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Networking Speed Up

Tau

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#1
Alright, well i have a solid network in place, though i am sure i should be getting a bit more speed out of it. I will outline the setup here, and hopefully someone can shed some light on the matter.

Modem>Hub>Router>Switch>computer 1
>Server >computer 2
>computer 3
>computer 4
>Wireless Access Point>laptop
>laptop

Now the modem is 10base-t, as is the hub. First question is, can a switch split IP's? when i initially set all this up i couldent get a switch to properly split the two IP's that my ISP gives me, so i had to throw and old hub in there (i really dont like it, and im willing to bet some of my internet speed is being lost there with collisions)

router is a DL-604 (i hate it) but it gets the job done, router is 10/100. Switch and all the computers on it are full gigabit, AP is 10/100, and w/e the fastest below N is (i think 54G+ or something like that).

Now since the Router is assigning all the IP's and henceforce handling all the NAT all the data i move between computers first goes back to the router, than back out through the switch and to the destination pc? if this is the case my network would be crippled by the 100 speed of the router...

I havent been able to dig anything up on google about this either. I will be adding another server onto the network here in the next couple of days (VPN server, and inhouse fileserver). I want to make sure that i am providing the fastest connections that i can, and use the maximum thruput of my network at all times.

So again any light you guys (and gals) can shed on this issue would be greatly appreciated.

-Tau
 
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#2
i run mine like
modem> wireless router> usb dish> server comp> 8 port switch> other computers
maybe get your server machine to deal with net connection an route it to the others,
running server 2003, setting up the routing and remote access service instead of just sharing the net connection seemed to help with the speed,
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#3
Now the modem is 10base-t, as is the hub. First question is, can a switch split IP's? when i initially set all this up i couldent get a switch to properly split the two IP's that my ISP gives me, so i had to throw and old hub in there (i really dont like it, and im willing to bet some of my internet speed is being lost there with collisions)
A switch is a layer 1 device, it is unaware of IP's. Besides "splitting" IP's is impossible, IP's are unique on a network.


Now since the Router is assigning all the IP's and henceforce handling all the NAT all the data i move between computers first goes back to the router, than back out through the switch and to the destination pc? if this is the case my network would be crippled by the 100 speed of the router...
Negative, your router being the DHCP server doesn't mean it handles all traffic. If this was true every network would be bottlenecked by the line to the DHCP server. Just do a tracert to any other PC on your network and you will see the route packets take, this is most likely directly or via the AP in case of your wireless connections.


I recommend ditching the 10Mbit hub, a fast ethernet hub can be bought for $10 if you really want to keep some odd topology. Gigabit for $30-$40. What you basically want to create is the common star topology, it creates the least confusion in your situation, for simplicity just ignore the wireless machines, assume the AP is the machine. (beyond that it is unrelated to the rest of your network)

Star basically means a hub in the middle and all other devices connected right to it. This means every machine has its own port, like I said you should handle the AP just like any other machine as should you do with the router. The AP should be a bridge only, disable any DHCP server or NAT it has.

Note: I'm not sure about the spes of your modem/router and too lazy to look it up. I would imagine your modem being capable of routing and being a DHCP server, if so just ditch your router unless there is an actual reason it's there. If not, at least connect the server directly to the hub.
 

Tau

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#4
A switch is a layer 1 device, it is unaware of IP's. Besides "splitting" IP's is impossible, IP's are unique on a network.



Negative, your router being the DHCP server doesn't mean it handles all traffic. If this was true every network would be bottlenecked by the line to the DHCP server. Just do a tracert to any other PC on your network and you will see the route packets take, this is most likely directly or via the AP in case of your wireless connections.


