I just purchased a new home. Everything is pre-wired to the same patch panel located in my master bedroom closet. The telephones are prewired using Cat5e cable then to what appears to be a Leviton card located in the panel. The data/networking lines were run but don't terminate to anything. I'm left with a bunch of wires dangling in my patch panel (well they are coiled neatly not exactly dangling). I want to setup a home network so that I can run my two x-boxes and my computer. My original plan was to purchase a leviton card similar to the phone lines and hook all of the cat5e cables to it. Then I would run a line from my router to one of the data jacks. Finally I would then simply plug in my computer and x-boxes into the other data jacks. Can I do it this way, or do I actually need to have the modem and router in the patch panel? I should mention that I use my cable modem for my phone as well and that is simply plugged into a phone line jack (then networked to the other jacks via the patch panel).
You can either terminate all of the cat5e cable to a patch panel or terminate the ends then just connect directly to your switch or router.
Since you are using a cable modem phone. Most are terminated outside the house, next to the phones patch panel. It would be less trouble in the long run and easier to setup all equipment in the closet. You can go surface mount or rack. You will need a shelf for equipment, and a UPS.
You didn't indicate how many net line were run. So you have to decide, Do I purchase a large switch to cover all or just current needs.