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advantages of going from modem-->switch==>wireless router

Easy Rhino

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#1
as the title says i would like to know what the advantages are of going from a cable modem to a switch and then to a wireless router.
 

DanTheBanjoman

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#2
Advantages? Are you suggesting that this is some common setup? The only reason you'd put a switch in between is when you wish to connect many computers. However most AP's have a switch built in already. So the only reason to create such setups is when cabling asks for it.
 
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#3
I dont see how it would matter. If you run a Cat6 cable directly from your modem to your router there is nothing to bottleneck you. Most higher end routers are coming with gigabit ethernet ports on the back of them and these 4 ports are in fact a switch so you can plug in your wired devices and still have an unempeded connection to the modem.
 
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#4
I dont see how it would matter. If you run a Cat6 cable directly from your modem to your router there is nothing to bottleneck you. Most higher end routers are coming with gigabit ethernet ports on the back of them and these 4 ports are in fact a switch so you can plug in your wired devices and still have an unempeded connection to the modem.
Cat6 is generally not a good idea... It's not required for gigabit and it breaks very easily, cat5e is perfectly acceptable.

But as Dan said, its not going to do you any good unless you have a lot of computers on a network, if anything it will slow your ping.
 

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#5
Advantages? Are you suggesting that this is some common setup? The only reason you'd put a switch in between is when you wish to connect many computers. However most AP's have a switch built in already. So the only reason to create such setups is when cabling asks for it.
i am not suggesting anything, just asking a question. i have heard it recommended to use a switch between a modem and a wireless router (i cant remember where i read this/heard this so i am asking here.) i agree that there probably is no real advantage of doing so.
 

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#6
I dont see how it would matter. If you run a Cat6 cable directly from your modem to your router there is nothing to bottleneck you. Most higher end routers are coming with gigabit ethernet ports on the back of them and these 4 ports are in fact a switch so you can plug in your wired devices and still have an unempeded connection to the modem.
yea, i am running a cat6 cable from my modem to my router. just curious if there would be any advantage to using a switch as well.
 

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#7
Cat6 is generally not a good idea... It's not required for gigabit and it breaks very easily, cat5e is perfectly acceptable.
really? that is the first i have heard of it.

But as Dan said, its not going to do you any good unless you have a lot of computers on a network, if anything it will slow your ping.
that is what i figured.
 
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#8
Ya cat6 is considered a "laying" cable... It's best to leave laying down and never with any sharp bends or any place you can step on it. It's fine if its just there, you just have to be careful with it. I have it run myself, but there is really no need for it.
 

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#9
Traditional architecture is Modem -> Router -> Switch -> Networked Devices. There would be no benefit to putting a switch in between the router and the modem, and all of the devices connected to the switch and not the router would be exposed to the internet.
 

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#10
Ya cat6 is considered a "laying" cable... It's best to leave laying down and never with any sharp bends or any place you can step on it. It's fine if its just there, you just have to be careful with it. I have it run myself, but there is really no need for it.
First time ive heard that, cat6 or any cat cable either comes in patch or structured UTP or STP, structured usually has a solid core to stop kinks and sharp bends from occurring. We all know the rest :).

Gam
 
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#11
First time ive heard that, cat6 or any cat cable either comes in patch or structured UTP or STP, structured usually has a solid core to stop kinks and sharp bends from occurring. We all know the rest :).

Gam
I think it has to do the the twists being so tight especially with the larger gauge wire, makes it really extra easy to break, especially if the wire is cheap.
 

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#12
I cant remember how many extra twists it has per meter but moral of the story dont use cheap cable :D, But on topic switch is only usefull if ur adding more pc's or network printers and what polaris said :).
Also rhino if ur thinking of selling/upgrading ur opty in around 5 weeks let me know :D.
Gam
 
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#13
Perhaps ER has seen such a setup. If so, please explain where... and we may be able to clue in on why it was being done. Perhaps you mean:

modem > hub > router > AP

The hub is there for "sniffing" everything going in and out of the router. But a switch wouldnt work.
 

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#14
Perhaps ER has seen such a setup. If so, please explain where... and we may be able to clue in on why it was being done. Perhaps you mean:

modem > hub > router > AP

The hub is there for "sniffing" everything going in and out of the router. But a switch wouldnt work.
well i dont know if i have seen one. i must be remembering incorrectly. you say to go with modem > router > ap , but what if your router has an AP ? would it be better to go modem > router/AP > switch ? and why would you use a hub ?
 
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#15
If you have a built in wireless, then fine. But built in wireless is usually less reliable than separate AP. If you already have an all-in-one consumer product, then fine. But if you are building from scratch, the pros will tell you to separate router and AP. And separate AP usually has more security management features, like MAC lock, port limitation, HTML redirect (public access point, PAP), and allows for network BRIDGING.