I recommend ditching the 10Mbit hub, a fast ethernet hub can be bought for $10 if you really want to keep some odd topology. Gigabit for $30-$40. What you basically want to create is the common star topology, it creates the least confusion in your situation, for simplicity just ignore the wireless machines, assume the AP is the machine. (beyond that it is unrelated to the rest of your network)

Star basically means a hub in the middle and all other devices connected right to it. This means every machine has its own port, like I said you should handle the AP just like any other machine as should you do with the router. The AP should be a bridge only, disable any DHCP server or NAT it has.

Note: I'm not sure about the spes of your modem/router and too lazy to look it up. I would imagine your modem being capable of routing and being a DHCP server, if so just ditch your router unless there is an actual reason it's there. If not, at least connect the server directly to the hub.
My ISP gives assignes me two IP's, now the only way for me to be able to use them both is with this hub, the hub sents one ip to one port, and the other ip to the other port. one is for the router, the other for one server. I already have all the DHCP, and NAT shut off in the AP, the router is handling all of that right now. So it looks like i have it setup as idealy as i could right now (my random 6AM assumption about the router being the bottleneck was wrong). So i guess that leaves me with how can i speed up the hub situation, as i am getting constant collisions on the thing, and i KNOW its costing me some speed there.

next would be, is there any other way to speed up computer to computer transfers on my network (as it is all gigabit currently)
 
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#5
1./ NAT works BETWEEN the local devices (e.g. IP 192.169.x.x) and the SINGLE internet address IP iii.iii.iii.iii. Communication within your LAN is independent of NAT.

2./ In my experience, a good router is a good thing. It will allow VPN tunnels, have its own port forwarding controls, network database, attached devices reporting, and many other security settings that a basic modem cant do... or wont do well. But do consider a better router. Try getting a cheap FVS336G off ebay or something similar. (2 WAN port 4 LAN port gigabit router)

3./ DONT get an integrated AP and router. Stick with your existing AP. Much faster and also better security management. A good AP can also bridge a network if at any point you need to do that, e.g. WG302. I've yet to find an all-in-one router that doesnt choke or crash occasionally. I also recommend against integrated modem and router. Get a passive modem that connects to the router. Much faster. And each device can be upgraded/replaced independently. Also the modem can be moved to your ISP socket... and then using regular ethernet cable... connected to your router.

4./ Dont over burden the router. My FVL328 can handle oodles of connections. But it still works better if there are only one or two PHYSICAL connections to the FVL328, and there is a backbone swtich it is connected to.

5./ You may need to consider QoS issues if you are running VPN servers etc and timing-critical actities like VOIP, or online gaming, etc.

6./ Gigabit LAN is pretty good. Going faster is prohibatively expensive. But make sure all your PCs have giga ports. And make sure your cabling is up to standard. Do some LAN bandwidth tests to make sure all is working OK.

7./ If you want to spend a bit, consider a second hand MANAGED switch, like the GSM7* series or similar. That will allow you to bandwidth limit some devices and/or set QoS priorities. It might help you get an ultimate setup.
 
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Tau

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#6
1./ NAT works BETWEEN the local devices (e.g. IP 192.169.x.x) and the SINGLE internet address IP iii.iii.iii.iii. Communication within your LAN is independent of NAT.

2./ In my experience, a good router is a good thing. It will allow VPN tunnels, have its own port forwarding controls, network database, attached devices reporting, and many other security settings that a basic modem cant do... or wont do well. But do consider a better router. Try getting a cheap FVS336G off ebay or something similar.

3./ DONT get an integrated AP and router. Stick with your existing AP. Much faster and also better security management. A good AP can also bridge a network if at any point you need to do that, e.g. WG302. I've yet to find an all-in-one router that doesnt choke or crash occasionally.

4./ Dont over burden the router. My FVL328 can handle oodles of connections. But it still works better if there are only one or two PHYSICAL connections to the FVL328, and there is a backbone swtich it is connected to.

