This article explains the components you require to setup a network with 5 computers. It is assumed that all the computers have network cards inbuilt in them.
To setup a network for 5 computers, you would need a network switch. As there are 5 computers , a switch with 5 ports is required at the minimum. Considering future expansion plans, a 8 port switch is recommended.
Connect the computers to the switch as shown in the below diagram using network cables or patch chords.
Configure the IP address of computers starting from 192.168.1.1 till 192.168.1.5 with the subnet mask value as 255.255.255.0.
The above 3 steps would ensure that your network is setup to accommodate 5 computers
The TP LINK 8 PORT GIGABIT SWITCH would be an ideal choice for this network setup. The switch supports the following features
1. Gigabit port support which provides 1000 Mbps speed, is much faster than 100 Mbps fast ethernet
2. Support for Jumbo frame which significantly improves the latency of large data transfers like Video and Voice.
3. Support for Network monitoring feature via port mirroring. This enables to analyze network traffic on ports using protocol analyzers.
4. Support for VLAN , which would help in segregating the network. This is useful if the computers are to be segregated using different networks.
5. QOS based support on ports would improve the quality and latency of network traffic on theses ports.
The TP LINK 8 PORT GIGABIT SWITCH can be purchased from Amazon using the link. The cost is around $26 which would fit appropriately if you have a tight budget.