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Help me design my FIOS Network

Last response: in Networking
August 10, 2006 7:59:57 AM

The subject line says it all. I am a noob when it comes to networking. Please feel free to let the suggestions fly. I need to know all there is.

In a couple weeks I will be getting FIOS from Verizon. I will be fishing Cat5e into my walls myself. I don’t plan on connecting the RJ-45 connectors but I’ll watch them to know if they are using T568A or T568B wiring standards.

I want to install RJ-45’s in at least 3 to 5 rooms for gaming. I think I need a router and not a switch. Right? Where would the best place be to install the router? Can it be installed in my garage? It isn’t heated there and there are bugs. I just want it out of the way. I don’t want it sitting on a desk with 6 or 7 lines coming out of the wall.

What type of router would be the best?
Can you think of anything that would make this easier?
What things should I avoid?

My goal is to have people over, plug into the wall jacks, see each other,exchange files and shoot each other in peace, oh and be able to get on the web.

Thank you all in advance.

P.S. The guys who install the fiber optic lines left me like 250 feet of fiber lines. Can I use that in anyway?

More about : design fios network

August 10, 2006 1:03:48 PM

There is nothing special about setting up a home network with FIOS, you would do it exactly the same way with a cable modem, etc. You will need a router to share the IP address from Verizon (?). It sounds like you are willing to spend some money on this, so maybe look into either getting a router with a built in gigabit switch, or get an gigabit switch in addition to the router. If you are going to be placing equipment in the garage, you may want to look into the possibility of getting a small wall-mounted swing out rack. Then get a patch panel and rack-mount switch to complete the pro look. Just remember that electronics and extreme heat/cold + humidity don't go well together. There's nothing difficult about terminating the Cat5 yourself, just read up about it online, and you'll need a few tools which are available for under $50.
August 10, 2006 6:54:59 PM

The FIOS std is 5/2 mbps, so most any router will work, they do provide one with the service. You did mentioned that you were going to have 3-5 drops. So invest in a 8 port router or switch if you are using the supplied wrouter. A gig switch can be used to expand the network if using their router.

FIOS Installation consist of setting a box where the fiber will connet to. This requires power, and cannot be outside. It has a apc ups to carry the unit for 3 hr encase of a power failure. The fiber is then converted to a cat5 and phone service. In most cases they run it to the same general location where you phone service comes in. You will need to locate a location some where in your house or guarge that has an outlet close. I had them locate mine in a closet, where my breaker panel is. I then added a new circuit for the box. I would have used the guarge but it's on the opposite side of my house, where all of my computer equipment is. They ran a single cat5 to my computer room. From there I connected to my router with a path cable.

None of my wires show. My router has the ports in back, makes a clean installation.

As for you yours. The wireless router supplied by verizon is large. All ports come out the back. You are not required to use it, but you will need it if you have a problem with your service. Now you will need a single outlet to powerup the ups to run your network hardware (router). You need to pick a location weather in a closet or a where ever. If you plan on using the 11g wireless in the router I recommend a location near where you main use will be. Verizon will run 1 cat5 cable and wall jack to the location of your choice from the FIOS box. Don't let them talking you in to a loaction of there choice, they are after a easy installation. Since you will have 3-5 drops, you will be installing a multiport wall jack. Or terminate and connect directly to your router. Fewer the connection, fewer the problems. Make it easy on your self and do not pick a outside insulated wall and not in a tight craw space. You will find if you avoid outside wall for your drops it is a lot easier to run. Wall jack to wall jack will require a punch down tool. They are color coded so you should not mess up. Then you can used purchaed patch cables.