5./ You may need to consider QoS issues if you are running VPN servers etc and timing-critical actities like VOIP, or online gaming, etc.
Good tips, i was not planning on changing the wireless aspect of my network as its already outstanding (i have the signal boosted on the AP :D)

the router seems decent (i just dont like messing around in the firewall, and i dont like NAT as well) but other than that it does its job well. My Modem does not have the functionality of DHCP, its JUST a modem, so more than one PC REQUIRES a router/gateway.

is there anyway for me to replace my initial HUB for splitting my two IP's? is there some other kind of device i could use, or a managed hub or something so that i dont get collisions?
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#7
1./ NAT works BETWEEN the local devices (e.g. IP 192.169.x.x) and the SINGLE internet address IP iii.iii.iii.iii. Communication within your LAN is independent of NAT.
No, NAT basically forwards data to computers on the network. between local devices there is nothing in most cases.
2./ In my experience, a good router is a good thing. It will allow VPN tunnels, have its own port forwarding controls, network database, attached devices reporting, and many other security settings that a basic modem cant do... or wont do well. But do consider a better router. Try getting a cheap FVS336G off ebay or something similar.
Any router allows VPN basically, it just won't be handled by the router itself. Every basic router has port forwarding options. Comparing a modem to a router is comparing apples to oranges. The devices have NOTHING to do with each other. The fact that everyone misuses both names is the only thing that links them. Ah modem modulates and demodulates a signal on an analog line. A router connects two different networks. Sure they often appear together and even in the same plastic box, doesn't make a router a replacement for a modem though.

3./ DONT get an integrated AP and router. Stick with your existing AP. Much faster and also better security management. A good AP can also bridge a network if at any point you need to do that, e.g. WG302. I've yet to find an all-in-one router that doesnt choke or crash occasionally.
I've seen many that crash and disconnect indeed, it's really pathetic. However in the high end segment there are plenty rock solid ones, I doubt it's worth the cash for a home user though. If you require a rock solid line use exactly that; a line.
4./ Dont over burden the router. My FVL328 can handle oodles of connections. But it still works better if there are only one or two PHYSICAL connections to the FVL328, and there is a backbone swtich it is connected to.
See previous answer :)
5./ You may need to consider QoS issues if you are running VPN servers etc and timing-critical actities like VOIP, or online gaming, etc.
I think the main question is, why a VPN in the first place? For the things I use mine for I don't require any fancy stuff. Just a win2k8 (previously 2k3) remote access server.


About the switch, why do you require 2 IP's in the first place?
 
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#8
1./ Tau, a better diagram of your network is needed. Mark clearly the devices and their 10, 100 or 1000 connections. Mark in red where you are getting the collisions and HOW you monitored that. Yes, there is something wrong with your network ... OR the process/method of measuring is at fault.

(download Paint.net for a quick, free, too to draw your diagram).

2./ What AP model do you have? How did you boost the signal. (link to circuit changes... thanks :))
 
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#9
No, NAT basically forwards data to computers on the network. between local devices there is nothing in most cases.
Yes. I think you misunderstood what I had written. Perhaps it was ambiguous.


Any router allows VPN basically, it just won't be handled by the router itself. Every basic router has port forwarding options.
Hardware VPN between routers is much better. Both faster, no need for client software, and no to install software on EACH CLIENT, and no CPU overhead on each PC.

Comparing a modem to a router is comparing apples to oranges.
Many consumer modems are actually mini-routers. You can turn the "router" function on and off. The consumer devices shipped free are often these aweful devices. DG632 is one such devie produced in the millions. I have one. (or "had one"). The recommendation is for a quality router. I was not trying to start a wiki on the definition of a "modem". :rolleyes:

