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Gigabit Ethernet Switch and LAN setup Question

Last response: in Networking
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August 2, 2013 10:57:25 PM

Hey Guys, I am looking to build a personal/start-up company network in my apartment.
My current plan is:
Since our apartment only provide shared, non-secure wifi, and I do not have access to an ethernet port to connect to internet, I decided purchase an EnGenius ERB300 range extender as a media bridge. It takes the non-secure wifi and output through 1 of its 4 10/100M ethernet ports.

Here comes my main question:
Then I would like to connect that to a Gigabit Ethernet Switch, (Please recommend if you have any in mind, so far I picked the "D-Link DGS-1008G Gigabit Desktop Switch") then connect all my electronics (a hackintosh server with 9TB of storage I would like to use as a Network Access Storage machine, my main workstation running win8 that will have access to the storage, a Raspberry Pi and a TP-Link WR702N nano access point).

I am wondering is this possible?

Questions:
-Can the Ethernet Switch I picked take in Internet from the range extender via ethernet and one of its ports, or can it only be used to create a Local Area Network,

-If the previous is yes, will the TP-Link Access Point be able to generate secured Wi-Fi for my apartment,

-If the previous is also yes, I have a MacBook Air, my fellow friends will also have MacBooks and PC laptops, will we be able to access the NAS hosted by the OS X Server to share files?

-The Range extender have 4 10/100M ports, essentially I could use those and save all my trouble, but if I use the ethernet switch, will I get 1000M connection speed between all my local machines?


Thank you so much for reading all I have to ask, please provide any thoughts or recommendations you have on my configuration. If you think there's a better solution to achieve what I want described above, please don't hesitate to share it with me, I would really appreciate it.

Thanks,
James
August 3, 2013 5:07:40 AM

so let me try and make sense of this... firstly you want a device that can connect to WiFi and convert this to Ethernet?
with this Ethernet you're putting a switch in and splitting it for your various devices. So far this should work fine (with internet)...

but why do you want gigabit despite the fact that unless you have extremely fast hard drives installed in your NAS a cheaper 10/100 switch would do fine, or even the back of the extender?

so to answer your questions...

the switch could take internet if your range extender allows this, which I think it should.

The access point would then be able to generate a secured wifi network, however without a router between the initial wifi and your network on the other side this would be useless...

as for the NAS access i'm not too sure, any macs would definitely be able to connect, but PCs not sure, there may be a connector out there

and the last question has become redundant...

if I was you i'd take the extender back, get one of these (http://www.netstoredirect.com/buffalo-wireless/215450-b...) which I have, buy a cheap cable router with wifi and this will also work as your switch (http://www.amazon.co.uk/TP-Link-TL-WR1043ND-300Mbps-Wir...) I have one of those, which happens to have gigabit, cheaper alternatives are out there for both.

all you do is then set up the access point/bridge device to connect to the other network, plug an Ethernet cable between the extender and the WAN port of the cable router and set up the router as normal...hey presto!
August 3, 2013 6:38:35 AM

Allw said:
so let me try and make sense of this... firstly you want a device that can connect to WiFi and convert this to Ethernet?
with this Ethernet you're putting a switch in and splitting it for your various devices. So far this should work fine (with internet)...

but why do you want gigabit despite the fact that unless you have extremely fast hard drives installed in your NAS a cheaper 10/100 switch would do fine, or even the back of the extender?

so to answer your questions...

the switch could take internet if your range extender allows this, which I think it should.

The access point would then be able to generate a secured wifi network, however without a router between the initial wifi and your network on the other side this would be useless...

as for the NAS access i'm not too sure, any macs would definitely be able to connect, but PCs not sure, there may be a connector out there

and the last question has become redundant...

if I was you i'd take the extender back, get one of these (http://www.netstoredirect.com/buffalo-wireless/215450-b...) which I have, buy a cheap cable router with wifi and this will also work as your switch (http://www.amazon.co.uk/TP-Link-TL-WR1043ND-300Mbps-Wir...) I have one of those, which happens to have gigabit, cheaper alternatives are out there for both.

all you do is then set up the access point/bridge device to connect to the other network, plug an Ethernet cable between the extender and the WAN port of the cable router and set up the router as normal...hey presto!


