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BANGKOK 22 March 2019 00:33
KhunHeineken

How many ports can a typical router handle?

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I have an 8 Port switch connected to my router.

 

I'm actually running out of ports.  I prefer to be cabled than use WiFi. 

 

Everything from an android box to a CCTV DVR, plus the usual desktop computer and a few other bits and pieces.  My switch, and the other 3 ports on my router, are nearly full.

 

My question is, just how many ports can you put on a good domestic purpose router?

 

I have been to some small hotels where I can see they have a pretty standard router, and it goes into a 16 or 24 port switch.  Is this ok?  I mean, the internet worked fine, but the hotel wasn't full. 

 

I don't need that many ports, but I think I will be a couple of ports short in the future, when add another smart TV.  If they make a 12 port switch that will be fine, otherwise I will get a standard 16 port switch and have a few ports free.

 

At what stage do you overload the router and effect performance? 

 

I have heard of a load balancing with the internet.  Is there a problem plugging 16 ports into one port of a router?  Is there such a thing as port balancing? 

 

Is there anything else I should consider? 

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In most cases it should be no problem if you add a switch with 12 or 24 or whatever additional ports.

How much your internet and your router can handle depends very much on how you use it.

I.e. if lots of people look at web pages then data is (mostly) only loaded if people click on a new page or maybe scroll down.

That is often very little usage.

On the other hand if you have only two PCs and one of downloads files with BitTorrent that one PC possibly uses all available bandwidth and not much else can be done.

Personally I think: just try!

On some routers you have management tools and you see i.e. which connection uses how much of the bandwidth, what kind of applications are used (i.e. email or video), etc.

As far as I know there is no hard maximum. Maybe 255 connections or so, but I guess you will use a lot less than that.

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28 minutes ago, OneMoreFarang said:

In most cases it should be no problem if you add a switch with 12 or 24 or whatever additional ports.

How much your internet and your router can handle depends very much on how you use it.

I.e. if lots of people look at web pages then data is (mostly) only loaded if people click on a new page or maybe scroll down.

That is often very little usage.

On the other hand if you have only two PCs and one of downloads files with BitTorrent that one PC possibly uses all available bandwidth and not much else can be done.

Personally I think: just try!

On some routers you have management tools and you see i.e. which connection uses how much of the bandwidth, what kind of applications are used (i.e. email or video), etc.

As far as I know there is no hard maximum. Maybe 255 connections or so, but I guess you will use a lot less than that.

Thanks for your reply.

 

I'm not running a business.  It's just personal use. 

 

Probably the biggest use would be a movie streaming on one TV, while a computer or second TV streams some sport. 

 

Other things like connected phones would just be for a quick instant message over an app. 

 

I'm getting into a bit of home automation and while a lot of things have built in WiFi, they also can be cabled, which I prefer, but am using a lot of ports now.

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Depends on quality or hardware of your router. If you spend on a good one with dual or quad core CPU with loads of RAM, it should handle local network smoothly even you plug in a 32 ports switch. A cheap one will slow everything down if a few devices connected and running at same time.

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10 minutes ago, shady86 said:

Depends on quality or hardware of your router. If you spend on a good one with dual or quad core CPU with loads of RAM, it should handle local network smoothly even you plug in a 32 ports switch. A cheap one will slow everything down if a few devices connected and running at same time.

I have this router.  I'm impressed with it.  I don't know if dual or quad core.  Searching now. 

 

https://en.avm.de/products/fritzbox/fritzbox-7490/

 

Whatever this means. 

 

The AVM FRITZ!Box 7490 is equipped with a dual-core PSB 80920 EL chipset (clocked at 600 MHz), backed by 512 MB of RAM (2x E1108AJBG-8E) and 8192KB + 524,288KB flash storage memory (25L8035EM2I-10G MXIC + MACRONIX 29F4G08ABADA-WP). The modem side is equipped with a Lantiq XWAY v1.1 PSB 80190 chipset.

Edited by KhunHeineken

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Why not just get another 8-port GB ethernet switch? You can get a decent one for 1,000 baht. Yeah, you lose a couple of ports uplinking, and another AC plug, but the total of 17 ports (3+7+7) should be OK for your installation? Your using your ISP's device as a "router"? It should be able to handle 17 ports, with your WAN connection being the bottleneck.

 

A 16-port 10/100/1000 switch will be 2,500 and up.