About the switch, why do you require 2 IP's in the first place
Public webserver/FTP vs. Corporate VPN LAN vs. mail servers? Pretty common to spearate.
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#10
Hardware VPN between routers is much better. Both faster, no need for client software, and no to install software on EACH CLIENT, and no CPU overhead on each PC.
Faster? Nope, hardware VPN runs on the CPU of the hardware device, as far as I know there is no special VPN acceleration chip. Just some generic CPU that you find in many network devices.
Client software? Windows can make a VPN connection in several clicks. I don't consider this an issue for someone who sets it up himself, besides we don't know what he wants. Is it a single point to point link or does he require to connect from anywhere?
CPU overhead is a non-argument as well, how much CPU power do you think is required for a VPN link? It won't take down your C2D. (nor your P3)
Many consumer modems are actually mini-routers. You can turn the "router" function on and off. The consumer devices shipped free are often these aweful devices. DG632 is one such devie produced in the millions. I have one. (or "had one"). The recommendation is for a quality router. I was not trying to start a wiki on the definition of a "modem". :rolleyes:
Like I said, they often are placed in the same plastic box, however they are two completely different devices.
Public webserver/FTP vs. Corporate VPN LAN vs. mail servers? Pretty common to spearate.
Sure, but we're talking about Tau, I see little need for home usage.
 
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#11
I would imagine his server is not a big fat C2Q. Líke most home servers (if home server), it will be a somewhat underpowered, and simple, NAS/fileserver/webserver doo-dah. A VPN is a great way to add security when "opening it up" for access through WAN.

Windows can do VPN with a few clicks? Well that's dandy. Isnt it better to do it on the router just ONCE, and then the VPN is transparent across the whole LAN. And there is no need to install/configure each device.

And what if the PCs/servers arent Windows, but a linux box, or embedded controller NAS like Buffallo linkstation, WD Netbook, Freecom Netdrive, or a network scanner, fax, printer, etc.? On some of these devices there is no way you can install a VPN client. You *have* to do it on the router. A user can then securely VPN into the LAN and access every device. Nice.

But when you say "we dont know what he wants"... thats true. He might only want to VPN from his company laptop (on the network AP he explained) to his office. In which case this whole VPN by the router discussion is out of place.
 

Tau

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#12
Whew, theses is an abundance of information here now! Sorry for the late reply but i ended up sleeping for the past 8 hours ;)



I hope that this diagram explaines it all, i put all the important stuff in there. There are of course a few more pc's connected to that switch, and 4 more laptops.

I know that i will not see gigabit speeds from anything outside of the switch environment, and thats fine, since everything up there i dont really care about, and dont ever transfer files to in the firstplace. The thing i want to ensure is that i am using MAXIMUM speed inside of the switch environment, i know the wireless laptops are acceptable speed (its wireless) the main thing is with me adding this VPN/Fileserver (got the case today so i can put it together).

the VPN/fileserver will be put on the DMZ of the router, the only real reason so that i can access files on the road (i travel for work ALOT) from both the server, as well as the other computers on the network.

As far as i can tell all the collisions are happening at the hub, as the collision light goes off alot ;) lol i know this is a poor way to measure it but im not really up to date with network diagnostics and testing.

How can i ensure that im getting maximum speed iside of the switch environment? also i can just daisy chain another switch into the current switch correct?

as for computer specs, there are two AMD3700+'s @ 3Ghz, two Q6600's one at 3.4Ghz, the other 3Ghz. and the fileserver im putting together is a P4 @4Ghz, 1GB ram (might put another gig in it). all computer are equipped with Sata2 drives, and they are ALL running gigabit ethernet, so its not a hardware issue on the computers end.

Hope this helps.
 

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#13
Nice job with the schematic! Could you also name the network products, e.g. model numbers. That would help.

Rather than getting another switch to daisy chain, it is better to get a better switch with management features to replace your existing switch. Unless you have cable management concerns (PCs too far away and you only want ONE cable run to a second room/building, where you will install the second switch).

A managed switch will let you observe network statistics, set QoS, manage bandwidth, etc. etc. You can pick up managed switches quite cheaply on ebay. However, they are more expensive than regular switches, so it will depend on your budget. They also have more internal processing power... meaning higher power consumption, and active cooling, that can be a bit noisey unless you stick the switch in the cellar or server room.

