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Setting up House for networking questions? How to do it right within a budget...

Guttboy

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#1
Let me start by saying that everyone here has been extremely helpful over the years and the encouragement and advice I have received over the past few days has been outstanding!

Here is what I would like to do with the home network:

1. Connect two computers (perhaps three or four) to my internet connection.
2. Connect two DirecTV DVRs to the network to get VOD...something that I haven't used yet.
3. Connect a printer or two to the network so that I can print from any of the computers.
4. Continue to use wireless for my laptop and smartphones.

Here is what I have now:

1. DSL from Century Link (12Mbps DL / 896 Kbps upload)
2. Actiontec M1000 DSL modem
3. Linksys WRT54GS router

My situation:

1. House has Cat5E cabling run to all of the rooms and jacks
2. I have traced and labeled all of the wires to the utility room box
3. Running TIA 568B configuration.
4. DSL enters the home to the M1000 DSL modem then to the Linksys WRT54GS router
5. Junction box for all of the Cat5E lines is located in the utility room downstairs


What I would LIKE to do is this.....

DSL Modem ----> Router (need advice on a good wireless one for my needs) ----> Computer in upstairs
.
From the Router I have a Cat5e that goes to the utility room junction box this is where I would like to place the switch to hardwire the house.

For example:

Switch---->DirecTv
-->DirecTv
-->Computer
-->Media center (possibly)


My limitations are currently:

I would like to keep the DSL modem and Router in the UPSTAIRS.
I have ONE Cat5e line that runs down to the junction panel/box downstairs (where I
want the switch to be)

The diagrams I tried to make are not the best but essentially I would like to keep the modem and the router upstairs and use a Cat5e to take the internet downstairs to the switch. From there the signals could be distributed over the existing Cat5e lines in the house to places I need it. I would LIKE to maintain the direct line to the business computer upstairs off of one of the direct lines from the router. Make sense?


What would you suggest for my situation? Hardware?

Would I see benefits from going to a Wireless N router? Suggestions?

I appreciate the suggestions!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
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#2
Wireless N would help a lot with speed and range. up to 300Mbps (i think some are up to 600 now) vs 54Mbps with the Wireless G of your current router.

Do you do a lot of large file transfers between systems? You may want a Gigabit switch and router. 100Mb/sec is roughly 10MB/sec of bandwidth where a gigabit is 10x that. Your Cat5E cables should handle that.
 
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#3
You have a number of options on how to set this up and a number of factors to consider before a good solution could be devised.

How hot is the utility room? Does it often exceed temperatures of 30C or ~90F?
How many outlets do you want to make live?
Do you have a rack in your utility room?
Do you have adequate power in your utility room?
Would noise be an issue for concern in the utility room (i.e. would fan noise be a problem)?
Is gigabit desired (I would advise it)?
What device is currently controlling DHCP?
What is your budget for the project?

If we can find out these factors we can start piecing together a solution that will suit your needs.

Also I would reccommend wireless n, it is far better at dealing with signal interference.
 
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#5
It seems as though you've got everything reasonably figured out. There are quite a few caveats to watch out for.

1)Cat5-e is designed to run base 100, not base 1000 transmissions. If you want to upgrade in the future you may not see gigabit speeds due to wiring considerations. Given that your internet doesn't even touch base 100 speeds, this will only influence internal data transfers.

2) What are the wireless computers capable of? Off hand, I'd recommend wireless N on the router, as it's future resistant and generally allows better data reception at faster speeds. If you're on a tight budget, the wrt54g you already have should more than suffice for internet access speeds. Just don't look for anything great on the internal network transfer speeds.

3) Get a Gigabit switch for the mechanical room. The base 100 switches are cheap, but largely haven't seen improvement in the last five years. A gigabit switch will allow you to be future resistant, and will not break the bank. There are sub $80 switches (closer to 50 on sale) that will be plenty for an unmanaged home network.

4) You've offered no budget, so it's hard to get a grasp on what to recommend to you. Cheapest solution is to just get an unmanaged switch. The most expensive is to get a Docsis 3.0 capable modem, wireless N router, and switch to fully outfit your home for the future. Pricing ranges from the ~$50, up to about $300, depending upon what you want.

5) We know you want to connect approximately 5 devices over wired connections, but what are your plans for the future? 5 devices fit easily onto a router (4 ports) and switch (5 ports) combo, but that only leaves 2 open slots (both at the router). Do you need an 8 port switch, a 24 port to do the entire house, etc...? We can't really offer advice without that kind of background.
 

Guttboy

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#6
Do you do a lot of large file transfers between systems?
Bruce I currently do NOT transfer files between systems.

