In a couple of days, I've going to have my condo structurally wired with cat6 lines. I'm planning on adding a total of 11 cat6 lines. I want 3 in the master, 4 in the computer area, and 4 where the tv sits. I plan on using wall plates that use keystones. I've been using the guide "http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Wire-Your-House-..." as a reference, but now I have a couple questions:
1. Being that I only need an 11 port switch, should I just go with a 12 port switch? Reason why is because I actually wanted to get a 24 port switch, so that if I ever moved and needed more ports I wouldn't be limited. The only thing is that with technology, would it be worth just upgrading to a better switch when that time came. The switch I'm looking at is the TRENDnet 24-Port Unmanaged Gigabit GREENnet Rack-Mount Metal Housing Switch, TEG-S24G.
2. I'm also going to use a patch panel too. I know its not necessary, but it want the best set up possible. Any advice? The one I'm looking at is the TRENDnet 24-Port Cat6 Unshielded Patch Panel, TC-P24C6.
3. This might not be the right section to ask this question, but I'm also interested in setting up a file server or NAS, but read somewhere to stay away from NAS. I have a Raspberry Pi that I have Raspbmc on. Currently the storage that is connected to is just an external drive. I figure with a file server or NAS I can gain more storage. I also could use it for backing up the computers in my house. I figure since everything is going to be wired, I should take advantage of it.
You are likely not going to find a "better" switch in the future. When you talk unmanaged switches what other feature can they have. Almost all can pass traffic at 1g in and 1g out to all ports simultaneously...ie wirespeed or non blocking which ever term you prefer.
Sure maybe switches with 10g ports will come down as cheap as 1g in the future but then we need end devices that can also really use 10g. How long will that be most devices today can not even use close to 1g of bandwidth.
Now if you are talking manged switches that have features like vlans or PoE or other stuff the price of those will likely continue to drop and you may see better stuff but if you do not actually need the features of a managed switch it is a waste of money since it does not pass traffic any faster than a unmanged switch.
If you use a patch panel or plug the cables directly into a switch is mostly a matter of personal preference. There likely is no technical advantage one way or the other. It would give you some flexibility I guess if you wanted to plug say a analog phone line into one connection since you can directly plug rj11 plugs into rj45 jacks on both ends.
The file server question you might be better off asking on one of the PC forums. I suspect it is going to be that NAS is too generic a term. I am sure the guys that sell the commercial disk systems from netapp or EMC or hitachi could show why these "NAS" systems can outperform any server based system. The problem is a number of NAS systems sold in the consumer market are designed to be as cheap as possible at the cost to performance. I bet there are NAS systems somewhere between the very expensive commercial ones and the low end cheap ones but I am a network guy and can't say.