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We have a small office - Would we be better served connected to the server via a hub?

We have a small office with four PC's connected to a server via a router. Would we be better served connected to the server via a hub?
If your workstations are connected to the server via a router, then I'm led to believe that either your network runs over a WAN link of some sort and the server is located at the other end, or you simply have a large network that has been partitioned using routers.

As you can see, depending on your setup, connecting your workstations to the server via a hub, might not be possible. Such a setup will require the server to be within a specific distance from the workstations and hub. If that's not possible, then you probably don't have much of a choice.

As a general rule, you should know that WAN links are slower than LAN links. This is because WAN's cost a lot more to implement and maintain, where as LAN's are more cost effective and easier to manage.

Some large companies can cover the costs associated with fast WAN links, where as for small to mid size companies, the costs simply prohibit them to consider such solutions.

The bottom line is that a hub (or more preferably a switch) will more likely be much faster than going through a router. Since I have no knowledge about your current network setup, I can only provide you with these guidelines to help you understand what is possible, and which way is best to implement it.

This was last published in October 2003

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