How hot is the utility room? Does it often exceed temperatures of 30C or ~90F? Temps stay in the 60's Farenheit
How many outlets do you want to make live? I would like to make 4 live
Do you have a rack in your utility room? I do not have a rack in the utility room would use a shelf.
Do you have adequate power in your utility room? I do have power now in the utility room
Would noise be an issue for concern in the utility room (i.e. would fan noise be a problem)? Not a problem as water heaters and furnaces are there
Is gigabit desired (I would advise it)? I think that for "future proofing" gigabit would be the way to go especially with viewing VOD from DirecTV
What device is currently controlling DHCP? That I am a bit unsure of. It is either the DSL modem or the Router......good way to check?
What is your budget for the project? Ideally as inexpensive as possible. $100 to $200


Also I would reccommend wireless n, it is far better at dealing with signal interference. I think Wireless N is the way to go but would need G for the laptop as it is not N capable.
It seems as though you've got everything reasonably figured out. There are quite a few caveats to watch out for.

1)Cat5-e is designed to run base 100, not base 1000 transmissions. If you want to upgrade in the future you may not see gigabit speeds due to wiring considerations. Given that your internet doesn't even touch base 100 speeds, this will only influence internal data transfers.

Thanks good point!

2) What are the wireless computers capable of? Off hand, I'd recommend wireless N on the router, as it's future resistant and generally allows better data reception at faster speeds. If you're on a tight budget, the wrt54g you already have should more than suffice for internet access speeds. Just don't look for anything great on the internal network transfer speeds.

3) Get a Gigabit switch for the mechanical room. The base 100 switches are cheap, but largely haven't seen improvement in the last five years. A gigabit switch will allow you to be future resistant, and will not break the bank. There are sub $80 switches (closer to 50 on sale) that will be plenty for an unmanaged home network.

Well within the budget!

4) You've offered no budget, so it's hard to get a grasp on what to recommend to you. Cheapest solution is to just get an unmanaged switch. The most expensive is to get a Docsis 3.0 capable modem, wireless N router, and switch to fully outfit your home for the future. Pricing ranges from the ~$50, up to about $300, depending upon what you want.

Ideally as inexpensive as possible....$100 to $200 max

5) We know you want to connect approximately 5 devices over wired connections, but what are your plans for the future? 5 devices fit easily onto a router (4 ports) and switch (5 ports) combo, but that only leaves 2 open slots (both at the router). Do you need an 8 port switch, a 24 port to do the entire house, etc...? We can't really offer advice without that kind of background.

Ideally, RIGHT NOW, I would like to hook up two DirecTV DVRs and another computer. This would make four total on the network (this includes the computer in the office). The switch would be in the utility room downstairs.

I do not transfer files at all now. I do not have that many just some documents and such. Biggest files are some pictures but I usually transfer them via a USB thumb drive right now.

Thanks guys sorry for lack of posting in the past week or so....had some work I had to take care of.
 
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#7
Why not just wi-fi everything? your existing wi-fi router + and extra used as a Wireless Access Point should cover the whole house. It would probabily be the cheapest and easiest solution, no?
 
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#8
you are right silkstone.

wifi coverage could be cheapest, and is definitely the easiest. the fact that he doesn't do any internal transfers nails it - there is no need for wired anything, as any decent wireless router will put out faster speeds than your isp gives you (in most cases)

so i guess the question is , how fast is your internet? wireless n has progressed enough that it is not very expensive, and can work at more than 3x the speed of 99% of home internet connections, yours likely included.
 

Guttboy

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#9
Wireless is not really desireable for me at this point.

If I do end up streaming media and gaming, I like the idea of having a wired network.
 
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#10
Wireless is not really desireable for me at this point.

If I do end up streaming media and gaming, I like the idea of having a wired network.
Well, you would always have that option in the future, and by that time the hardware required may be cheaper and faster.

But if you do want to future proof it now, update your OP to outline this. State the possible uses in the future.

BTW. Streaming media over wi-fi is fine, usually the filesizes are pretty small and even a G type wi-fi router han handle the bandwidth.
The issue with gaming is fluctuations in signal strength which can cause disconnects from gaming servers or a higher ping.

There is nothing wrong with a wifi connected house, i'm planning on doing this as soon as i get enough parts. But, i will keep my gaming comupter connected to my router using a physical connection
 

brandonwh64

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#11
You have some good ideas on what you want and have. I think you are doing a great job.
 
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#12
Wireless is not really desireable for me at this point.

If I do end up streaming media and gaming, I like the idea of having a wired network.
I have no problem streaming dvd backups to other computers wirelessly via wmc or ps3 via ps3 media server even streaming live tv on the xbox works fine.