I currently have the setup on the left and it works just fine...

I use it to transfer data between laptop and embedded systems hardware device. (Data...Not internet)


What would the set up on the right do ? How would it interface with the laptop single USB entry port ?

The intent is not to share data, the intent is to have each device generate its own set of data and communicate that to the laptop

Setup 1 and Setup 2

  • You don't mention how you're transferring data, but assuming you're using IP addresses, each device will have a unique IP on the same subnet. – Ron Trunk Jul 15 at 17:38
  • yes each device is assigned its own IP address – Jay Jul 15 at 17:39
  • I'm not sure what you're asking. If every device has an address, what is the problem? – Ron Trunk Jul 15 at 17:42
  • Just trying to understand how packets of data get handled to interface with a single usb connection if all three device are transmitting at the same time – Jay Jul 15 at 17:48

Yes, a switch is exactly what you need.

Using a switch, each device can communicate with any other in the same network. The switch uses the interfaces' MAC addresses to direct the traffic where it should go - no further configuration required (only for TCP/IP, see below).

It's like connecting them directly, the only difference is that without a dedicated interface, bandwidth is shared (the laptop cannot exceed its link bandwidth, no matter how many other devices there are).

If you assign IP addresses manually, that's all you need. You might want to add a DHCP server though, to simplify/centralize the IP configuration.

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  • I'll have to run some tests, because I think I will be losing packets of data if all three devices want to talk to the laptop at the sametime* collisions – Jay Jul 15 at 18:41
  • With switches, there are no collisions. Collisions happened with repeater hubs but these are long obsolete. Switches queue frames destined for the same port and de-queue them when the port becomes free - that's how all connections effectively share bandwidth. Only when the destination port lacks bandwidth to receive all its traffic, the queue overflows and frames are dropped/lost. – Zac67 Jul 15 at 19:11
  • epic clap clap clap – Jay Jul 16 at 0:30

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