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Old October 8, 2011, 12:10 AM
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Default How to properly build a network for my new house?

So I have a bunch of issues to take before I move into my new house. First of all, it's been wired, but because I was away as the house was being constructed, things didn't happen as I had hoped. My parents didn't understood what I had asked for and as a result I have two network cables going into each room of the house. Sounds great until I discovered that one of the ports is a Cat 5e and the other is a Cat 3. I wanted both ports to be Cat 6. Unfortunately no conduit was installed so it'll be a very expensive job to do it all over again. I'll have to it with it for the foreseeable future.

Now here's the problem. I don't like where the network jacks are in some of the rooms. As a result I'll have to use a long network cable to attach the electronics to the jack just to get it into the right position in the room. The problem with that approach is that it's going to appear messy. Are there any conduits that attaches to the wall in which it'll easily cover up the network cable? Any suggestions on how to properly do this?

As stated, there's only 1 Cat 5e cable going into each room. For some members of my family that will be fine. However, for me it's not going to be ok as I want to attach both my Xbox 360 and computer into the port. With 1 only Cat 5 jack, what can I possibly do?

The house has 3 floors and there needs to be wireless access on all 3 floors. I think in 2011, I need to deploy a dual band wireless N network. My question is, which wireless routers do you recommend to get this job done? All of the wiring reaches a terminal in the third floor of the house. I'm pretty sure I'll need at least two routers so that one will act as a repeater to ensure that there is indeed total coverage in the house. Where should I place the routers?

As mentioned that all of the cables reaches a terminal on the third floor. However, the network cables aren't attached to anything. There are no switches or routers in that terminal area yet. Do I buy a switch to attach all of those cables to and then connect the switch to the modem and then to the router?

Since I'll have a tenant living in the basement, I think it'll be best to keep him to another wireless network. I have an existing Linksys WRT54L that can be used. Would you guys recommend that I use that to create a second wireless network just for the tenant? If so, how do I integrate that into my existing setup?

Thanks a lot for the help in advance!
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Old October 8, 2011, 12:32 AM
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Now here's the problem. I don't like where the network jacks are in some of the rooms. As a result I'll have to use a long network cable to attach the electronics to the jack just to get it into the right position in the room. The problem with that approach is that it's going to appear messy. Are there any conduits that attaches to the wall in which it'll easily cover up the network cable? Any suggestions on how to properly do this?
There is product to do this.... Raceways, Cable Trays and Conduit for Safe Cable Runs

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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
As stated, there's only 1 Cat 5e cable going into each room. For some members of my family that will be fine. However, for me it's not going to be ok as I want to attach both my Xbox 360 and computer into the port. With 1 only Cat 5 jack, what can I possibly do?
Buy a 5 port switch and plug your wall outlet and all your toys into it. It'll work perfectly. Only "problem" is that everything in your room will share the bandwidth of a gigabit link.... which will not be a problem.

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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
The house has 3 floors and there needs to be wireless access on all 3 floors. I think in 2011, I need to deploy a dual band wireless N network. My question is, which wireless routers do you recommend to get this job done? All of the wiring reaches a terminal in the third floor of the house. I'm pretty sure I'll need at least two routers so that one will act as a repeater to ensure that there is indeed total coverage in the house. Where should I place the routers?
I would get something like the Asus RT-N16. It's got external antennas so you should be able to put high gain ones on and get your range up. I would start with just leaving the wireless router on the third floor with all the other equipment and see how it goes from there. You might have to lay the antennas flat. You'll have to experiment.....

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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
As mentioned that all of the cables reaches a terminal on the third floor. However, the network cables aren't attached to anything. There are no switches or routers in that terminal area yet. Do I buy a switch to attach all of those cables to and then connect the switch to the modem and then to the router?
Buy a switch with 2 or 3 more ports than you have wires. You'll need at least 1 extra for the uplink.

You plug the modem into the router, then port 1 of the router goes to the last port of the switch. Then plug all other wires into the switch. Done deal.

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Originally Posted by lsquare View Post
Since I'll have a tenant living in the basement, I think it'll be best to keep him to another wireless network. I have an existing Linksys WRT54L that can be used. Would you guys recommend that I use that to create a second wireless network just for the tenant? If so, how do I integrate that into my existing setup?
Are you saying that you want him off your network? Or just off your other wireless access point?

There are 2 ways to do this, wired or wireless. Wireless would work with the WRT54L that you're talking about. Put it in the basement and load something like DD-WRT firmware on it and then turn all routing off for the router. Run a wire from the WAN port of the router to one of the ports on your switch on the third floor.

