Help An Absolute Network N00b


I should be making music in Renoise, but for the last couple of days I’ve hopelessly been trying to get 2 computers and an old XBOx communicate with each other in a network. Since I feel I’m getting tangled in a configuration maze of l33t Internet terms and google isn’t proofing that helpful moving my hands, I thought I’d ask here!

I have gotten an old hub from a friend without manual or driver/software cd (dunno if installing drivers is actually needed), namely a Sitecom Nexhub HA50.

Now I’ve connected my Internet modem to the hub and have connected through RJ45 patch cables, my laptop, computer and XBOX to it. The internet on my laptop works fine, but I’m having trouble getting the other systems to connect to each other or the net.

How does one set up a network through a hub? :)

Should there always be a ‘main’ computer (like my laptop now, because it CAN access the net) that is sort of like the boss in the network on which you must configure all the other connections?

Could it be that my Internet provider blocks having multiple connections to their service?

In school to be able to access their network, I had to do something with a ‘mac adress’, is this needed now as well, if so where/how?

If getting all computers connected to the Internet isn’t feasable, then more important I’d like to access my XBOX hard-disk to transfer games too from my computer using FTP.

I’m reading about 2 ways to do this (tried ‘everything’ seen here :explanation in Dutch & ).

Something about setting up a FTP having DHCP enabled or through setting up a ‘static’ adress. How can I check my laptop supports DHCP or not?

Pffff, enough questions for now… I’m going to finish up my indamixx submission and hope to have this sorted out next week.

If anyone can help that be greatly appreciated!



I’m not much of a network-wizard myself, but isn’t it a Router that you want?

I tried once, back in the day, to use a hub to make more than one computer connect to the internet, but the end result was that only one computer at a time could get on the net.

Right now I have a PS3, a Mac and a laptop sharing one internet connection via a router and it works like a charm. Just an idea…

If the hub is the cause of it, then yeah… I most definitely look into a router solution. Is there a lot of difference between a router and a hub?

I can’t find any specs on the hub I have ( Sitecom Nexhub HA50 ), you would guess the internet would have more info on it then second hand auction site adds, maybe it already is a router?

I use a router and not a hub for this purpose.

I am no expert on this but I think that a router dynamically assigns network IPs to the computers that attach to it and a hub doesn’t(?), so if you’re going to use a hub you have to have some other kind of network software doing that kind of thing or set the IP addresses manually.

The router thing is easy, you just plug everything in, restart everything, and it’s off to the races.

first, it depends of the kind of modem you are using to connect to the internet.

If it is a very old modem, you probably have an internet connection set up on your laptop, and you have to launch this to ask the modem to connect. this is what we call a “PPP over ethernet” connection. basically, your modem can talk to only one computer, so the others are left out. In this case, your old hub won’t do you any good.

If you don’t have to start anything on your computer to access the net (the most likely), it’s much more simple.

  1. When a computer connects to your local network, it sends a mesage saying “hey anyone, I want an IP address, please”. In this case, your modem will reply and say “here you go, this is your IP”. This is what we call DHCP. Now, any computer on the internet can talk to your computer by entering the IP the modem just gave you.

  2. but now, you want to have several computers on the same connection, but through your modem, your provider is only giving you ONE address. To share this address, you have to use a router.

Basically, the router allows you to create a network at home so your computers can talk to each others (the router offers the DHCP service so every machine have its IP address). But more than that, the router can connect to another network (in this case, internet), and act as a gateway between the two. Thus, from the internet point of view, all your machines are hidden behind the router and share the same IP.

You may start to think that you will need a router. But fear not ! Nowadays, most modems have a router mode. All you have to do is to activate the router mode. That way, rather than giving the “global” IP address to one machine of the network, the modem will keep it for itself, give “local” IP addresses to all machines, and act as a gateway.

Thnx for the info guys, especially Jiyunatori for making it clear and easy to understand!

