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Help With Network Setup?

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  • Networking
Last response: in Networking
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August 11, 2013 4:11:37 PM

Recently, my house has become swamped with devices, ranging from HTPC's, Smart TV's, Pc's and a bunch of gaming consoles, along with plans for a new Storage server (but thats for another post ;) )

So lets just do a count of my devices to clear it up:

1 HTPC
2 Smart TV's
4 PC's
2 Consoles
1 Storage Server
Wireless needs
1 Extra ports

Now the numbers listed above would suggest I need 10 ports, maybe going for 12. Although I am very familiar with hardware, I have absolutely Zero experience in networking, and am more of a PC builder.

Here's how I see it:

I have a router, with 4 ports. I take one of those ports, and put it into my network switch, (a 10-12 port, Suggestions?). Then I use the switch to distribute the ethernet cables.

My Questions (Finally, Right? :) )

1. After only using one of my ports, which are on my main router (the one connected to the internet) will the other three be usable?
2. The switch will use 12 ports, will it slow down my internet, I am on a 75MB/s speed.
3. Suggestions for the following:
Network Switch (Price as low as possible, but I definitely don't mind paying more for ALOT better quality.)
Wireless Repeater (Compatible with switch?)

Any advice is more than welcome.

Thanks

More about : network setup

August 11, 2013 4:46:02 PM

Well there are a few different ways to approach this. I would suggest running everything you can off of an ethernet cable. First, it's much more reliable and higher speed than a wireless connection. Second, the fewer number of devices you have operating on your wireless signal the better that wireless will perform.

I've used mostly HP ProCurve switches personally, as they offer tremendous quality and options at the best price point. Something like the V1410-16G switch would offer something very fast and high quality, but these aren't the cheapest gigabit switches around either. Connect up any of the LAN port ethernet connections on the back of your wireless router to the switch to give you an uplink, and yes, the other remaining ports on the back of your wireless router will still be usable. Ideally, though, you'd want everything you can running off the same switch to give you the best performance.

When it comes to wireless needs, that's where you have a few more options. You can do it the cheap route or the expensive route, and of course the difference is in the quality and performance. The cheap and basic way of improving your wireless network is to purchase an additional wireless router and configure it just as an additional wireless access point in your existing network. There's several things you need to configure in the settings to make it work this way, but then ideally you can improve your coverage area as well as the efficiency of number of devices connected on your wireless signal. If you want to go more complex than this, you can look into purchasing an actual wireless access point, which often have much more robust wireless antenna systems. This can't do the actual routing on your network, it still needs your existing wireless router just for the routing layer 3 functions, but this is basically a large antenna for your network and can give you a lot of options. These are also built for handling much greater network demand than a simple home wireless router.
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August 12, 2013 12:56:43 AM

boosted1g said:
1) Yes your other ports will be completely usable, now it is better to plug everything into the switch as the switch can route the computer to computer traffic without having to go back to the router; thus pc -> switch -> pc is better then pc -> router -> switch -> pc.

2) The slowdown of the switch will be very minimal, maybe 1-2 extra milliseconds latency and you should really not see any speed difference.

3) Trendnet green gigabit switches are a good quality for the price; switches only come in 5, 8, and 16 port sizes, better to just get a 16 port then 2 8 ports
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It is 93 right now, there is often sales on them for around 75.

There is no compatibility issues with switches/repeaters.
You should just get another router though and configure it as a wireless repeater or even better as an access point
A wireless repeater takes a wireless signal and rebroadcasts it, an access point also provides wireless but it is connected to your network via an ethernet cable so it is more reliable. If you need to go the wireless repeater option then it is best to get one that is dual band or dual radio that way one radio can handle repeater->router and another radio for repeater -> devices.


Thanks, really needed to know about the speed issues *seems there are none* though.
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Best solution

August 12, 2013 8:33:25 AM

oscarz said:
boosted1g said:
1) Yes your other ports will be completely usable, now it is better to plug everything into the switch as the switch can route the computer to computer traffic without having to go back to the router; thus pc -> switch -> pc is better then pc -> router -> switch -> pc.

2) The slowdown of the switch will be very minimal, maybe 1-2 extra milliseconds latency and you should really not see any speed difference.

3) Trendnet green gigabit switches are a good quality for the price; switches only come in 5, 8, and 16 port sizes, better to just get a 16 port then 2 8 ports
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
It is 93 right now, there is often sales on them for around 75.

There is no compatibility issues with switches/repeaters.
You should just get another router though and configure it as a wireless repeater or even better as an access point
A wireless repeater takes a wireless signal and rebroadcasts it, an access point also provides wireless but it is connected to your network via an ethernet cable so it is more reliable. If you need to go the wireless repeater option then it is best to get one that is dual band or dual radio that way one radio can handle repeater->router and another radio for repeater -> devices.


Thanks, really needed to know about the speed issues *seems there are none* though.


When it comes to your actual internet speed, it's not going to affect it at all. If your current router is capable of utilizing the full 75 Mbps internet connectivity speed, then your switch is not going to really degrade that. Where a switch is going to give you better performance most likely is on your internal network speed. Many home wireless routers are only 10/100 switches, so upgrading to a gigabit switch would greatly increase your internal network speed (server to PC, etc.) but it's not going to affect your actual internet connection speed.
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