I think I explained why to use a hub in the previous post. If you need a more detailed explanation, no problem, but best to hit a wiki for a more thorough explanation. http://wiki.wireshark.org/HubReference
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packet_sniffer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_LAN
http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Wireless_Bridge
http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_Building_a_Wireless_Access_Point
http://www.uninformed.org/?v=2&a=3&t=pdf
 

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#16
If you have a built in wireless, then fine. But built in wireless is usually less reliable than separate AP. If you already have an all-in-one consumer product, then fine. But if you are building from scratch, the pros will tell you to separate router and AP. And separate AP usually has more security management features, like MAC lock, port limitation, HTML redirect (public access point, PAP), and allows for network BRIDGING.

I think I explained why to use a hub in the previous post. If you need a more detailed explanation, no problem, but best to hit a wiki for a more thorough explanation. http://wiki.wireshark.org/HubReference
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Packet_sniffer
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wireless_LAN
http://www.dd-wrt.com/wiki/index.php/Wireless_Bridge
http://gentoo-wiki.com/HOWTO_Building_a_Wireless_Access_Point
http://www.uninformed.org/?v=2&a=3&t=pdf

hrm...well i have an older hub that is 10 years old i guess i could use. i dont know what kind it is. for example, my school's DHCP server would sign each PC an external (real) IP address. but we only had 1 port in each room so we used a hub to split the connection. would something like that work?
 

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#17
as the title says i would like to know what the advantages are of going from a cable modem to a switch and then to a wireless router.
i'm going to answer rhinos post, and ignore others for now. sorry guys. I am technically Cisco certified as a network engineer, except that the course was cancelled due to lack of students so we never got the final certificate. I do understand all the various methods used by people for these setups, so if people have questions, i can answer them.


The 'advantage' is that users connected to the switch get IP addresses from the modem directly (assuming the modem gives out more than one local IP, meaning its really a router itself)

Otherwise, systems after the wireless would be on a seperate network, and features such as port forwarding would not work.

Cable router -> switch (cable routers IP range) -> wireless router -> any connected systems are from the wireless routers IP range.

a wireless access point would do the same task, without adding an extra IP range.
 

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#18
CAT6 cables don't break that easily, however it is less flexible than CAT5.


What lemonade says is not true per se, however it is true that most all-in-one products are lower end products which often are less reliable (this basically only applies to the wireless part) If you require a reliable wireless connection investing in a decent AP might not be a bad idea. However, if you only use wireless to do some interwebbing on your laptop you shouldn't care :)
Besides, most cheap devices offer all options you require, they can filter on MAC address, they support NAT, and can therefor also block ports of choice. What "HTML redirect" is I wouldn't know, as HTML has nothing to do with networks or routers.
As for the hub sniffing things, it does no such thing, it is basically a multi port repeater. Signal comes in and goes out on all other ports. The hub has no clue what it forwards or to where. A switching hub (which most devices are nowadays) has some more intelligence and forwards to the right ports, lowering network load by a huge factor when there are more than 3 devices.

@easyrhino, an external IP isn't more "real" than an internal one. A hub doesn't do anything on IP level either, nor split anything. Perhaps it helps if you explain your situation, ie existing cabling, computers, location of devices.
Draw a map of your home and tell us where everything is located.

i'm going to answer rhinos post, and ignore others for now. sorry guys. I am technically Cisco certified as a network engineer, except that the course was cancelled due to lack of students so we never got the final certificate. I do understand all the various methods used by people for these setups, so if people have questions, i can answer them.


The 'advantage' is that users connected to the switch get IP addresses from the modem directly (assuming the modem gives out more than one local IP, meaning its really a router itself)

Otherwise, systems after the wireless would be on a seperate network, and features such as port forwarding would not work.

Cable router -> switch (cable routers IP range) -> wireless router -> any connected systems are from the wireless routers IP range.

a wireless access point would do the same task, without adding an extra IP range.
That is of course not true per se, I have a wireless AP downstairs doing close to nothing. It has router functionality and all which I don't use. It is connected to my network using the built in switch, since the internal DHCP server is disabled all DHCP requests go to the same DHCP server as the rest of the computers in my network. I can access anything connected wireless like any other machine.

You're assuming the internal network is connected to the WAN port of those devices, which has never been suggested.
 
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#19
i'm going to answer rhinos post, and ignore others for now. sorry guys. I am technically Cisco certified as a network engineer, except that the course was cancelled due to lack of students so we never got the final certificate. I do understand all the various methods used by people for these setups, so if people have questions, i can answer them.


