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I am a bit new to this and am attempting to help a friend form a home network and cannot access it currently, so this is only theory.

He currently has four or five computer systems that all had used wireless access, now he will require Ethernet access due to the wlan drivers not able to start until much after bootup, which would restrict him from accessing the internet in case something went wrong on them before login.

Would connecting a switch to the free port in the wireless router, and then the four computers connecting to the switch, allow both a wireless and wired connections? is this the proper way to do this?

Also, if this setup were correct, would I be able to have a computer contact another one in the same network even though the switch from what I had briefly researched cannot route traffic?

I would assume if each computer performs a DHCP lease on the router through the switch on startup that will allow network access until wireless is available (and DHCP is renewed again), I would hope it is that simple!

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Yes, this will work fine. The switch is a layer 2 device and is transparent to the network above it. Routing happens at layer 3. The computers on the network will just see one flat network and they can all talk to each other directly.

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Thank you very much, this greatly simplifies the approaches we were concocting earlier! –  Kenshin R. Apr 20 '11 at 5:56
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As long as all the computers are on the same subnet (IP address subnet) you should be fine. However you will not want to have the Wifi and LAN connections enabled at the same time. You cannot (generally) have two network connections on one computer with the same default gateway; the computer won't know which connection to use.

You can chain many switches together without issue (again, generally).

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Ah yes it makes sense to lease for wired and then wireless when needed. I read you can use two TCP stacks in Windows for two connections, that sounds a little silly though :) –  Kenshin R. Apr 20 '11 at 5:58
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