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Basic Question for the Masses

pdiederich
Level 1
Level 1

I'm going to be installing a small LAN at my office and I have never used Cisco products before. I do know that they are the best, most powerful, and the only one that I want for my hub/switch. I would like to know if in a LAN with 12 people max, if using the FastHub 400 or the Catalyst 1900 would be better. Or if using both would be the best way to go, although there would be a lot of open ports. Also do both of those items have a built in firewall, Cisco IOS Firewall, or do I need an external source?

Thanks for any and all help,

Phil

6 Replies 6

millerv
Level 1
Level 1

I would not choose either. Take a look at the 2950

instead. the 1900 only does 10Mbps on all but 2 ports. these are ethernet switches, and as such do

not do any firewall functions. If your office is going to connect to the internet, thats where you need a router with the firewall feature set.

j.way
Level 1
Level 1

Switches are always a bit nicer than hubs in that they are smarter and more configurable, and usually more expensive. However, if your LAN will be somewhere in the 12 WS plus shared printers,and maybe a file server and so on, I still recommend a small switch (1900). For small office firewall, I hate to say it, there are better solutions...NetScreen... I know I'll get blasted for that one.

Josh.

streetm
Level 1
Level 1

dfsvd

streetm
Level 1
Level 1

I would always install a switch on a user LAN, for administration and manageability purposes. Which type depends on your future needs: If you forsee no network growth, try a Catalyst 2950-24 [Don't forget server(s) and network printer(s)] with 24-ports. However, if user and/or user data growth, e-commerce, video, etc. is in your future, look into the 3524XL-EN. The prices are pretty decent on both, and they are both very effective. A firewall is a seperate device and may be over-kill on a small network because of the administration. Try using proxy server or firewall application such as Black Ice Defender.

I don't really anticipate any huge growth, if anything these are all stackable so I can just put in another switch. However, my other question is such. We are connected to the internet, so would a switch plus hub be overkill or is a switch plus firewall software enough? There are five main systems that utilize the net, so i'm a little bit lost here. Is a switch a proven thing for LAN's not connected to the net or does it really matter? Geez, and I thought I had most things figured out too. Oops!

Thanks,

Phil

A switch simply makes NW traffic communicate more efficiently, much more than a hub, especially if you are introducing other peripheral devices into the NW. I will say that I agree with “millerv” in that a 2900 series switch would better suite growth.

I highly recommend some type of hardware firewall as well, like the one I mentioned before if you have sensitive data to be protected somewhere on this LAN. My personal experience is that some software firewalls are still very hackable.

Josh.