Why do you want to put the new server on DMZ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demilitarized_zone_(computing)

A consumer DMZ means "all ports open". But you DONT want that... you will only want certain services working. I would suggest having certain ports forwarded to the server at a fixed LAN IP address.

Regarding the Hub10: Unless you are doing network monitoring on server1 of the LAN, e.g. packet sniffing, then you dont need a hub. You could use a switch. The switch will manage collisions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_hub
 

Tau

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#14
Nice job with the schematic! Could you also name the network products, e.g. model numbers. That would help.

Rather than getting another switch to daisy chain, it is better to get a better switch with management features to replace your existing switch. Unless you have cable management concerns (PCs too far away and you only want ONE cable run to a second room/building, where you will install the second switch).

A managed switch will let you observe network statistics, set QoS, manage bandwidth, etc. etc. You can pick up managed switches quite cheaply on ebay. However, they are more expensive than regular switches, so it will depend on your budget. They also have more internal processing power... meaning higher power consumption, and active cooling, that can be a bit noisey unless you stick the switch in the cellar or server room.

Why do you want to put the new server on DMZ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demilitarized_zone_(computing)

A consumer DMZ means "all ports open". But you DONT want that... you will only want certain services working. I would suggest having certain ports forwarded to the server at a fixed LAN IP address.

Regarding the Hub10: Unless you are doing network monitoring on server1 of the LAN, e.g. packet sniffing, then you dont need a hub. You could use a switch. The switch will manage collisions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Network_hub
Reason for this new server going to be wide open is because personally i hate messing around in the router to open certain ports as it still seems alot of them remain closed :mad: but i will probobly end up doing this anyways since its alot more secure.

I dident think a switch could split my two ips?

Now before i go out and switch all my network over is there any way to ensure im using the maximum thruput?

as for hardware, the modem is a motorola Docsys unit, not sure on the exact model but its 10 baseT so it doesent really matter. Hub is some POS i had sitting around at the time that did the job (hence me wanting to replace it, with something more suited for the job), router is a DL-604, i also have a DL-704 sitting here... cant remember if there is something wrong with it or not... switch is a DGS-1008D, i have plans to plug another one into it so i could plug a few more computers into it. All computers plugged into the switch are using gigabit ports on the motherboards, and the accesspoint is a modded DWL-2100AP. Two laptops are using internal Intel wireless cards, one is using a pcima D-Link N card, and the other a modded internal Atherios card.

I think that about covers all the hardware, icnase your curiouse the motherboards connected to the switch are; Intel BadAxe2, Abit AB9, DFI SLI-DR, a 680i reference board, another badaxe2. That is all that is connected right now, though the new server (going together in the next couple of days, as soon as i find a couple more HDDs for it) will be on a P4c800-Deulux.

I think that pretty much covers it all.
 
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#15
The hub doesnt separate the ISP. In fact, thats the fact, "it doesnt seperate". What goes to the router also goes to server1. And what the router sends to the modem, server1 also sees. That's why people use hubs upstream of switches... so that they can monitor ("Sniff") the data passing by.

You might as well get a cheap giga-switch to replace Hub10.

You can test this. Just swap Hub10 with switch1000 and see if the network still works fine. (Albeit the LAN side will be a lot slower).

Why not then ditch the Hub10, put switch1000 in its place, and buy a *new* (secondhand) managed switch for the LAN?

PS. You modem is long in the tooth. A new modem would give you better ping/#connections/reduce lag. I know it sounds odd, but it's a fact. I just replaced a 5 year old modem with a new one, and the new one makes the whole network much more responsive over internet.
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#16
Windows can do VPN with a few clicks? Well that's dandy. Isnt it better to do it on the router just ONCE, and then the VPN is transparent across the whole LAN. And there is no need to install/configure each device.
After those few clicks you won't have to do it again... a Windows VPN server can be transparent over LAN as well. Nor is there any more to configure than with some devoted box. A VPN is a virtual network, no software knows it's on a VPN, hence there is nothing to configure.