The 'advantage' is that users connected to the switch get IP addresses from the modem directly (assuming the modem gives out more than one local IP, meaning its really a router itself)

Otherwise, systems after the wireless would be on a seperate network, and features such as port forwarding would not work.

Cable router -> switch (cable routers IP range) -> wireless router -> any connected systems are from the wireless routers IP range.

a wireless access point would do the same task, without adding an extra IP range.

what if it is a cable modem and not a cable router and my isp only assigns me 1 external IP ? the modem assigns my house the external IP and it goes to the switch. the switch assigns wired devices attached to it internal IP addresses. then the wireless AP (which is wired to the switch) gets an internal IP address which assigns its own set of internal IPs to wireless devices. am i understanding this correctly? i still dont get why that is an advantage.
 

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#20
what if it is a cable modem and not a cable router and my isp only assigns me 1 external IP ? the modem assigns my house the external IP and it goes to the switch. the switch assigns wired devices attached to it internal IP addresses. then the wireless AP (which is wired to the switch) gets an internal IP address which assigns its own set of internal IPs to wireless devices. am i understanding this correctly? i still dont get why that is an advantage.
If it forwards the external IP to your computer it's in bridging mode. My Zyxel ADSL modem does such things by default as well. However it has far more options via the telnet interface than via the web interface, one of them being routing and a DHCP server. When being a router it acts as your computer on the WAN itself, your internal network will have a completely different range of IP's (most commonly 192.168.x.x or 10.0.0.x). From there on the internet can be ignored, as that part isn't relevant anymore.

Switches can't assign IP's, DHCP servers do that. Most routers feature internal DHCP servers. (personally I use a win2k8 DHCP server, since I require it for various services and you shouldn't have multiple DHCP servers)

If your cable modem can't function as a router I would recommend connecting it directly to the WAN port of your wireless router. From there you have a single network consisting of both the wireless network and the wired ports. If you require more wired ports connect your switch/hub to one of the routers wired ports, no extra configuration required for that.
 

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#21
If it forwards the external IP to your computer it's in bridging mode. My Zyxel ADSL modem does such things by default as well. However it has far more options via the telnet interface than via the web interface, one of them being routing and a DHCP server. When being a router it acts as your computer on the WAN itself, your internal network will have a completely different range of IP's (most commonly 192.168.x.x or 10.0.0.x). From there on the internet can be ignored, as that part isn't relevant anymore.

Switches can't assign IP's, DHCP servers do that. Most routers feature internal DHCP servers. (personally I use a win2k8 DHCP server, since I require it for various services and you shouldn't have multiple DHCP servers)

If your cable modem can't function as a router I would recommend connecting it directly to the WAN port of your wireless router. From there you have a single network consisting of both the wireless network and the wired ports. If you require more wired ports connect your switch/hub to one of the routers wired ports, no extra configuration required for that.
my setup is very basic. i am just curious as to what other options i have and if there would be any advantages to them. my isp only gives me 1 IP which the cable modem handles and that is connected to my wireless routers WAN port. and the dhcp server on the router does all my work.
 

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#22
my setup is very basic. i am just curious as to what other options i have and if there would be any advantages to them. my isp only gives me 1 IP which the cable modem handles and that is connected to my wireless routers WAN port. and the dhcp server on the router does all my work.
ie exactly as I suggested, leave it that way, it's the most logical setup. Putting anything in between the router and the modem won't do you any good.
 

Mussels

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#23
You're assuming the internal network is connected to the WAN port of those devices, which has never been suggested.
Indeed i was, as thats how i assumed people would connect them. I offered the only reason WHY a person would connect a switch beforehand - if they werent using the WAN portion, it wouldnt spread the wireless unelss it was in AP mode - making it not a router (and negating the original question of WHY put a switch there)

as dan said, you want as few pieces of hardware as possible.

Good setups:

All in one router (VERY common here in aus, less common in USA)
Modem-> wireless router
Modem->router->wireless AP
 
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#24
if you only had junky routers that couldnt get multiple ips, or were very low performance, you might want to have a switch after your modem and then hook up multiple routers to the switch so each could get its own ip adress and provide for their own little networks

if that was the case tho you would probably save money from getting a better router, better routers are actually cheaper than inferior ones now a days
 

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#25
if you only had junky routers that couldnt get multiple ips, or were very low performance, you might want to have a switch after your modem and then hook up multiple routers to the switch so each could get its own ip adress and provide for their own little networks

if that was the case tho you would probably save money from getting a better router, better routers are actually cheaper than inferior ones now a days
switches do not provide IP addresses. that is what routers are for. connecting multiple routers? wtf? that would segregate the network and make it impossible to use port forwarding, and disable any local LAN features. also if the original modem only had one IP address to give, it cant share it to multiple routers. If it could, it would be a router anyway/