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LAN Tweak Guide (Page 4 of 4)

Written By: Keith "Farrel" McClellan
Posted: February 20, 2000

Hub / Switch / Crossover Cable

A crossover cable (in which the send and receive cables are reversed) makes the fastest network overall because there is no signal negotiation, but it only works if you are networking two PCs. The nice thing about it is that you can set up a two-computer network without a hub or a switch. A hub is for slightly larger networks and is slower than both a crossover cable and a switch, but that generally won't affect LAN gaming. A switch (also known as a switch hub) is quite a bit faster than a regular hub, and is designed to connect multiple hubs together in a large network, however it can also be used as a regular hub - with the added benefit of extra speed. They are quite a bit more expensive than a standard hub, so unless you've got the extra bucks (you can grab an 8 port Intel switch hub for between $200 and $300 USD, which is over a hundred dollars more than a similar sized standard hub) you will probably want to stick with a regular hub.


Tweaking your home network can be a very important thing, particularly if you participate in a lot of LAN parties. As you all know, even with a 100 mbps network you can get a little lag (nothing compared to the 'net though) during a fragfest with 15 of your closest friends. If you need more information about setting up a home network, check out Dan's How To guide on the subject. As always, feel free to e-mail me with your comments and questions.

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