I want to create a network hub with the help of raspberry pi for connecting 2 standalone devices with the hub and then provide internet to the hub so that both the devices can access the internet individually.

In any case,I want to use my pi as a network hub. Is it possible? If yes then how?

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  • Ethernet pins don't belong to the GPIO, they are wired via a network controller chip and magnetics. GPIOs can't handle hundreds of MHz with differential signalling. – Dmitry Grigoryev Sep 19 '19 at 6:51
  • Thanks for the suggestion. Is there any way in which I can use my RPi as a network hub? – abcbc Sep 19 '19 at 6:53
  • @abcabc, Well it depends on (1) What you want to access the Internet for, (2) What do you mean by "standalone devices". Let us begin with the simplest device: A text terminal which consists of (a) black and white, 80 characters x 24 lines, (b) a standard PC keyboard. In other words, no mouse, no graphics. Let me suggest two applications: (A) python learning in text mode only, (2) whether inquiry in text mode only. For (A) The "internet" starts with something like >>> "Hello, What do you want? >>> If you type a python command >>> print('abcabc'), The "internet" returns >>> abcabc. – tlfong01 Sep 19 '19 at 7:21
  • In other words, you access the Internet to learn text mode python or similar text mode applications. The the Rpi can be the "middle guy", receiving characters from one text mode terminal A, pass the message to the "internet", and pass back the text reply to the terminal X. Since text terminals are slow, Rpi can actually entertain perhaps 40 students "at the same time", like the grand master player playing chess with 40 beginner chess players. What I am telling you is the "Timesharing" operating system in Darmouth College Learning Basic Computer System, in the 1960's. Fast forward to Rpi. – tlfong01 Sep 19 '19 at 7:30
  • Rpi4B has 4 built in UART ports. With USB to UART cables, you have easily set up 20+ UART ports, each receiving and sending text messages, fast enough for python learning students. Just brain storming, not sure if I am dreaming, ... :) – tlfong01 Sep 19 '19 at 7:35

If you need more LAN interfaces, the best solution in terms of performance per dollar is to get several USB to LAN adapters.

For low speeds (below 10Mbps), an SPI to LAN module can be used. Such a module can indeed be wired to GPIO SPI pins. You will want to check if a Linux driver is available before buying a module, since many of those are made for Arduino and may lack Linux support.

Also, you may want to take a look at Banana Pi R1. It's quite old by now, and you'll have to install a Banana Pi specific distro (Bananian or Armbian), but it's a good option for a hub/NAS project.

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No. There is no way software would be fast enough to handle the Ethernet protocol. You need dedicated hardware to handle the bus.


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Definitely NOT - for a start Ethernet uses galvanically isolated differential signalling.

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