Advanced, Wired Enterprise Networking Architectures, P3 of 5
Ethernet Hubs and Switches
Wired Residential Gateway Devices are typically configured with only 4 Ethernet connectors. As your network grows, you may need more than that. You can expand the Ethernet LAN section of your home or small office network by connecting one or more "Ethernet Hubs" or "Ethernet Switches", each of which will typically provide 4 or more additional Ethernet connectors into the private LAN subnet created by the router in your Residential Gateway device. Wires between Ethernet devices may be as long as 50 feet in length, and you have a great many options as you wire Ethernet Hubs or Ethernet switches into your LAN, so long as your expansion resembles the branching structure of a tree. However, you must avoid any architectures that contain "loops" (as if the leaves of two tree branches were to join).
The video clips on this page describe this situation. If you are already familiar with Ethernet Hubs and Ethernet Switches and the way they can expand your private LAN subnet, then you can skip ahead by clicking on the "NEXT" icon below. Otherwise, watch all of these video clips: