Just what is an ethernet splitter? If you spend some time looking around on the internet you might see that people make the false assumption that a cable splitter is something they could use to divide an internet connection with. It is easy to see why they could come to this belief, as the name implies that you can split something ethernet based, so why couldn’t you just split your internet connection between 2 computers? But the truth is they don’t split your internet connection. Read further to discover what a splitter is best suited and how they should be setup and used.
Splitters, as mentioned above, aren’t for sharing a connection. Don’t be like some who discover this fact only after they purchase it. So what is an ethernet splitter for then? An ethernet splitter is intended to reduce how much cat 5 cable you need when connecting two networks. A network here does not mean the internet, it means either two computers or two LANs. Splitters must be used in pairs. The way they work is because a LAN only uses 4 of the 8 wires in a cat 5 ethernet cable, when there eight wires total in these cables.
So, an ethernet splitter can save on cable by creating 2 lanes of traffic down one cable. Hopefully you can see now how they allow you to save on cable. So for example if you wanted to put together a pair of computer devices in 2 separate rooms, you wouldn’t need to use separate cat 5 cables, only two ethernet splitters. When using the splitters then you only need a single cable and a splitter at either end. This is a typical scenario of how ethernet splitters should be used.
Another problem people don’t realize is that splitters need to be used in pairs. Many people simply buy one splitter and get frustrated because nothing works. Pairs are required because the traffic going in and out of the ethernet cable needs to be merged on one end before it goes in and then split on the other end when the traffic comes out. Using just one splitter means that traffic can travel into the ethernet cable, but when it reaches the other end nothing happens.
Because the network traffic is merged, upon reaching the other end and the receiving computer there is confusion. The computer or device on the receiving end would be bombarded with 2 lanes of information traffic, and this is not how network traffic travels. This issue is solved by placing an ethernet cable splitter which correctly separates the single lane of traffic back into 2 lanes before sending it onto the receiving computers. This is why using only one ethernet cable splitter will not work.
Now you can probably see how and why ethernet cable splitters are used. Splitters are a great way for connecting just a couple computers in a network and cutting down on the amount of ethernet cable that is required. They are not suitable for sharing any kind of internet connection.