Question Dual networks - direct and to network switch

May 23, 2022
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So here is a fun idea I am pondering and would love some feedback on.

I have 2 Windows 10 PC's that are sitting directly side by side that are currently connected via standard 1 GB network cards to a 1 GB network switch. My Internet speed is 300 down and 15 up or so, so I don't need faster connections for that. I would however like a faster link between the 2 PC's for direct file-sharing between them.

I've been looking into this new 2.5 GB Ethernet standard and the thing is the network cards are fairly cheap, around $40-$60 on Amazon.ca, but the network switches are still very expensive, well over $150 for the cheapest ones and more like $200+ for a decent one.

This is why I am thinking of simply getting 2 cards and perhaps a good cat 6a cable for good measure to direct connect the 2 PC's and calling it done. I believe Windows will allow this without issue as long as I manually set the network settings on the 2 direct connect cards and don't set and DNS settings on them. Then to use the fast link I would simply direct traffic to the other PC's direct link IP address (on a different sub-net than the main network uses) and it should work as intended.

So my questions are, do you agree this should work as I described? Is this a good way to do this or do you think there is a better way to achieve this using a different approach or different equipment?

For reference, 2 of these cards is what I had in mind: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07SNQ2NQ1/ref=ewc_pr_img_1?smid=A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB&psc=1
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
So here is a fun idea I am pondering and would love some feedback on.

I have 2 Windows 10 PC's that are sitting directly side by side that are currently connected via standard 1 GB network cards to a 1 GB network switch. My Internet speed is 300 down and 15 up or so, so I don't need faster connections for that. I would however like a faster link between the 2 PC's for direct file-sharing between them.

I've been looking into this new 2.5 GB Ethernet standard and the thing is the network cards are fairly cheap, around $40-$60 on Amazon.ca, but the network switches are still very expensive, well over $150 for the cheapest ones and more like $200+ for a decent one.

This is why I am thinking of simply getting 2 cards and perhaps a good cat 6a cable for good measure to direct connect the 2 PC's and calling it done. I believe Windows will allow this without issue as long as I manually set the network settings on the 2 direct connect cards and don't set and DNS settings on them. Then to use the fast link I would simply direct traffic to the other PC's direct link IP address (on a different sub-net than the main network uses) and it should work as intended.

So my questions are, do you agree this should work as I described? Is this a good way to do this or do you think there is a better way to achieve this using a different approach or different equipment?

For reference, 2 of these cards is what I had in mind: https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07SNQ2NQ1/ref=ewc_pr_img_1?smid=A3DWYIK6Y9EEQB&psc=1
It could work. You will need to set a unique static IP address on the 2.5Gb interface on each PC. Those DO need to be in a different subnet. I would recommend using 10.x.y.z if you router IP address is a 192.168.x.y address.
 
Reactions: Ian Horlings
Key here is make sure you do not put in a gateway statement on the direct link. I suspect windows would pick that network because it think it is faster but since it only connects to the other machine it has no method to get out of that network.
Other than that it will work fine. That is more or less the method I use to keep my security cameras off the internet but allow the DVR machine to be accessed from the internet if I really need to.
 
Reactions: Ian Horlings
May 23, 2022
2
0
10
0
It could work. You will need to set a unique static IP address on the 2.5Gb interface on each PC. Those DO need to be in a different subnet. I would recommend using 10.x.y.z if you router IP address is a 192.168.x.y address.
Yes that was exactly my plan, so it sounds like I was on the correct path then, thanks for confirming that!

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Key here is make sure you do not put in a gateway statement on the direct link. I suspect windows would pick that network because it think it is faster but since it only connects to the other machine it has no method to get out of that network.
Other than that it will work fine. That is more or less the method I use to keep my security cameras off the internet but allow the DVR machine to be accessed from the internet if I really need to.
Right, exactly what I figured, thanks!
 

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