A switch is what all nodes plug into, one by one. Simplied, it appears as some sort of connection box or "extension multiplier", but is far more complex, as it works similar to a real-world post office system. A commercial grade switch ensures speeds and reliability, and capable of isolating a network problem (ie., one noisy node).
Time to implement: 1 day.
C$598.00 Dell PowerConnect 3324, with 2 Gbe ports
C$1064.00 HP ProCurve Networking Switch 2524, with HP ProCurve 100/1000-T Transceiver (J4834A)
C$1496.00 Cisco Catalyst 2950-24 - Switch, with 1000base-t Gbic Ws- g5483
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