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New apartment network setup

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by BrooksyX, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. BrooksyX

    BrooksyX

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    So hopefully in the next couple of weeks I will be moving out of my parents place (again haha) and into a 1 bedroom apartment. I want to make sure I set up the network right the first time and have set aside part of my budget for networking gear. I want to share my internet connection with the hole apartment via wired and wireless (Probably Century Link DSL 7mbs down/5mbs up).

    Here is what I currently have:
    -Dlink Dir-601 router (10/100 & N 150mbs) w/ DD-WRT
    -2x 85mbs netgear powerline adapters
    -Plenty of cat5e cable

    -Main PC (10/100/1000) + 40" Samsung LED LCD
    -Media Server (10/100/1000) + 50" Toshiba LED LCD
    -Netbook w/ N wifi
    -Android phone w/ N wifi
    -Game console future purchase (probably xbox 360)

    So I am thinking the easy way would be to just use the powerline adapters to connect my 2x PC's together along with my router for wifi but the transfer speeds would be horrible and security would be an issue. I would prefer to buy a 10/100/1000 switch and cat5e along the floor (hide as much i can), use my router strictly as a wifi access point, and not use the powerline adapters. What do you think? If buy a switch what would be a good one for as cheap as possible? Really just need something with about 5-8 ports.

    [​IMG]

    Thanks! :toast:
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
  2. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    If you use the router and a AP only then you will not have a routing table with DHCP server on the switch. Your ISP normally only gives 1 IP address per modem (Most ISP's do) so then you would be limited to one device if a router is not used.

    *Edit*

    Also make sure the powerline adapters are not on a circuit that uses alot of amperage such as kitchen appliances or washroom appliances. This can cause interference with the adapters and slow speeds/response times.
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  3. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    Nice looking apartment. How about running a cable from your cable modem to a central location like the laundry room, and a cable back to where you are putting the server in. You'll get much better wireless coverage, and you could also run a cable to your bedroom if you'd want to do that. I'm planning something similar in my house, my wireless router is currently at the end of the house and the phone gets no Wifi phone signal in the kitchen which is a PITA.
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  4. BrooksyX

    BrooksyX

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    Yeah your right. So will probably go Modem > Router > Switch > everything else

    Thanks, I will look into router placement but the modem input is probably in the front room.
  5. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    My understanding was that NAT (assuming the wireless router is the central AP) takes care of that?

    Edit:
    Yes, that :)
  6. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    Setting an access point in a router kills all DHCP and routing info and just points the wireless signal to the outgoing LAN connection. Wireless access points are made for wired LAN connections with a dedicated router so the access point can broadcast the routers DHCP server wirelessly to mobile devices.

    *EDIT*

    simply put, turning a wireless router into an access point is similar to making it a wireless switch.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013
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  7. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    Huh? A router is a router. Maybe I'm misusing the term AP.
  8. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    Sorry for confusing you sasqui. An router is different from an access point. As they are labeled a router has routing protocals and DHCP server to direct traffic and transmit packets in LAN and WAN. An access point is just as is says, its a point of access wirelessly to the LAN/WAN and is only a wireless switch to connect wireless devices to a router located on the LAN.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_access_point

    AP:
    [​IMG]
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  9. BrooksyX

    BrooksyX

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    Haha thanks for the lesson but any thoughts on my setup?
  10. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    Well you seem to have everything setup fine.

    Modem>Router>Switch>devices/Powerline

    Have you had good success out of that router?
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  11. BrooksyX

    BrooksyX

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    No the router is garbage, its fine for wifi but struggles with lan and its only 10/100 where my PCs are 10/100/1000. Also the powerline adapters are probably a reall world speed of about 10mbs :eek:
  12. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    Hmmm yea I have had router issues for quite a while until I just built a custom router and its been a breeze! I have seen that most low-mid level routers get saturated with more and more connections these days and tend to need reset daily. This is no good for a fileshare server or FTP. It got so bad that I could not download a steam game and play ANY online game without the router stopping completely. I tried several routers and then went a different route with custom.
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  13. BrooksyX

    BrooksyX

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    Yeah I am currently not using it but I had it setup at my last apartment and it would lag out like crazy while play starcraft ii. Figure adding a cheap switch to the mix should help.
  14. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    Probably not due to the router still handling the traffic directing. Do you have a spare machine with two NICs?
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  15. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    This is a good switch: Rosewill RC-416 Gigabit Green Ethernet Desktop Met...