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49 minutes ago, mtls2005 said:

Why not just get another 8-port GB ethernet switch? You can get a decent one for 1,000 baht. Yeah, you lose a couple of ports uplinking, and another AC plug, but the total of 17 ports (3+7+7) should be OK for your installation? Your using your ISP's device as a "router"? It should be able to handle 17 ports, with your WAN connection being the bottleneck.

 

A 16-port 10/100/1000 switch will be 2,500 and up.

Your post actually beat me to my next question.

 

I have an old 5 port switch.  I used this switch before it ran out of ports for me and then I bought the 8 port switch.

 

My question was, can I run two switches off the same router, using two different ports in the router. 

 

You say it can be done, so I will give it a try. 14 ports should be enough for me for sometime to come. 

 

The AC plug is not an issue as these switches don't use too much energy and I have a spare outlet in the power board.

 

Can you explain what you mean I lose a couple of ports uplinking?  I gather you mean the two ports of the router that the two switches are plugged into.  Is there any disadvantage to using two of the router's ports this way?  I don't seem to have lost any functionality with the first switch. 

 

What is uplinking?

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Depends on the router, and the switch(es). You may be able to uplink from the router to two (2) switches, or you maybe have to uplink from the router to switch #1, and then uplink from switch #1 to switch #2.

 

You lose LAN ports (often) if using one for an uplink (connection between router and switch or switch and switch), even if you have an "uplink" port, it may disable an existing LAN port if used, many variables. Lot's of good tutorials on Youtube.

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16 minutes ago, mtls2005 said:

Depends on the router, and the switch(es). You may be able to uplink from the router to two (2) switches, or you maybe have to uplink from the router to switch #1, and then uplink from switch #1 to switch #2.

 

You lose LAN ports (often) if using one for an uplink (connection between router and switch or switch and switch), even if you have an "uplink" port, it may disable an existing LAN port if used, many variables. Lot's of good tutorials on Youtube.

I'll have a look on Youtube.

 

Can you daisy chain switches?

 

Can I plug the 5 port switch into the 8 port switch, which means I'm only using one of the router's ports? 

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2 hours ago, KhunHeineken said:

Can you daisy chain switches?

Yes, "...to uplink from the router to switch #1, and then uplink from switch #1 to switch #2."

 

2 hours ago, KhunHeineken said:

Can I plug the 5 port switch into the 8 port switch, which means I'm only using one of the router's ports? 

Yes.

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2 hours ago, mtls2005 said:

Yes, "...to uplink from the router to switch #1, and then uplink from switch #1 to switch #2."

 

Yes.

 

Ok.  Great.  Looks like I am all sorted then, and at no extra cost.

 

Now to find the old 5 port switch, that is at the back of cupboard somewhere.  🙂 

 

Thanks for the advice.

 

It will not look pretty, but should still be functional, but would a network configuration like this cause some IP conflicts?

 

I can configure the router to give a device the same IP address every time, so I can minimize IP conflicts. 

 

Is there any downside to this configuration? 

Edited by KhunHeineken

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Update:  I eventually found the other switch.  I plugged it into a second port of the router and plugged some devices into it and everything worked well.  Thanks for the information.

 

In one switch I connected all the devices I need connected 24/7, and in the other switch I have the devices that I would unplug if I were going away for a while, so this makes unplugging those devices simple because there is only one ethernet cable to disconnect them all.

 

Just so I know, OneMoreFarang said you can have as many ports as your like on a small domestic purpose router, it's just the ammout of data flowing through the network that matteres.  Is this correct?  Like, can I connect a 64 port switch if I wanted to, and connect 64 devices to it, but if all of those 64 devices downloaded very little data, or were not going to be used at the same time, would the system still work?

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7 hours ago, KhunHeineken said:

Like, can I connect a 64 port switch if I wanted to, and connect 64 devices to it, but if all of those 64 devices downloaded very little data, or were not going to be used at the same time, would the system still work?

 

Depends. Not sure what the eventual bottleneck might be? The WAN connection, or your Fritzbox router. Local traffic, or WAN traffic?

 

 

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On 2/17/2019 at 6:53 PM, mtls2005 said:

 

Depends. Not sure what the eventual bottleneck might be? The WAN connection, or your Fritzbox router. Local traffic, or WAN traffic?

 

 

Ok, but connecting the 64 port switch doesn't in itself overload the router or harm the system.  Is this right?  Is all that will happen is slow speeds, with no harm being done to hardware?   

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