Question from Michelle K.: I’m the office manager for a small local insurance agency, and I need your help in finding an 8 port wired router (if they even exist).
We have a total of 6 employees who need to access the Internet though our LAN. Right now we’re using two 4 port wired routers, one connected to the cable modem and the other piggybacking off of that one.
We’ve been having some intermittent connection issues of late and we’re wanting to replace the two routers with a single 8 port wired router if at all possible. I can’t seem to find one though. The only thing I can find are 4 port routers.
If hope you can help me find an 8 port wired router. Do you have any idea where we might be able to find one? We don’t want Wi-Fi, therefore the request for a wired router.
Rick’s answer: Hi Michelle. I’ll be happy to help you find what you’re looking for.
After doing a bit of checking, I was indeed able to track down a wired-only router with 8 Ethernet ports. It’s the TP-LINK TL-R860, and it only costs about $30 at Amazon.
The bad news is this router is limited to 100Mbps on every port. That should be more than adequate if most of your network activity is Internet-based. But if your users share files with each other or access a network file server, I believe you’d be better served by using an 8 port Gigabit Switch.
Just connect your 7 computers to the switch, then connect the switch to the modem through a regular 4 port router (one of the routers you currently own will work just fine as long as it isn’t defective).
This setup will allow your users to connect to the Internet at the fastest speed that’s supported by your Internet connection, modem, and router while also allowing them to transfer files back and forth between themselves and the file server at the higher Gigabit speed that’s supported by the switch.
In a nutshell, the decision whether to go with the 8 port router/modem setup or the 8 port switch/router/modem configuration should depend on how fast your users need to transfer data between themselves and with the server (if there is one).
I hope this helps Michelle. Good luck!
Update from Michelle: Rick, I hadn’t even considered the Gigabit switch option, and after thinking about it that’s what we’re going to go with because we do use a file server. Thanks so much for your help!
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