The wired method would require you to get a "smart" or semi-managed switch (for the 3rd floor switch) and create VLANs.

If you want him off your network entirely but still have access to your internet connection then you're going to need a switch that does VLANs, I think.
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Old October 8, 2011, 01:19 AM
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There is product to do this.... Raceways, Cable Trays and Conduit for Safe Cable Runs



Buy a 5 port switch and plug your wall outlet and all your toys into it. It'll work perfectly. Only "problem" is that everything in your room will share the bandwidth of a gigabit link.... which will not be a problem.



I would get something like the Asus RT-N16. It's got external antennas so you should be able to put high gain ones on and get your range up. I would start with just leaving the wireless router on the third floor with all the other equipment and see how it goes from there. You might have to lay the antennas flat. You'll have to experiment.....



Buy a switch with 2 or 3 more ports than you have wires. You'll need at least 1 extra for the uplink.

You plug the modem into the router, then port 1 of the router goes to the last port of the switch. Then plug all other wires into the switch. Done deal.



Are you saying that you want him off your network? Or just off your other wireless access point?

There are 2 ways to do this, wired or wireless. Wireless would work with the WRT54L that you're talking about. Put it in the basement and load something like DD-WRT firmware on it and then turn all routing off for the router. Run a wire from the WAN port of the router to one of the ports on your switch on the third floor.

The wired method would require you to get a "smart" or semi-managed switch (for the 3rd floor switch) and create VLANs.

If you want him off your network entirely but still have access to your internet connection then you're going to need a switch that does VLANs, I think.
Thanks a lot for the tip and especially at this time of the day. :)

I think there are 10 rooms with a Cat 5 cable going inside. What's a good performance switch for this task?

What I want is to utilize the wired network for only the second and third floor as that's where my family will be living. I'll just unplug the network cables from the basement away from the switch. Then I'll cover it up with an empty faceplate.

Then I want to create two wireless network. The dual band routers/repeaters will be for the second and third floors. This is where friends and family will use. The tenants in the basement will use the Linksys WRT54L. I already have DD-WRT installed on it. Someone even said that if I create a second wireless network, I can then use DD-WRT to not only monitor what they're doing on their wireless network, but also slow them down should they decide to go crazy on the bandwidth. Is this true? If so, how do I integrate the Linksys WRT54L into my setup? The big problem is that the terminal is on the third floor and I need the Linksys WRT54L in the basement to ensure that there is excellent coverage in the basement area.

Thanks!
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Old October 8, 2011, 06:48 AM
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Depending on how your baseboard was done you could "easily" pop that off to run cables around a room. They usually leave a 1/2" from the floor with drywall so you have a nice conduit built in for a couple of cables. For a switch I personally like the linksys/cisco small business line, something like this;

NCIX.com - Buy Cisco 16 Port 10/100/1000 Gigabit Switch (SR2016) - CISCO - SR2016T-NA - in Canada

As for wireless you may want to plan/look at running your router with another AP extending your range for the weak areas. I don't know what to suggest for a residential setup though sorry. But it would fix any coverage areas. There is ways to run private and public APs on the same hardware as well, that would allow you to control your tenant, friends, and family access. Someone else can confirm this but I think DD-WRT routers can do this(sorry I setup commercial setups, small setups elude me).
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Old October 8, 2011, 04:31 PM
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Depending on how your baseboard was done you could "easily" pop that off to run cables around a room. They usually leave a 1/2" from the floor with drywall so you have a nice conduit built in for a couple of cables. For a switch I personally like the linksys/cisco small business line, something like this;

NCIX.com - Buy Cisco 16 Port 10/100/1000 Gigabit Switch (SR2016) - CISCO - SR2016T-NA - in Canada

As for wireless you may want to plan/look at running your router with another AP extending your range for the weak areas. I don't know what to suggest for a residential setup though sorry. But it would fix any coverage areas. There is ways to run private and public APs on the same hardware as well, that would allow you to control your tenant, friends, and family access. Someone else can confirm this but I think DD-WRT routers can do this(sorry I setup commercial setups, small setups elude me).
Is it necessary to get such an expensive switch?
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Old October 8, 2011, 06:10 PM
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8+ ports Gigabit switches are not cheap. This is the one I use.

