For some reason, broadband routers only have four Ethernet ports. If you luck is yours maybe there’s one more, but with so many smart home devices needing a hub to be plugged into that elusive “redundant Ethernet port,” they all get used up quickly.
The good news is that it’s actually really easy to add more wired network ports to your router. All you need is an Ethernet hub. They are also known as Ethernet switches, which is a bit confusing. Really, they’re like extension cables you might have plugged into different electrical outlets around your house, providing additional outlets from a single wall outlet.
There’s one more good news: Ethernet hubs are cheap, even if you want Gigabit speeds. And it’s worth buying a Gigabit hub instead of the 10/100 model because Gigabit means 1000Mbps, which is 10 times faster than 100Mbps. Even if your broadband connection is slower than 100Mbps, you still benefit from buying a Gigabit Ethernet switch because it means you can do things like stream 4K video from your NAS to your TV, and for business. small additional revenue, it’s good future. – waterproof way.
For example, the D-Link DES-1008D/B has eight Gigabit ports and costs only £11.99 / $11.68 from Amazon. Don’t forget a port that will be used immediately to connect the hub to your router.
In most cases, the Ethernet cable that comes with the products must connect to your router, but you’ll also need one to connect your new hub to the router. They are available cheaply: indeed, Amazon has its own wide range of Ethernet cables in the Amazon Basics range. Just make sure you buy a Cat 5e (or higher quantity) cable to get reliable Gigabit speeds.
How to connect an Ethernet hub to your router
- Connect one end of the Ethernet cable to the first port on your new Ethernet hub. It doesn’t really matter which port you use, so if it’s more convenient to use another port, do that instead.
- Connect the other end to a spare Ethernet port on your router. They are usually yellow and numbered 1-4. The only gate that you should not connect it to a marked Internet or WLAN, which is reserved for connection to a broadband modem. That port is usually red, as shown on our Netgear router here.
- If there’s no free network port on your router, you’ll have to unplug something, which will need to be plugged into a port on the new Ethernet hub instead.
- You can now connect any other device to the free ports on the Ethernet hub, then you can plug the hub into a power source and power it on.
- Fortunately, you won’t have to do anything else: no configuration is required on your router or on the Ethernet hub. Hub-mounted devices will work exactly as they would if they were plugged directly into the router.
Can I put an Ethernet hub in a different room than my router?
There are a few ways to do this. You can use a long Ethernet cable, or you can use the neater method of a pair of powerline network adapters that use your home’s mains wiring to send data as a network cable.
You simply plug in one device near your router and connect the two with a network cable. Then, plug the other adapter into the main power outlet in the room where you need the Ethernet splitter and connect the adapter to the adapter with another Ethernet cable.
Powerline adapters are relatively affordable, but they won’t run at 1000Mbps. So to find a pair that runs as fast as possible, read our guide to the best power line adapters.
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