Plan out your wiring, you do not want to be making a snap decision that will haunt you. If you ask they will leave extra cat5 cable in the atic if you think you might relocate it a later date.
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August 10, 2006 9:40:39 PM

Heh, I usually tell people outside walls are the easiest. Just get some outdoor Cat5 and sling it along the outside of the house same as the TV cable guys do. It's alot faster than attic duty, plus if it's on the back or side of the house anyway then nobody will really notice it. I just got tired of being in 120 degree attics for hours at a time and feeling like crap for the next day or two afterwards. Now I only get in attics if somebody's paying :) 
August 10, 2006 9:58:47 PM

Yhea, I have run off installers in the past for not wanting to do it the proper way. Cheap and Dirty doesn't work in my house. With these connect a rod fish tapes now, atleast in most cases you can avoid the low over hang. And like I said if you avoid the outside drops it not real bad. Here in texas our averge high is 100+, right now.

As for the heat, I use to do AC service. Always the hottest day when they fail. My price was double if I had to work in the attic. But I kind-of had them in a bind when there AC was out. They only wanted one thing, FIX IT.
August 10, 2006 10:52:10 PM

I am picking the middle package of 15/2mbps. Will most routers be ok then?

I have their DSL now and have the Westell 327W wireless now it is 11g. So I’ll be getting a replacement?

You mentioned a gig switch. Is that instead of a router? Will a gig switch transfer traffic between 3-5 computers faster or will I not see a difference?

My phone line comes into my house in the outside garage wall. The copper then runs into the attic and down the walls the termination points.

I think I remember them saying they will need to install something on the inside of my garage. They have told me that they do not do work in attics. They will only run the Cat5 around the outside of the house. I do not want that. I have never been a fan of that. (Just personal choice)

So Blue, here is what I am thinking. Please let me know if I am off.

They Run the Fiber cable to the side of my house into the garage.
They install some sort of a junction box on the outside or inside of the garage for Cat5e and copper?
I liked the idea of the router in the closet so; I run a 120v line into the closet and install an outlet there.
Then I run Cat5 from their junction box in or near the garage up into the attic and into the back of this router in the closet.
Then I run 3 or 5 or however many drops I want and the router supports, back up into the attic.
Then I fish those down to where I wan them in each of the rooms.
Now I also want to also to keep my wireless capabilities. So I run one of the Cat5e to my computer room where the current router is and plug it in and then run a small patch cable to my desktop?

You mentioned that none of your wires show. I am trying to picture how all the cabling can come out of the wall and look ok. Can you post a picture? Oh wait…is that where I get the multi port wall jack? Could you upload an imageshack photo so I know we are on the same page?

You added a whole new circuit just for the box. Is there a reason or this is just what you wanted?

Is “path cable” the same as patch cable? (Just a small amount of cabling?)

So if my description of the path I want the cabling to flow isn’t clear let me know. If it makes sense, could you type out a flow chart of the hardware?

Thank you for being a great resource.
August 10, 2006 11:49:34 PM

You mentioned a gig switch. Is that instead of a router? Will a gig switch transfer traffic between 3-5 computers faster or will I not see a difference?

Yes. A switch can speed up the speed between pc if all are using gigabit nics. Just connect it to one of your existing lan ports on your current router.

You mentioned that none of your wires show. I am trying to picture how all the cabling can come out of the wall and look ok. Oh wait…is that where I get the multi port wall jack?

All of the wires are located behind my desk coming off 1 6 port wall jack and 1 single jack (FIOS cat5). They all connect to my 8 port FVS338 router, all jacks on back. Wires drop behind the desk and wall.

You added a whole new circuit just for the box. Is there a reason or this is just what you wanted?

By code you are not suppose to double up wires on breakers. Besides I wanted it that way.

Is “path cable” the same as patch cable?

Typo on my part, patch, short cable. Just make sure you total length is a minimum 6ft in length.

Cabling flow.

FOIS cat5e -> WAN Router -> Router LANs to all PC's

or with a switch

FOIS cat5e -> WAN Router -> Gigaport Swithch -> Router LANs to all PC's

You way want to connect your wireless AP directly to your router, not the switch. It will have more than enough speed to handle any wireless. You may also consider upgrading to cat6 cable. Although all of the hardware is more expensive. Cat5e will handle the gigabit speed. Cat6 and 7 cabling is more trouble to terminate, then if you really want the speed you will need to use a line tester to make sure everything is in spec. Stick with 5e a lot less trouble.
August 11, 2006 1:58:42 AM

By code you are not suppose to double up wires on breakers. Besides I wanted it that way.