NCIX.com - Buy D-LINK DGS-1016D 16 Port Gigabit 10/100/1000 Rackmountable Switch - D-Link - DGS-1016D - in Canada
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Old October 8, 2011, 08:22 PM
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You can just daisy-chain a bunch of these together to get however many ports you need:
NCIX.com - Buy Trendnet TEG-S80G GREENnet 10/100/1000 8 Port Gigabit Switch RoHS - TRENDnet - TEG-S80G - in Canada

Cheap and works fine. Assuming your router has 4 LAN ports, you could hook up 1 switch to each port netting you 24 ports total. Nothing stops you from plugging a switch into a switch either though, so you can have as many ports as you need.

Granted it's going to be sharing bandwidth, but it's unlikely that you'll saturate a Gigabit link that often. Internet access surely won't. Only if you have a ton of LAN traffic it might become an issue.

And if you need to plug 2 devices into a single jack, you could use one of these on BOTH ends: For only $2.02 each when QTY 50+ purchased - T Adapter Cat5e 1M/2F - 6 inch | T Adapters
Only downside is that you'll be limited to 100Mbps due to the way it "shares" the single cable.

Placing a single wireless router on the 2nd floor, in the middle of the house, should get you whole home coverage (depends on how big the house is though and if there's a lot of metal in the walls/floor). I'd recommend the WNDR3700 personally as that's what I use. My WNDR3700 resides in the basement, about center in the house, and it covers my whole house, but it's only a 2 bdr bungalow at ~800 sq ft.

Although the ASUS RT-N16 is a good router, it's wireless is lacking IMO. Single band, and just poor signal strength. I still use it though as my router-only, running Tomato firmware. My WNDR3700 is the access point, with stock firmware.

Last edited by JD; October 8, 2011 at 08:36 PM.
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Old October 8, 2011, 10:37 PM
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You can just daisy-chain a bunch of these together to get however many ports you need:
NCIX.com - Buy Trendnet TEG-S80G GREENnet 10/100/1000 8 Port Gigabit Switch RoHS - TRENDnet - TEG-S80G - in Canada

Cheap and works fine. Assuming your router has 4 LAN ports, you could hook up 1 switch to each port netting you 24 ports total. Nothing stops you from plugging a switch into a switch either though, so you can have as many ports as you need.

Granted it's going to be sharing bandwidth, but it's unlikely that you'll saturate a Gigabit link that often. Internet access surely won't. Only if you have a ton of LAN traffic it might become an issue.

And if you need to plug 2 devices into a single jack, you could use one of these on BOTH ends: For only $2.02 each when QTY 50+ purchased - T Adapter Cat5e 1M/2F - 6 inch | T Adapters
Only downside is that you'll be limited to 100Mbps due to the way it "shares" the single cable.

Placing a single wireless router on the 2nd floor, in the middle of the house, should get you whole home coverage (depends on how big the house is though and if there's a lot of metal in the walls/floor). I'd recommend the WNDR3700 personally as that's what I use. My WNDR3700 resides in the basement, about center in the house, and it covers my whole house, but it's only a 2 bdr bungalow at ~800 sq ft.

Although the ASUS RT-N16 is a good router, it's wireless is lacking IMO. Single band, and just poor signal strength. I still use it though as my router-only, running Tomato firmware. My WNDR3700 is the access point, with stock firmware.
Thanks for the advice.

My new house is about 3500 sq. feet. Sadly the wires all terminates in the master bedroom on the third floor. If I put a wireless access point there, I'm pretty sure the basement and parts of the main floor will not have a decent signal.

Does the Tomato firmware have the capability to turn a router into a wireless repeater?
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Old October 8, 2011, 10:38 PM
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What's the biggest difference between the switch that you listed and the one that JD listed? There is a massive price difference.
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Old October 9, 2011, 07:45 AM
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Does the Tomato firmware have the capability to turn a router into a wireless repeater?
Yes it does, so does DD-WRT. It's just that Tomato has much more limited support of devices than DD-WRT, but I found DD-WRT to be a bit temperamental at times.

However, I personally wouldn't use the Wireless Repeater function. It results in only half the bandwidth as the other half is used to connect to the wireless network. Since you have jacks on every floor, just use one of them to plug into the LAN port of the 2nd wireless router. This way it'll act as a switch w/ access point giving you full bandwidth. Just configure the SSID and WPA key to the same. Your devices will connect to whichever AP has better signal strength. Oh and you'll also need to change the LAN IP of the router, so if the default is 192.168.1.1 on the main router, then the 2nd router would be 192.168.1.2
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