I ran a regular 10/100 home network for several years. File/folder transfers would actually be around 40-60 Mb/s on my 10/100 LAN. I purchased a couple of IBM ThinkCentres (spelling correct) with built in Gigabit LAN. Then I purchased a Linksys WRT350N Gigabit router. Then I added a Gigabit NIC to my home built web server. Then I added a Gigabit PCMCIA card for my IBM R-40 ThinkPad.
Is Gigabit faster? Yes. But it's not Gigabit speed. File/folder transfers now run about 250-350 Mb/s. Faster than 10/100, but not at Gigabit speed.
The IBM desktops are running P-4 3 GHz (dual core) processors with a Gig of RAM. The server is an AMD 2 GHz with a Gig of RAM, and the laptop is a P-4 Mobile 2.2 GHz with a Gig of RAM.
In a nutshell, 10/100 will not run at 100 Mb/s, and Gigabit will not run at 1000 Mb/s. You have to take into account HD read/write speed, and there is no HD today that will read or write at Gigabit speed.
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I have a simple home network: two Windows PCs (one is XP and the other is Vista) connected to a 10/100 Mbps router which connects to my DSL modem. But I'm planning to get a Windows Home Server unit and I see that the one by Hewlett-Packard will come with a 10/100/1000 Mbps network interface.
Because of this, I get the impression that my backups to the server might run all night (or longer, possibly) unless I upgrade my existing equipment to handle the 1000 Mbps speed that the server will be capable of.
So the questions are:
1 - Would you upgrade the NICs on the PCs?
2 - If I upgrade the NICs on the PCs, should I get a 1000 Mbps router, OR
3 - Keep my current 10/100 Mbps router, but maybe use a 1000 Mbps hub to connect all the network components and then connect the hub to the 10/100 Mbps router?
I realize my Internet connection will not be increased at all. I don't know enough about wired networking to be sure, but I fear that using a hub to connect the two PCs and the Windows Home Server might actually slow me down if there are many "collisions."
Your expert networking advice is appreciated. Thanks.