By code, amatuer electricians aren't supposed to add new circuits in their homes either, but I'm assuming since you said you used to do AC work that you have some sort of license for that sort of thing. :) 
August 11, 2006 2:15:16 AM

Journyman, And have had high voltage training too.
August 11, 2006 4:04:25 AM

This is good. Thank you.

Ok, if just one person plugs into my LAN that is not gigabit enabled, then all connections drop down to their level right?

With my setup, I want all computers that are connected to be able to download from the internet all at once. I think I read on another post that one computer would hog all the bandwidth and none else could download until they were done.

Before I ask the next questions, I warned you. I am new to networking and have A LOT of simple questions. I think I titled this thread correctly. :lol:  :oops: 

In the flow of data;

What does a WAN Router do? What will it do for my network?

What is the Gigport Switch do? What will it do for my network?

Will I still have my Westell 327W in the loop somewhere? Can you explain again how wireless can be incorporated into this LAN?

I drew a map of my house if that might help.

I looked at your FVS338 router and I think I liked most everything except the dial-in abilities. I don’t think I need that.

On the same level quality as the Netgear FVS338 router, (that’s the WAN router?) what would be a recommended gigaport switch?

What piece of hardware did you put into the closet again?

As always, Thank you
August 11, 2006 1:35:56 PM

You will get a new router with the FIOS service so the westel will not be needed.

WAN Router? WAN is the port used to connect to your ISP side with a router.

OK a router is a device that allow users to share 1 IP address. The way it works. When you sign up for service you are accoilcated 1 IP address. The router when connected to the system obtains the 1 IP address just like it would if your pc was directly connected. This IP is the WAN PORT. Now as users are connected to the LAN port the router will assign each compter a private IP Address. So when a user access the www it monitors the request. So when the request comes back it know which user requested it and will direct the data only to that user. The router will also preform firewall functions. Montoring the outbound trafic it know what inbound is requested. It will only accept the requested packets, rejecting all others.

A switch is a device that allow networks to expand. But it can not do the NAT function that a routers does. But has one unique function. It remembers the IP's on each port. So if a request was between 2 IP's on it switch it would direct the traffic internally to connect the 2 ports. Otherwise it would be required to go back to the router and the router would make the conncetion. The lan ports on a router is a switch. Now managed switchs have other features. They can actually control bandwidth, so 1 users can not take it all.

A HUB is a dumb switch. Meaning that all traffic will be passed up to the router.

A good managed switch will maintain the highest bandwidth between ports. Meaning 2 gigaport useres will use the gigabit speed. If a user is 100mb connecting to a gigaport, the speed will be 100mbps. They also have bandwitdh contol. Meaning you can set the maximum bandwidth a user can use. This way one user running P2P software can not use all of the bandwidth.

The fvs338 is bussiness class non megabit speed. The serial port on it is for companies that either have a backup services that is dial. Or for users in the field connecting on an VPN link through a modem. I'm not using it. The next model up has 2 WAN ports.

In your case the router supplied ( Actiontec M1424WR) will handle 4 users + wireless clients. If you are planing on using the wireless 11g, it is best to locate it near the usage area. So locating it in a closet is not the best location. You can turn off the wireless if you are not using it. I highly recomend it, Or at the least set up the WPA encryption. This is why I use a seperate AP. I run 1 cat5e to where it is. In my case it is the bedroom area of my house.

Note you can always add switches or hubs any place in the house that you have a single drop to expand.

Whats in the closet ? The equipment to convert the FIO to cat5e and to my phone. This will be in your guarge.
August 11, 2006 4:09:43 PM

I think this is getting clearer. I may have been making this harder then it really was.

Ok, let’s see if I can create this network in my head;

FIOS comes into my garage and the Verizon tech converts it to CAT5e.

I then run it through my attic down into my computer room where I terminate it into a multi port wall jack.

