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Author Topic: Help building a new home network  (Read 1342 times)

michty_me

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Help building a new home network
« on: August 25, 2018, 01:30:24 PM »

Good afternoon all!!
Following on from a couple of previous threads I had on extending wireless networks and go to router manufacturers, I think I require some assistance in picking some equipment.

Since these threads, I have decided to lift my floorboards and run Cat5e through several rooms in the house down to a cupboard under the stairs which is central to the house and has my master socket through a plasterboard wall.

I estimate at present I'll have 7-8 Ethernet cables running to the cupboard so I would require a switch to be fitted here.

I'm considering getting the master socket moved to the inside of the cupboard so I can place my Zyxel modem in there too. Just to keep everything in the same area.

I will require a router to connect to the modem also. I've had a look at Ubiquiti products but by the reviews, I have a feeling I would get very lost very quickly and not using it to near its full potential. Most probably overkill for my needs. Are there any high end routers similar but quite user friendly?

Perhaps I would be best to stick to a more plug and play setup from TPLink, Dlink, Netgear etc?

Can someone point me in the right direction for switches, routers and AP's that are novice friendly but possibly offer enough extra features that I can expand my knowledge?
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michty_me

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Re: Help building a new home network
« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2018, 10:24:06 PM »

Ok maybe swaying towards a Ubiquiti edgerouter and one of their access points now...
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burakkucat

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Re: Help building a new home network
« Reply #2 on: August 25, 2018, 10:51:16 PM »

The first thing to consider is the number of Ethernet cables that you propose to run. Whatever the number you decide upon, double it. The cable should be Cat5e, at a minimum, or Cat6. It should be solid core not stranded core cable. (Solid core cable for structured wiring, stranded core cable is for patch leads.) You should consider fitting a patch panel in the understairs cupboard and modular sockets throughout the rest of the house. Once all the structured wiring is in place, standard patch leads are used to connect the various items of equipment throughout the house to the modular sockets. In the understairs cupboard, standard patch leads are used to connect from the patch panel to the various networking items. A switch, a router, etc.

Switches can be unmanaged or managed; simple plug and play or complex devices.

For a router, the range is similar. With regards to an actual type, I wouldn't like to make a suggestion . . . as I have never needed to use a separate device. I am aware that Ubiquiti have a number of devices and have heard good things from people who use models from the "EdgeRouter" range. (if you really want to start spending money on a router, the starting point would be a Watchfront FireBrick FB2900, then Cisco and Juniper devices!)
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Help building a new home network
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2018, 12:14:41 AM »

Agree, in particular, about doubling number of cables you think you need, ie several to each room. Otherwise, youíll end up having to install more and more switches around the house.  These cost money to buy and money to run, wheras a few more feet of Cable with just one switch will be cheaper.

Another consideration for equipment in an understairs cupboard, assuming the cupboard has not much ventilation,  is heat dissipation.   Apparatus that runs hot can dramatically shorten its life expectancy, as well as being a safety risk.  Perhaps, check out power consumption of devices on your shortlist, and prioritise the more efficient ones?

I have one TP-link switch in my collection which has impressed me by its low consumption.   It also has an internal PSU, which helps to keep wiring tidy.  Very pleased with it, been in use for several years and hasnít missed a beat.  Assuming modern version is same as mine in these regards (check before buying!), this is it...

https://www.tp-link.com/us/products/details/cat-42_TL-SG1008.html

..also available in versions with more ports, I believe.
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michty_me

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Re: Help building a new home network
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2018, 05:13:51 AM »

Morning all,

Yes, from reading loads of threads, the consensus was to run more than the required amount of runs. At present I will only be using one connection per room but looking to install 2 minimum per room as well as a draw string for any issues I may encounter.

I think before purchasing anything else, I need to ensure my cabling is run and terminated correctly.
I have a 305m box of Excel Cat5e solid core cable sitting at home but may sell this and get cat6 instead. I'm undecided about this at the minute.

Once that is all run in and terminated, I'll be looking to make a final decision on the equipment to use.
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phi2008

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Re: Help building a new home network
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2018, 03:41:29 PM »

Depending on your property there is a trick you can use that avoids pulling up floorboards. If you run a cable to the loft you can place wireless access points on the plasterboard, in the loft, above each room. It works very well(I use it) and no need to remove floorboards or add sockets to each room.
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michty_me

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Re: Help building a new home network
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2018, 04:04:04 PM »

I have considered this also.
My current WiFi setup covers my full house and parts of the garden anyway.
I've always wanted to have my home properly networked so just thought that as the floorboards will be getting worked on, I be as well lift them and get some cables in there.

On a side note. Is anyone on here using the Synology RT2600AC device?
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phi2008

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Re: Help building a new home network
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2018, 01:23:58 PM »

If you need any trunking here's a link to D-Line which I used myself, cheap and easy to fit.
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michty_me

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Re: Help building a new home network
« Reply #8 on: August 30, 2018, 03:33:19 PM »

If you need any trunking here's a link to D-Line which I used myself, cheap and easy to fit.

