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Internet, Networking, and Wireless Discussion of networking, internet, and wireless including Apple's Airport products.

iMac - Wired Vs wireless (and gigabit switch)


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Munkee6002

 
Member Since: May 18, 2009
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Hey guys,

I have a quick question I hope one of you can help with.

My iMac (2010) is currently connected to my router wirelessly. The iMac is upstairs in my bedroom and the router is downstairs, next to the house phone. I would like to change to a wired connection for the following reasons:-

- A faster connection
- The ability to wake the Mac from sleep remotely (using my iPad)
- More security

My question is this...

Would I gain anything from purchasing a gigabit switch and have the iMac connected (via a Cat6 cable), rather than just connecting it directly to one of the ethernet ports on my router?

I have an O2 Wireless box (I think it's a version 2, as it has the 2 aerials and a USB port on the front) and don't think that the router is gigabit enabled. I'm pretty sure that most routers given free by the various providers are not gigabit enabled.

Also, in terms of connecting a gigabit switch (I'm looking at either this one - TP-Link 5-Port Gigabit Unmanaged Desktop Switch (TL-SG1005D) Plastic Case: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories - or this one - Netgear GS105 5-port Gigabit Ethernet Switch: Amazon.co.uk: Computers & Accessories) is it as easy as plugging a standard cat5 cable from the router to the gigabit switch and then cat6 cables from the switch to each device, in my case an iMac and a Playstation 3? Or will I need a Cat6 cable for the connection between the router and the gigabit switch also?

Thanks and apologies for the rather boring question

Cheers,
Munkee
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MacsWork

 
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Is the iMac the only computer involved? Are you streaming anything to or from the Playstation?

You will not benefit from a gigabit switch as nothing else you connect with will be gigabit unless you can stream content to the playstation.

If your iMac is set for wake on network access in the power preference the iPad should be able to wake it up.
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Munkee6002

 
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Yes, the iMac is the only computer involved.

As for streaming content on the PS3, I am using the video services that are built into it (ie BBC iPlayer, 4OD, Etc), but am experiencing some pauses during playback of high definition content. Hoping a wired connection will sort it, as I have an 8-9Mb broadband connection at home.

In that case, would a gigabit switch not be needed? I thought that it would provide gigabit speeds to devices that supported it? Or is it just assuming I stream from the Mac to the PS3? Would the streaming services on the PS3 and general internet streaming on the iMac not benefit from using a gigabit switch?

Many thanks for your advice,
Munkee
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mrplow

 
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Even with HD video streaming a 100mb ethernet connection direct to your router will be fine.

In a home environment there's no benefit in switching to gigabit unless you shift lots and lots of large files around and time is an important factor.

The switch to wired from wifi will often give a more reliable and robust connection and that's what will give you result you're after.

Hopefully, once cabled, you'll be trouble free. I can, however, tell you that the O2 boxes are fairly poor at managing traffic particularly a combination of wireless and wired devices.
If you still encounter issues once cabled you may want to consider a better qaulity router rather than an additional switch or hub.

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Deckyon

 
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Just to reiterate what has been said above.

The only thing you will gain from being on a Gigabit connection is for transferring files between computers. Your internet will be only as fast as the modem allows (10mb avg, 50mb if lucky). You will have no issue streaming even over a 10mb ethernet connection. 100mb is pretty standard.

A cabled solution will give less worry, but remember to disable/turn off the wireless on your computer or you could end up with 2 connections fighting on the same machine.

The only REAL benefit will be as you said - wake on lan (WOL) from the iPad.

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Munkee6002

 
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Great, thanks guys. That's very helpful.

Munkee
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