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Home networking ideas??

Last response: in Networking
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March 15, 2013 6:42:26 AM

Hi,

I have recently bought a place which I am planning to refurbish.
Home networking just struck me. Can anyone pls help with some good ideas.
I want to have wired Ethernet in all bed rooms, drawing room, dining room, kitchen, etc.
I was thinking of running cat6 cables (crossover cables) from a under stair cupboard to all desired locations and connect these cables to a gigabit switch. Connect a port on the gigabit switch to one of the ethernet ports on the router using a straight cable.
This will enable me to connect to internet from all rooms using wired route.
I also want to connect one of the ports on the switch to a NAS filer, so we have a common storage and files are accessible from anywhere in the house.
My questions are:
1. Does this setup look alright?
2. Any recommendation for the hardware/software?
3. Can I use xbox kinect to access media from the NAS filer?
4. Any suggestion to improve the setup?

Many thanks in advance.

- bk

More about : home networking ideas

March 15, 2013 6:50:55 AM

CAT6 is the best possible option. You don't want crossover cables though. Wire them all as 568B straight cables on both ends to use for your network. You can share the NAS with all devices as long as they can play the format of the content. Try to keep the cables at least 6 and preferably 8-12 inches from power lines, if you have to cross over the power lines do it at a right angle to minimize interference. Also stay as far as possible away from florescent lights with the CAT6.
March 15, 2013 6:53:18 AM

I recently rebuilt my network and upgraded to 30MB. I am running a cable modem to a wifi/gigabit router to a gigabit switch with CAT 6a. I run six wired devices and three wifi devices. Your setup looks fine although I think crossover cables are specifically for PC to PC connections. I have used DLink, Rosewill, Westell and ASUS components all with success. I don't know about question 3. Just make sure your router and switches are gigabit for the fastest transfers.
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March 15, 2013 6:58:25 AM

All looks good to me, and I would suggest Cisco 1st and D-Link second for network hardware.

EDIT: and you don't want crossovers.
March 15, 2013 7:00:55 AM

You definitely want to use CAT6 cabling - it will reduce interference, and give strong 1GB connectivity between devices. Location of the outlets will be key - you may want to put multiple outlets in several of the rooms. You also might look at adding a second drop to each jack for phone use and/or future IPTV...

Use a patch panel in your "closet", so you can select which cable goes to which router, switch, etc....

Last thing - the "closet" should to be the distribution point for internet, network, phone, possible cable TV, etc....make sure that the utility companies can get to that location from the outside easily - as upgrades to your services may require access.
March 15, 2013 7:02:36 AM

You might also want to think about creating wireless access points at strategic locations through the home. With phones, tablets, notebook computers, etc. all wondering about the house, a cat6 cable drop to these strategic locations would be a good thing.
March 15, 2013 7:07:43 AM

when you buy the patch panel and wall outlets they will have thier own color code to follow when you punch down. if you want to save a little money use CAT-5e it is still GB rated. your Xbox will not recognize a NAS.
March 15, 2013 7:42:54 AM

After mostly buying cheap wireless-N routers, I was very pleasantly surprised recently when I got a high-end dual band wireless-N router. Throughput approached wired, even through a couple of walls, if I also used a higher quality wireless adapter.
I've since had the opportunity to test another dual-band router, with similar results.
I have also used some Powerline networking components, and found them fast and reliable as well, even if the signal was going through my breaker box. My wife streams YouTube and other video all the time, and hasn't complained; her connection is using 200Mb/s Powerline (up to 500Mb/s is available).
The short version of all this is, other than one or two key, fixed locations, you will probably find it a lot more convenient and cheaper (even with premium components) to consider wireless and/or Powerline networking for comprehensive coverage.
March 15, 2013 7:44:21 AM

Great! Thanks everyone
Any suggestion on how to add a media server to this setup? Also, any other suggestions which I can or should consider on technology front while the refurbishment is going on?
March 15, 2013 7:53:35 AM

If you have an XBox, the Windows Media Center option allows you to share TV, movies, videos, pictures and music between PC's and the XBox - provided that DRM allows for it. Setting up an extender (XBox) is easy, and quick. Up to 5 XBoxes can be added to a single PC as an extender, sharing all media on the computer. Windows 7 Media Center is the most stable of the installations.

I use Windows 7 for a "server" that acts as a media server to all my other PCs.
March 15, 2013 7:54:41 AM

The media server you might want to be wired, especially if multiple people might stream video off it at the same time. If there's room, I'd put it in the same closet as the router.
The two dual-band routers I tested both have USB 2.0 ports on them. The one I'm using now has a 1TB Passport plugged into it; I've named it "Closet." If my wife needs me to do something to some file, I just tell her to "put it in the closet," then I can access it later.
March 15, 2013 8:41:02 AM

How about ..

router-->powerline--> pc/access point

No messing with cables, buy good quality 500Mbps brand.

Heard good reports about the Netgear Nano XAVB5201 being the best at the moment.
March 15, 2013 8:53:54 AM

Crossover cables are not needed. Any relatively modern switch or router will auto-sense the cables plugged into them and adjust without need for crossover cables.
March 15, 2013 2:56:35 PM

das_stig said:
How about ..
router-->powerline--> pc/access point
...

I am using something similar with good results; my difference is that at the "other" end of the Powerline connection is a 4-port Powerline adapter, that provides the connections for my wife's PC and at least one other test PC.
March 17, 2013 2:08:49 AM

das_stig said:
How about ..

router-->powerline--> pc/access point

No messing with cables, buy good quality 500Mbps brand.

Heard good reports about the Netgear Nano XAVB5201 being the best at the moment.

We run our router straight to powerline, then have 2 APs around the house and extra powerlines for some PCs and can vouch for this setup
May 9, 2013 2:52:05 PM

For your NAS, I have one that is recognised by both my Xbox and PS3. Western Digital MyBook Live, DLNA cert and comes in various sizes and has it's own media streamer. If you put a movie or music file on there to be recognised by both concoles, make sure the format is Universal. http://www.bestbuy.com/site/WD---2TB-My-Book-Live-Perso...
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