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New home networking

Last response: in Networking
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March 18, 2010 5:02:54 AM

Hello,
I am building a new house and the builder will be running a CAT 5e RJ-45 cables through multiple rooms (3 drops for sure) down to a structured cabling enclosure in basement. I am looking for some suggestions on most optimal home networking solution.
I already have a NETGEAR RangeMax Wireless router WNDR3300 that I could use in this configuration.

Here are few things that I would like to accomplish:
1. Share Internet connection as well as NAS drive among all wired & wireless devices through out the house.
2. I would like a Wireless access through out the two story home. There were will be several laptops along with a wireless printer that will be on this network.
3. Connect all hard wire connections through a fast router (unfortunately, WNDR3300 is not a gigabit router).

My question is, should I purchase anything else to make this work or can I just plug the WNDR3300 wireless router down in the basement and connect all hard wire connections directly to it?
Or will I see an increased performance if I were to buy a new gigabit router and somehow leverage WNDR3300 for the wireless access?

I have a general understanding of network, but would really like to get opinions/suggestons from people with hopes to learn something new and do a good job of setting something up.

Thank you!

More about : home networking

March 21, 2010 1:29:20 AM

I’m not sure I'd be using anything less than CAT6 at this point unless it was just cost prohibitive or I wasn’t planning to own the home for more than few years.

Gigabit is certainly my preference, but it's only going to matter for local file transfers and content streaming. And if your endpoints are all wireless, it's not going to matter either. So for the moment, it's hard to say whether Gigabit matters. Tell me for what purposes you’re using the network and I'll have a better answer.

The only thing you MUST have the junction box is a switch. A router is convenient assuming the Internet service (cable, dsl, etc.) can be run into the same box. But strictly speaking, you can place it anywhere in the home you like.

As far as wireless, you're better off dropping WAPs (wireless access points) strategically throughout the home, essentially creating local hotspots. It's highly unlikely wireless at the junction box would prove useful (not unless you had a basement office or gaming room, for example).

In all honesty, it’s not really that complex. The presence of structured wiring tends to dictate the course of action. At the box, definitely a switch, or switch + modem/router (better but hardly a requirement), and wireless where needed. The only killer is installing say CAT5e and wishing you had gone CAT6 or better. That’s the one decision that’s hard to undo. And make sure they install an enclosure w/ plenty of space for additional equipment like a modem, router, voip adapter, amplifier, etc. Nothing’s more frustrating than having saved a few bucks w/ some small, barely adequate enclosure and no room to work or add devices. Some of these enclosures can do little more than accept a switch, often those expensive proprietary ones from OnQ and similar companies.
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