nailz1000 wrote:you wont need a hub unless you've got more than 50 computers networked. otherwise, a switch is just a waste of money, and routers are for morons who want to spend $50 more than they have to.
BZZT! wrong answer. Small (4-16 port) switches are not significantly more expensive than unmanaged hubs anymore, and while you can get by with a hub, a switch lets you transfer data more quickly when the network gets busy, because you don't have problems with collisions.
If it's just you and 2 or 3 computers, you probably won't notice any difference, but have 3 or 4 friends over for a small LAN party, and things will get messy in a hurry on a hub, with eveyone leeching off each other, trying to game, access the net, etc.
Sure, you can use dual NIC's and have one machine act as a gateway for the others like I do, but that's cause I don't mind leaving my machine on all the time. A cheap little hardware router/gateway is silent, reliable, uses very little power, and is easy to set up. I assert that they have a very valuable place in the world.