Ah great!! I have been looking at trunking for routing cable into the central point where my cables will be fed. Thank you very much. That stuff looks loads better than the other stuff I was looking at.
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phi2008

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Re: Help building a new home network
« Reply #9 on: August 30, 2018, 03:41:19 PM »

There are also installation videos on YouTube.  :)
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michty_me

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Re: Help building a new home network
« Reply #10 on: August 30, 2018, 04:38:36 PM »

There are also installation videos on YouTube.  :)

Excellent. Thanks for pointing me in the right direction!!
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DaveC

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Re: Help building a new home network
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2018, 11:32:07 AM »

I'm considering getting the master socket moved to the inside of the cupboard so I can place my Zyxel modem in there too. Just to keep everything in the same area.

Do you use telephones for voice?  Something you probably already know, but hasn't been mentioned in this thread is that you can also use your structured wiring for voice.

I don't use voice (I just have a DECT VOIP phone), but have had success running a CAT5e cable from A+B terminals on the front plate of my master socket (located by the front door) to my comms cupboard under the stairs (about 5m away).  By leaving the master socket where it is, it's then easy to isolate internal cabling as the cause of any fault (and of course is a DIY job).

This depends on the quality of your connection though - the general advice is to locate the modem next to the master socket to keep loss to an absolute minimum, but in my case (VDSL syncing slightly over 80/20), the CAT5e extension made no measurable difference.

I have two lines, so just used two different pairs within the same CAT5e cable for the run from the master sockets to the comms cupboard.

Something else to consider is mounting the equipment in the cupboard - I have a small "6U" 19" rack-mount data cabinet, and this has filled up over time.  So if you do buy a cabinet, buy the largest you can fit in the space, to give room for future bits of kit.  At the very least, you'll need to mount a patch panel somewhere to terminate all your cabling.
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michty_me

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Re: Help building a new home network
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2018, 11:39:28 AM »

Do you use telephones for voice?  Something you probably already know, but hasn't been mentioned in this thread is that you can also use your structured wiring for voice.

I don't use voice (I just have a DECT VOIP phone), but have had success running a CAT5e cable from A+B terminals on the front plate of my master socket (located by the front door) to my comms cupboard under the stairs (about 5m away).  By leaving the master socket where it is, it's then easy to isolate internal cabling as the cause of any fault (and of course is a DIY job).

This depends on the quality of your connection though - the general advice is to locate the modem next to the master socket to keep loss to an absolute minimum, but in my case (VDSL syncing slightly over 80/20), the CAT5e extension made no measurable difference.

I have two lines, so just used two different pairs within the same CAT5e cable for the run from the master sockets to the comms cupboard.

Something else to consider is mounting the equipment in the cupboard - I have a small "6U" 19" rack-mount data cabinet, and this has filled up over time.  So if you do buy a cabinet, buy the largest you can fit in the space, to give room for future bits of kit.  At the very least, you'll need to mount a patch panel somewhere to terminate all your cabling.

Hi Dave,
I do use the line for voice although not very regularly.

My connection is very stable sitting around 73/16. I'm unsure at present if I should leave the modem and wireless stations in the current locations and have everything else in the cupboard.

I have looked at 10" racks for the cupboard but will need to check for space when I get home next week. I'll keep in mind what you suggest about expansion on the network.
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shambly

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Re: Help building a new home network
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2018, 11:47:06 AM »

I also use my structured cat6 wiring for HDMI (using the older, cheaper, transcoders that need a pair of cables), receiving / transmitting Infra-Red, and for carrying SP-DIF. I probably use it as much for this as for network data.

I also have the analogue phone line patched into a few outlets of my patch panel but don't feed it to any rooms at present (as all my uses of the phone line are within the cabinet that houses the panel)

I put 6 cables behind each TV as well as two runs of co-ax. Even with that, in one room i've had to resort to splitting one network cable into two 10/100 connections (using 4 cores each) rather than one 1000 one (using all 8 cores).
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michty_me

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Re: Help building a new home network
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2018, 12:25:03 PM »

I also use my structured cat6 wiring for HDMI (using the older, cheaper, transcoders that need a pair of cables), receiving / transmitting Infra-Red, and for carrying SP-DIF. I probably use it as much for this as for network data.

I also have the analogue phone line patched into a few outlets of my patch panel but don't feed it to any rooms at present (as all my uses of the phone line are within the cabinet that houses the panel)

I put 6 cables behind each TV as well as two runs of co-ax. Even with that, in one room i've had to resort to splitting one network cable into two 10/100 connections (using 4 cores each) rather than one 1000 one (using all 8 cores).

That sounds like a fair setup you have there and probably way more than I require.
All I'm really needing to network is a PC, a couple of PlayStation's, a couple of TVs and a few pulls to unused rooms just while it's all up.
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