You can get a router for not much more than the switch. For the extra $10 the router is a better purchase.
Part of your problem is your limited knowledge of networking. As CaveDweller2 said FTP is normally used externally. FTP requires a computer to be running an FTP service, not something you normally do on a client. Using file shares is much easier.
Networking can either make things simpler or much more complicated, depending on how it is implemented. With your limited knowledge you're going to much better off with a router. You don't have to use all of the features at once and can implement more as you need them. The more setup on the router isn't as much as the setup on PCs, unless you want to use the advanced features.
I suggest listening to the Security Now! podcasts. You can pick the topics that interest you first, they have episodes on routers and other things.
Kilroy thanks for the podcast I added to my library CaveDweller2 that pretty much depends on me, now the situation has changed a little so I am no sure if whether I should use a server OS or just a windows 7 would do
Thanks to everybody for supporting my learning process, I appreciate so much the time you put on this and your vast knowledge, now I have a more clear idea of what I need to do, as for the replies I received, I suggest the following scenario to the OP, 3 PC's acting as hosts will be connecting to a server, now the data shared between hosts and server need to be backed up, for this I consider using a cloud service and a physical hard drive, this meaning that now the server need to have access to the internet, so I am thinking on this,
1. Using a router ( wifi router NETGEAR)
2. As the files will be send and stored into the server, a DHCP server will work, what I am not sure if is the DHCP provider should be the router or the server
3. a FTP server is discarded due to it wouldn't be necessary
4. I am planning to use cloudberry to do regular backups and use amazon s3 to store into the cloud
5. the IP of the router is 192.168.15.1, so then i will have to assign a static IP like 192.168.15.11 to the server and the host having dynamic IP's?
6. Just one of the hosts should also have access to the internet ( using a proxy?)
what do you think about this? is it correct? thanks again
Edited by juanodiy, 06 July 2015 - 10:40 AM.