    I used it in my home network.

    Go Modem -> Rotuer -> Switch -> Devices

    That will make sure all LAN activity says on the Gigabit network. The only time the router will come into play will be for internet access and DHCP, and anything wireless.

    Definitely run a CAT5e cable into the bedroom.
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  16. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    The switch should keep track of which MAC addresses can be reached on which ports, and it then only sends packets out through the correct ports. There is a limit to how many MAC addresses a switch can remember, though it's usually not an issue unless you're operating extremely large networks.

    you can connect 2 computers to a switch with gigabit links, and then connect that switch to a router with a 100Mbit link, and still send data between the computers at speeds of 1Gbps. You can even disconnect the router from the switch entirely while data is being sent between the computers without affecting said data
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  17. Sasqui

    Sasqui

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    If he sticks with the router he has, it'll be the weak link and it won't matter how fast the switch is.
  18. Aquinus

    Aquinus Resident Wat-man

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    The router only needs to handle Internet and wireless traffic. Anything moving locally can be plugged into the gigabit switch and it won't even touch the router. It's not like all traffic goes to the router before anything happens with it. A switch is usually intelligent enough to know how to route packets efficiently.
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  19. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    Only in WAN such as online games and file downloading but in LAN the gig switch will do good.

    Routers are hard to buy nowadays. I have a bunch at home but they did not meet my needs and money was wasted. They work fine for the average network but do not play well with heavy usage.

    You could either buy a higher end one such as AMPed wireless or use an old machine to build one.
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  20. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Not true, all the wired LAN activity will be Gigabit, the router will only matter with internet use and wireless. I'd recommend a better router, but for a 7Mb/s connection it won't make a difference, the internet connection is going to get bogged down long before the router will be at that connection speed. And it seems his only wireless device is his smartphone and netbook, which really would be happy with pretty much anything.
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  21. BrooksyX

    BrooksyX

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    Ok that one looks good, does it usually go one sale for cheaper? Don't need to buy it today.
    Might also stop by the goodwill and see if they have anything good.

    Yeah I have no desire to buy a new router at this time. I guess I could add an extra nic to my server if I wanted to build one but seems like overkill for me. The main thing I will be pushing over my network is file backups from the PC to the server and streaming media (up to 1080p) from the server to the PC via XBMC.
  22. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    As I had mentioned that the only issue I had with my routers were too many incoming TCP/UDP connections that would pretty much lock down the router to either a crawl or stop traffic all together. I do not know if this will be an issue on his end but I would recommend testing it out for a short while and see how it does.

    I have

    laptop
    2x smartphones
    HTPC
    Main PC
    Cruncher

    all on at the same time connected and using internet activity.

    All you need for a custom router is a left over PC (P4 era with 512mb ram) that has two ethernet ports (NIC's) That could include say an onboard and a add in card. Then just install a 80MB OS called IPfire and set it up. You will need to set your current router to AP mode so it will let the P4 router do the rest.
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  23. BrooksyX

    BrooksyX

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    Meh I don't want to get another PC but I could experiment into adding DHCP to my ubuntu server. I do have a spare PCI slot but would the NIC be bottlenecked by the PCI bus?

    Still want to get a switch but I could eventually phase out the wifi router and turn it into an access point.
  24. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    If you want to leave a PC on all the time then you could install Virtualbox and run IPfire as a VM.

    133 MB/s (32-bit at 33 MHz)
    266 MB/s (32-bit at 66 MHz or 64-bit at 33 MHz)
    533 MB/s (64-bit at 66 MHz)

    I do not think that you would reach the limits of PCI. It would require HDD's to transfer the same amount of speed or more than the PCI bus speed.
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  25. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    Yes, but this is actually the cheapest I've seen it. Last time I bought it it was $29.99 marked down from $39.99. They make a cheaper version with a plastic case, but it is only a couple bucks cheaper, and it gets really warm when doing large file transfers. The metal cased one stays cooler thanks to better ventilation and the metal acting as a heatsink.

    All of that would be handled by the switch anyway, so the router would never come into play.

    If that is all that is on your network and you had issues with routers you were buying the wrong routers.

    My router at home I paid $60 for, and it has currently been running 165 days straight, and it would be a lot longer but the power went out and shut the router down, now it is on a battery backup.
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