And what if the PCs/servers arent Windows, but a linux box, or embedded controller NAS like Buffallo linkstation, WD Netbook, Freecom Netdrive, or a network scanner, fax, printer, etc.? On some of these devices there is no way you can install a VPN client. You *have* to do it on the router. A user can then securely VPN into the LAN and access every device. Nice.
Windows VPN server isn't limited to Windows clients. And the hell would a NAS device connect to a VPN? It probably is on the other side of the VPN, ie the server side. Same with all your other examples. A "VPN server" is basically a bridge, it just forwards stuff between some physical network and a virtual one. Have you ever actually used VPNs? None of the devices you list are network clients, which includes VPNs.

For isntance, you can ftp to my NAS via my VPN, you could print to any network printer I install, you could do anything on my network I can do locally. Since you connect to the network, that's what VPN does.
 

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#17
A switch is a layer 1 device, it is unaware of IP's.
This is not correct. A switch is a layer 2 device (Datalink Layer) and uses Mac address lookup for packet switching. Routers are layer 3 devices (Network Layer). There are also Layer 3 switches that work similar to a router (at the Network Layer) but utilize switching hardware to accomplish the task making them faster than routers on Layer 3.

It is correct, however, that the switch is unaware of the IP, as it uses the MAC address in the frame header for its routing information to establish a dedicated, full-duplex link to the recipient MAC address.
 

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#18
Turns out the modem is a Motorola Docsis 5101. provided by my ISP as well, and for some reason i have managed to burn out a couple of them i think im on my 4th of 5th modem ;) but have not had an issue with this one in about a year or so.

So a Switch will split my two IPs inplace of this hub? I kinda want to stay away from purchasing a managed switch... as i cant really see its worth to me at this moment, as the internal network is not super high volume, i just wanted to make transfering files faster. And fix this hub collision issue i seem to be having.
 

Kreij

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#19
No, a switch will not split the IP.

A switch will eliminate collisions, unless two addresses are trying to access the same IP (or MAC Address in the case of a switch). So if you are trying to pump the data from two IPs to a single network card, no, the switch will not elliminate collisions. It will, however, be faster so you may observe less of an issue.
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#20
This is not correct. A switch is a layer 2 device (Datalink Layer) and uses Mac address lookup for packet switching. Routers are layer 3 devices (Network Layer). There are also Layer 3 switches that work similar to a router (at the Network Layer) but utilize switching hardware to accomplish the task making them faster than routers on Layer 3.

It is correct, however, that the switch is unaware of the IP, as it uses the MAC address in the frame header for its routing information to establish a dedicated, full-duplex link to the recipient MAC address.
True, my mistake. A normal hub however is layer 1, doesn't change the point though. My logic is still flawless :)
 

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#21
True, my mistake. A normal hub however is layer 1, doesn't change the point though. My logic is still flawless :)
I never questioned your logic ;)

Just didn't want someone bragging about their "Layer 1 Switch" and having all the good IT people around them pointing fingers and screaming "N00B !! :D
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#22
I never questioned your logic ;)

Just didn't want someone bragging about their "Layer 1 Switch" and having all the good IT people around them pointing fingers and screaming "N00B !! :D
Actually switches can be layer 1 devices:


Use one with 4 wires (or 8 if you use the other 4 as well for PoE or whatever) and you can make your own layer 1 network switch.
 

Tau

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#23
No, a switch will not split the IP.

A switch will eliminate collisions, unless two addresses are trying to access the same IP (or MAC Address in the case of a switch). So if you are trying to pump the data from two IPs to a single network card, no, the switch will not elliminate collisions. It will, however, be faster so you may observe less of an issue.

Looks like im stuck with the hub than.