View Full Version : Need help setting up Gigabit/Wireless network

Nov 8, 2003, 11:57 PM
Hi all -

I have a very simple local network - two 17" Powerbooks and a G4/466 file server with Gigabit Ethernet. I have a Belkin 54g wireless router connected to my DSL modem for networking the two powerbooks and internet connectivity.

I'd like to set up a network that takes advantage of the Gigabit Ethernet in the three machines for fast file transfers.

I'd like to know what the best setup is, and what equipment I need.

Also, is the Airport Extreme Base Station any different than the Belkin wireless router I have here (aside from the USB port)? I don't get any faster than 500K/sec between the two powerbooks presently -- will the AEBS enable higher transfer rates across the local network?



Nov 9, 2003, 01:16 AM
The Belkin 54g router and the AEBS use 10/100 Base-T ethernet for wired connections. To take advantage of Gigabit ethernet in your Macs, you'll need a gigabit hub or switch (switch preferred). All of the Macs will need to "wirefully" connect to the gigabit hub/switch for you to achieve fast file transfers.

You should be able to connect one 10/100 Base-T port from your 54g router to an available port on the gigabit switch so that your Macs without a wireless card can connect to the internet.

Other configurations are also possible. Maybe someone else can provide additional suggestions.

Nov 9, 2003, 01:41 AM
So you're saying that the laptops cannot utilize the gigabit file transfers without being physically connected to the gigabit switch, is that correct?

Very disappointing, if that's true. I just got finished transforming my home office from 4 wired PC's and one iBook to 2 powerbooks and a wired file server.

Are there any wireless routers that incorporate a gigabit switch? Doesn't matter for 99% of internet connections, but it seems like a waste inside a LAN otherwise.


Nov 9, 2003, 01:43 AM
How about cables, btw? Cat 5 or 5e -- ? What's best?



Nov 9, 2003, 02:11 AM
If you are exchanging files between only 2 Macs at a time, you don't need a switch -- you can connect them directly with a CAT-5e RJ45 cable (1000 Base-T operates at 350 MHz and requires CAT-5e). With 3 or more you will need a switch. The fastest wireless standard today provides a theoretical maximum of 54 Mbps which is still half the speed of the common 100 Base-T.

A 4-port gigabit switch from Netgear, for example, costs about $140.


I am not aware of any wireless routers that support 1000 Base-T ethernet, but gigabit switches now are quite afforable.

Nov 10, 2003, 05:01 PM
You obviously did not do your homework before you installed all that stuff if you were expecting wireless transfer rates at anywhere close to 1000Mbps. If high transfer speeds are important, you will need wires. That's the long and short of it. Wireless is not ready to compete with wired in that area. It works fine for internet and small files, but if what you do requires gigabit transfer rates, you will have to plug in.

AFAIK, your setup should go modem -> AE (or other wireless router) -> Gigabit hub -> wired computers. This should give all computers access to the internet, some wirelessly, others over the wired connections. The wired computers would be able to transfer inside your LAN at gigabit speeds, and if you need to plug your laptop in to the wired hub it should be no problem. Then you have access to gigabit for you laptops when it is necessary, and wireless access the rest of the time.

Nov 10, 2003, 07:15 PM
The machines were the priority, not the network. The Belkin wireless router and two laptops were a given, no matter what kind of network wireless allows.

But these were my first wireless computers, so now that I'm setting up a file server and gigabit network, I just needed some questions answered.

Thanks to all the informative posts.