proxy required.
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Old 03-28-2013, 03:41 PM   #18
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I want that scenario with home and business setup only to create a test lab. I know with the router/firewall thingy there is no need for a proxy. I have my home setup basically, and the network side setup that runs with it.

So by having 2 setups using the same public ip, I can see how it works. My question asks if the proxy would be setup in such a way that to monitor and control traffic flow it would need to be connected from the switch WAN port to 1 nic card and from 2nd nic card to routers LAN port. Therefore by doing it this way, to test a network simulation, you have to have the proxy on all the time to access the Internet from the pcs that are attached to the switch. Whereas, using the pc that's on the router, u do not need the proxy on.
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Old 03-28-2013, 04:35 PM   #19
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Switches don't have WAN ports. They're all LAN ports (with the occasional dedicated uplink port).

As for your questions, yes to both. If you have aproxy machine set up, it will have to be powered on to pass traffic. Anything attached directly to the router only needs the router to be powered on, typically (though not in every instance).
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Old 03-29-2013, 12:03 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fjandr View Post
Switches don't have WAN ports. They're all LAN ports (with the occasional dedicated uplink port).

As for your questions, yes to both. If you have aproxy machine set up, it will have to be powered on to pass traffic. Anything attached directly to the router only needs the router to be powered on, typically (though not in every instance).

Fjandr,
I appreciate your answer is what I'm looking for. So another e.g. to monitor ALL traffic flow having the 4pcs still connected to the switch, (and now including the desktop pc, xbox connected to the router), the proxy server would be placed like so; internet>proxy server>modem>router>switch.. As well as attaching a AP to the switch to monitor wireless device web traffic.

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