Then I get a patch cable (cat5e not less then 6 feet) and plug into the WAN router that Verizon will provide.

Then take another patch cable and plug it into the back of a gigaport switch.

Then take 3 to 5 patch cables, plug one into the back of my desktop and run the others back into the multiport wall jack.

Run new CAT5e up the walls and down into the termination points in different rooms?

Does all this sound right?

I want to get started on this so I'm going to go buy the CAT5e. That correct type is the UTP right?

Oh wait… just thought. Can I buy a combination WAN wireless Router With a gigaport switch already in it? You said the one they provide has 4 ports like the Westell, but I’ll need more to create the LAN with the size I want. If I did that there would be fewer connections.

Also, what is a “separate AP”?

Since you have done all this and your FIOS is working, I assume that Verizon has no problem with you setting up the network? Were there limitations that they told you about or you are finding?

Why did you say cat5e patch must not be less the 6 feet?

Oh, also, did you notice any problem with the firmware in the router they provided? I read that some people were not getting the speeds promised because of a firmware update that had not been done.

And I may sound like I am repeating myself but

August 11, 2006 4:59:59 PM

I then run it through my attic down into my computer room where I terminate it into a multi port wall jack.

Verizon will do this (make one drop), it part of the setup.

Then I get a patch cable (cat5e not less then 6 feet) and plug into the WAN router that Verizon will provide.

You can use any length here because you allready hav a long run from the guarge.

Then take another patch cable and plug it into the back of a gigaport switch.

MUST USE A ROUTER HERE, It will connect to the WAN PORT.
You can connect the switch to the router's LAN Port.

Then take 3 to 5 patch cables, plug one into the back of my desktop and run the others back into the multiport wall jack.

The cable conneting to the pc from the switch or router must be the 6' length here. The sam if you connect the switch to the router.

Why did you say cat5e patch must not be less the 6 feet?


There are Gigabit routers on the market. Some have wireless. DO NOT BUY ANY Pre 11N on MIMO hardware. They are not compatable with existing hardware. No mater what the mfg say, test show other wise.

A AP is the 11g wireless. It is strictly the wireless part, stand alone. Is connceted into the system with a cat 5 cable to any where you want ot set it up at. Only has 2 wires conneted to it, power and cat5. The wireless that comes on the Verizon routers has a 7dbi High gain antenna, so it may give good coverage. Haven't tested since I all ready had hardware in place.

I did not use there supplied router. My hardware is far better than they were supplying.
August 11, 2006 5:17:51 PM

Here's a craptastic photoshpp mock up of what it might look like. I'm assuming here that you'll be using the router Verizon gives you.

1. Fiber comes into the house and is converted to Cat5 by Verizon, this is probably in the garage.

2. From the media converter, a single Cat5e cable is run to the WAN port on the router. If you want the router in the garage then just use a patch cable. If you want the router in the house somewhere, then you will need to run Cat5 from the media converter in the garage to whereever the router will be.

3. On the back of the router you have 4 LAN ports. Plug one of those LAN ports into whatever switch you end up getting, leaving you with 7 free LAN ports on the switch (assuming an 8 port switch).

4. From the switch, plug in all your computers plus your wireless access point.

5. If you are going to be running cabling to other parts of the house then you will need to run the cables however you see fit. I am assuming you are going to have something like a 6 port wall plate in the room where your switch is, then in each of the other rooms you have single port wall plates.

6. From the switch, take patch cables and connect one end to a free switch port and the other end to a port in the 6 port wallplate.

7. In the other rooms, connect the computers to the wallplates.

8. For the wireless, you can either use the wireless on the router Verizon gives you, or you can buy your own wireless AP (NOT a wireless ROUTER!). As Blue said, an AP only has 1 Cat5 port and it's only function is to connect wireless computers to the wired network. If you use Verizon's wireless router then you should put it inside the house somewhere. If you use your own AP then you can put it anywhere you have a free network port to plug it in. Such places would include the 8 port switch, the back of Verizon's router or any of the rooms with an open wall plate.
August 11, 2006 9:05:12 PM

Ok, lights are coming on upstairs. Thank you so much guys!

