So then, does the switch require a router connection to work properly?
No, but in your situation it may .... depends on what it is used for and how things are set up.
Look at it this way.
Each router contains a built-in Switch. The router is capable of serving approx 253 computers, but it only has four ports.
By adding an extra switch to one of the router's ports more ports are available to connect PCs. So instead of having just four available port if you connect an 8-port Switch (or hub) to one of the routers ports you then have 11 ports available for PCs (4-1+7=10). EDIT:
One Switch port disabled when using uplink to connect to router.
It is also possible to connect a bunch of PCs, with static addresses set up, to the ports of a hub or Switch, and they will be able to find each other ----- provided they have IP addresses in the same range of course.
From reading your first post, it seems like you are setting up a PC with the connection set as if it was connected directly to your modem.
It is very likely in this case that your modem will only allow one PC or device to connect at any time.
When you use a router, it is the device that connects to the modem, and the PCs that are connected to the router then take LAN IPs, and the router "routes" their communication through the single connection to the modem.
My ISP will allow me to connect at least two devices, but that requires setting up.
As you did not make clear what your intention was I cannot be certain what would be best for you ....... but I suspect what you intend is that you can connect more than 4 PCs to the internet at any time.
If that is the case then connect the Switch (from its uplink port) to one port of the router with a standard cat 5 cable, and that gives you 11 ports for PCs.
Set up the NICs to accept their IP addresses from the router (DHCP) and all will be able to connect to the internet and to each other.
Just for clarity: The difference between a HUB and a SWITCH is in how the communications are managed. In a HUB all communications are sent to all ports of the Hub and the correct PC will accept them.
In a Switch the communications for each PC is sent to its own port only ..... consequently there is much less traffic 'noise' being sent around the LAN.
A bit basic, but it explains the main difference I think.