Accessing the internet is a matter of starting up mozilla, no crazy configurations / modem isn’t that pre-historic :) . Though, some years ago I had to configure it to connect to my provider (upc chello in the Netherlands) for the first time.

I will try and find out if my modem has a router mode, if not I’m going to get a router as that sounds the simplest.

To put things simple: several devices using the same connection through a hub is like having the same telephone line for your phone calls and the fax. A router instead performs some transparent work for you (namely routing and forwarding) that makes every device to get their own traffic. That way you get what you are looking for.

A router is not expensive nowadays, I bought one for my brothers some months ago (4 ethernet port and wifi) for 19 eur.

Simple as a pimple, you said what the problem was in the second sentence (sorry if someone already answered the question; put it down to TL:DR)

either get a router and plug the modem into the modem port and the rest of the stuff into the rest of the ports, or get another network card and plug your modem into that, then set up internet connection sharing, plug the switch/hub into the other card. The hub will not route the signal of the modem… won’t get technical on your ass as to the whys and hows, but basically the modem will only talk to a single connection at a time; if you plug the modem into a hub/switch it will get ‘confused’ and not know which port it is trying to talk to.

Your mate probably gave you that hub because its an obsolete piece of yesteryear. Get a router, hubs/switches are only good if you have a server that will act as a DHCP host (or some similar setup involving static IP’s…)

hmm, I think you could use the hub if you got a cheap network card.

keep the modem connected to the computer it’s connected to then install the network card. attach the hub to the network card you just installed and go to netwrking stuff in the computer and go through the ICS internet connection sharing. you could get some data collision in the hub, but probably not too much.

What would be happening is all the computers plugged into the hub will be running through the computer attached to the modem.

One Ring to rule them all!

hehe, so many network n00bs here :)

first, if you want many devices in your home to access Internet then you need a router (a router routes traffic between different networks). You can set up your computer as “router” (something like internet connection sharing) but i would strongly recommend a dedicated smalloffice/homeoffice router. In that case you dont need to have one “main” computer.

second, i would recommend using switch and not hub. a hub is very old device, it creates one big collision domain (only one device in your network can transmit at a time) and hub is limited to half-duplex. Switch on the other hand allows full-duplex communication and avoids collisions. (many devices can transmit/receive at full speed simultanously).

Luckily almost all small office home office routers come with little switch (4 port usually) so you get a router + swith in one little device, many devices have a wifi also included.

You dont need any drivers to attach a hub/switch/router. If your network card has a driver you are good to go.

To summarize: i would recommend to buy little router that has little switch built-in, assign your external ip addres to wan port (or use DHCP client, if your ISP uses dynamic addresses), assign for example to your LAN side and activate DHCP server in your router with parameters something like: range: - default gateway: This way any device that you plug into your LAN port gets internal ip address automatically.

if you have any trouble then ask :)

who u callin a noob


I’ve got it to work finally :) , by indeed buying a router. So thanks for suggesting that. I’ve bought a wireless router which also has 4 Ethernet port connections in the back.

Although I can connect now to the Internet from multiple computers and my old xbox through lan, I haven’t yet been able to connect wireless. I guess it has something to do with my firewall connections, but as long as Ethernet works I skip that for later :)

You’ll usually need to set up the security on the router through a utility so you can set the password encryption type and the password itself, and then manually set up the wireless connection on each box so that it can give the router the password.

(This is easier than it sounds.)

yeah, I first created a ssid name on the router and set up wep protection/password and could connect to the internets through wireless.

But I read something about wep being an old protection scheme and I should use wpa/wpa2(psk?). I configured the router to wpa/wpa2 and gave a new password, but cannot connect anymore (changed the wireless settings in vista to the new protection scheme/password). Probably need to read the manual more closer (although it doesn’t cover Vista, just xp and older).

Being paranoid and having stolen wifi Internet myself in the past, I’ve decided to just turn of the routers radio signal and use ether net cables.