But looks like I am confused

Blue, are you saying run the cat5e to a gigabit switch THEN to the router?


Fred, are you saying run the cat5e to the router THEN the gigabit switch?

The gigabit switches I am looking at also have a firewall in them. Will that cause a Problem when both the router and switch have a firewall?

Also Fred, that is cool, I can get a wireless AP and just pick it up and move it around the house to a free RJ-45.

Does the AP have a firewall? I’d assume it does.

I’d also assume that the broadcast from the AP can be encrypted?

So why must a ct5e no be less then 6 feet?

Fred, that “craptastic” diagram is great!

So I am thinking of replacing the Verizon wireless router with a wired 1 port router with no 11g. That will give the benefit of the hardwired firewall.
If I have a mobile AP I see no need to have 2 broadcasts going out. Right?

When I am running the cat5e in the attic, is there anything I need to be careful of, like since it will be unshielded will it matter if it is around phone copper or coaxial?

Is the FVS338 a gigabit switch? I looked at it online and I only saw it saying
ProSafe VPN Firewall 50
with 8 Port 10/100 Switch and Dial Back-up
50 VPN Tunnels for Encrypted Remote Access NETGEAR’s ProSafe™ VPN Firewall with 8 Port 10/100 switch

edit: ok I see that I was looking at the wrong switch for me. I don't want to spend over a grand for a gigabit switch. I found them for under $100.
August 11, 2006 11:12:52 PM

FOIS cat5e to router'sWAN port -> router's LAN to Pc's or gigabit switch then to Pc's.

You first device must be a router. I think you are getting your terms mixed up. A router consist of a NAT and a switch, and some times wireless.

YOU CAN NOT USED A SWITCH TO REPLACE THE ROUTER. It does not do the Required NAT function.

AP do not have firewalls. But do have encryption needed to secure the wireless.

As far as things to avoid in attic. Try to have the cat5e atleast 1 foot from ac wiring. Do not lay on top of floursent lighting.


Run the wires you will need from HOME BASE to all locations needed.

Use the Verizon supplied router for awhile. It's free with the service. You can always add a gigabit switch or router later on.

Yes, the fvs338 is expensive, not a residential router.
NO it is not a gigabit.

You are only getting 15mbps speed service. Most all routers can handle that kind of speed. The gig speed is not needed on the wan port. If you are going to be transfering LARGE FILES > 1 gig between pc a gig port switch will be an advantage. Local gaming is ?????? If you are going to host you will need some serious hardware that you do not have.

You can always upgrade as you needs change and you fully under stand where your bottle necks are.

Now with that said. Managed switches with bandwidth control are expensive. Not the ones you find for $100.

You will also find the hard you push your equipment the more likly probles will show up, hangs, reboots, dropped connections. All of these are indicators of hardware over heating and/or unable to take the constant hammering. That is the sole reason I use bussiness class equipment.
August 13, 2006 9:25:39 PM

Blue68100 & FredWeston,

Thank you very much for being patient with me. I think I have it under control now. I know where to post if I have any questions.

This forum is full of smart people who are pretty darn nice.
August 13, 2006 9:32:00 PM

Glad to be of service.

You were smart in tring to understand how a network needs to be laid out. I see alot of patched systems. There is always a point where you need to upgrade hardware. It seams most residential services just add parts to the mix, to keep it going. And never repair there weak link.
February 15, 2008 11:34:07 AM

I'm a newby here and I don't know if I'm at the right place so if I 'm let me know I am setting up another PC in my room with my new PC I'm hooking up on the Fios. I understand you have to have the cat 5e cable to do that. I have one PC with XP and my new one is Vista.The old one is only 6 yrs and I will be using it only for singing on which is a karaoke web site.Now I already have Fios so all I would have to do is hook the cat5e cable up? Did you say the cat6 would be a better cable or is that applying to journeymans situation.My husband says their is a wireless connection hook up too. Could you tell me how to do that? Thank you and if I'm not in right place let me know.