For a long time now I have had an annoying problem here in the YWAM building in that all the computers on the left hand side of the building would run very slowly over the network; not slowly enough to stop work from happening, but slow enough.
We used to have a recurring problem on Monday’s at 5pm when the left hand side of the building’s network simply refused to work until resolving itself mysteriously on its own by 10am Tuesday. This happened so regularly we knew how to work around it.
Our building’s network is split two, one half stretches all the way to my office and up to the top floor of the building via a relay of 8 port switches. And it is always fast! The other half stretches through the office and down into the basement.
In the centre we have a 4 port US Robotics router that connects the two halves and also connects to our broadband cable modem and out of the building along the tubes and pipes of the Internet. I always assumed the problem were the cables I had crimped together or some strange electrical interference from the Aurora Borealis or simply mice munching the cables in walls.
The other day, having got completely frustrated working on a machine on one half of the building that was crawling along on the network, I left the office and went shopping. I had a spare switch knocking about and I suddenly realised what the problem was. The US Robotics router was simply not up to the job of switching the data around the lan. So I replaced the 4 ports into the 8 port switch and linked just one port to one port on the router.
And… speed again! Can’t believe it took me a year to figure it out though…
So I guess the lesson learned is that a cheap switch might be more efficient than a cheap mulit-port hub/router etc. (not that I am complaining too much about the router – it has a great firewall).
Sorry if I put anyone to sleep there, but maybe it will help you!