[SOLVED] Not enough Ethernet ports - solution = netgear switch?

Jan 31, 2022
2
0
10
Hello, first I am not an IT professional but got assigned to upgrade our operator's workstations.

Background - at an IDEAL workstation, we have an ethernet box that has 4 ethernet ports from this box. Each ethernet port from this box has an IP address, subnet mask and default gateway. We have 4 devices that matches up perfectly with the 4 ethernet ports.. each ethernet line plugs into a desktop computer, a regular officejet printer, a thermal finished goods label printer, and laboratory label printer. So in a nutshell, 4 ethernet cables/ports plug individually into 4 devices (1 computer and 3 kinds of printer). All the devices has mac address also should anyone wonder.

Here's the problem. One of our new workstation location only has 2 ethernet ports that have IPAddress, subnet and default gateway. Therefore, I am only able to hardline into 2 of my 4 needed devices.

I can not ask the operators to unplug one type of printer and plug it into the next type of printer when they need to print a different type of label. It just won't be an acceptable solution. During a major shutdown, I could have electrician expand the ethernet box to increase the number of ethernet ports from 2 to 4. But this is not happening anytime soon.

My idea is to use a SWITCH such as a netgear unmanaged GS105 (5 ports) or similar.
Plan of action: Plug one of the ethernet cable coming out of the ethernet box into the netgear switch. Then run an ethernet from the swtich to the (2) devices that are missing ethernet ports from the box. Remember, I have 2 ethernet ports, but 4 devices.

My question: 1. Will this solution work. Meaning they should be able to comunicate print jobs with the desktop computer? 2. Does it matter if it is the desktop computer that is connected to the switch or it has to only be the printers? 3. Also let's say, using a switch works and solves the problem of having only 2 ethernet ports with 4 devices and the operators are able to print all their different labels at this workstation.. Will a desktop that is connected to the switch still be able to send a print job from this workstation to a totally different printer elsewhere, ie send the job to print on a different floor such as the workstation is on the 2nd floor but we want to print a label to the printer on the 1st floor? (operators do know how to change printer selections in these scenarios).


The answer to question #1 is my most important goal to achieve. Question #3 might occur once every 3 months, at most.
ty and hoping someone can answer rather fast.
 
Last edited:
Solution
Im probably mixing common everyday description with IT terminology. It is not a special device at all. It is just ethernet lines that is wired into the room. Plug a device with this ethernet line gives me internet. This environment is a clean room "free of dust" so that products manufactured in this room is free of potentially contaminating the product. So the electricians bring these ethernet lines into the room and it is encased in a box (just like electrical wirings for your receptacles) to create a dust free barrier. They all have the same subnet mask, 255.255.255.0. The Default gateway, does end in 254. At this new workstation, my ipconfig showed the 2 ethernet line have the same IPv4 address. In a sense, because I am...
The key question would be what is this device you have called a "ethenet box". Is this a special device or is it just a switch.

Next when you say each port has a IP address are the IP addresses in the same subnet.

If we assume this is not some custom implementation the way you would do this especially if you want communication between different location in the building is to put everything on 1 network/subnet. For a very small network you could use 192.168.0.1 as the gateway with a subnet mask of 255.255.255.0 and then assign
the end devices 192.168.0.2-192168.0.254. All this would be connected with switches either a very large central one or you could run a smaller on and run 1 line to each location and the put in a 5 port switch there to run 4 end devices.
 
Jan 31, 2022
2
0
10
Im probably mixing common everyday description with IT terminology. It is not a special device at all. It is just ethernet lines that is wired into the room. Plug a device with this ethernet line gives me internet. This environment is a clean room "free of dust" so that products manufactured in this room is free of potentially contaminating the product. So the electricians bring these ethernet lines into the room and it is encased in a box (just like electrical wirings for your receptacles) to create a dust free barrier. They all have the same subnet mask, 255.255.255.0. The Default gateway, does end in 254. At this new workstation, my ipconfig showed the 2 ethernet line have the same IPv4 address. In a sense, because I am short 2 ethernet hardlines to plug into the last 2 devices, I want to use the Switch. If this clarifies your question, will using a switch in this clean room make all 4 devices work (communicate with each other)?... tyia!
 
Last edited:
Yes just plug a switch into any of the ports will add more. I guess it is strange that they did not run just 1 cable and then put a switch in all the rooms. Would be much cheaper. I guess it depends on if there are issue putting a consumer grade switch in a room like that.
 
Im probably mixing common everyday description with IT terminology. It is not a special device at all. It is just ethernet lines that is wired into the room. Plug a device with this ethernet line gives me internet. This environment is a clean room "free of dust" so that products manufactured in this room is free of potentially contaminating the product. So the electricians bring these ethernet lines into the room and it is encased in a box (just like electrical wirings for your receptacles) to create a dust free barrier. They all have the same subnet mask, 255.255.255.0. The Default gateway, does end in 254. At this new workstation, my ipconfig showed the 2 ethernet line have the same IPv4 address. In a sense, because I am short 2 ethernet hardlines to plug into the last 2 devices, I want to use the Switch. If this clarifies your question, will using a switch in this clean room make all 4 devices work (communicate with each other)?... tyia!

Sounds like you are in a work environment not your house. Talk to your IT people before adding anything to the jacks to extend ports, many network groups do not like having just plain consumer range switches added to the network endpoints, they want to use properly setup smart switches they can manage and see what is connected to them.
 
Solution