Thank for taking your time to answer my question.
The reason why I choose the range extender is that since our Wi-Fi is shared between multiple apartments, the signal strength in my room is below average. I put that device as close as possible to the public router within my room to get the best signal strength, and then output internet to my ethernet switch and access point.
I thought about just getting a new Wi-Fi router with 10/100/1000M switches built-in, but since my tiny access point which I had for a while can do just the same, I decided to wait on getting a router since the one with 802.11ac are quite expensive and I would like to wait since wireless technology is still improving. This way I only need to get a ethernet switch, which have been around for years and won't see too much improvement in near future. Besides, a router will only give me 4 ports usually, this 7 port switch give me just a little more expendability.
Then you said the hard drives aren't fast enough to utilize 1000M. I believe most 7200rpm HDDs and can do around 50/1000MB/s wirte/read speed? Which is much faster then 10Mbit/s = 12.5MB/s, so I think the gigabit switch will do better than the range extender? And most of the time, we care more about the read time, which I think is definitely faster than 12.5MB/s. Correct me if I'm wrong.
So far my solution only require me to get one device and I believe is the cheapest (college student here, don't got much money :) ), and according to you it seems like it'll work. My final question is, maybe you already mentioned up there, will the PC laptops and MacBooks be able to connect to the OS X Server? My concern is that since they are connecting to the switch via the access point, will they be able to connect to all the other devices on the switch network? Also I understand some advanced feature might not available for PC, but basic file sharing should be ok right?

"The access point would then be able to generate a secured wifi network, however without a router between the initial wifi and your network on the other side this would be useless..."

What to you mean by this? The access point did fine when connected to the range extender directly to generate internet connected Wi-Fi, why would adding a switch in between affect this? Does the switch just act like a power strip for ethernet?

Again, thank you for your answer.

Related resources
August 3, 2013 7:26:48 AM

We need to back up one step. While you can use a Wireless Access Point as a bridge to connect to a wireless network and then give you a physical ethernet connection, it's going to be on the SAME network as the shared wireless network still. This means that you are operating your entire business network on the SAME network as that shared wireless network, very unsecured. You need to install the WAP, and from that connect your own wireless router. This will separate your network from the outside network. You can find wireless routers with built-in gigabit ethernet, but usually only 4 ports, and I don't know if that's enough for you. Still, this is going to be important if you want to keep your own network separate from everyone else, and will also give you your own wireless signal with better coverage. Just be sure you use a wireless passphrase as you don't want others in the apartment hopping on to your connection just to get a better signal.
August 3, 2013 7:39:19 AM

choucove said:
We need to back up one step. While you can use a Wireless Access Point as a bridge to connect to a wireless network and then give you a physical ethernet connection, it's going to be on the SAME network as the shared wireless network still. This means that you are operating your entire business network on the SAME network as that shared wireless network, very unsecured. You need to install the WAP, and from that connect your own wireless router. This will separate your network from the outside network. You can find wireless routers with built-in gigabit ethernet, but usually only 4 ports, and I don't know if that's enough for you. Still, this is going to be important if you want to keep your own network separate from everyone else, and will also give you your own wireless signal with better coverage. Just be sure you use a wireless passphrase as you don't want others in the apartment hopping on to your connection just to get a better signal.


Thank you for the reply! I realize your point, thank you! But I' wondering, since I'm connecting the extended unsecured WiFi to a switch, will the switch have any security implementation? I know nothing about the ethernet switch since I never owned one. If so, if I connect all my devices, and my own access point to the switch, aren't they all separated from the outside and can only access if anyone is connected directly to my switch, or on the Wi-Fi created by the AP connected to the switch?

Please clarify a little, thank you :) 
P.S. As I said in the reply before, I currently have the extender and the AP, I'm just looking for something I don't have to maximize my options. I currently have 3 desktops and will probably get some more in the future, so I would enjoy the additional ports a switch can offer, and I can get 802.11ac Wi-Fi routers cheaper in the future when the technology is widely implemented, I presume.

Thanks again,
James
August 3, 2013 7:43:26 AM

novasix said:
choucove said:
We need to back up one step. While you can use a Wireless Access Point as a bridge to connect to a wireless network and then give you a physical ethernet connection, it's going to be on the SAME network as the shared wireless network still. This means that you are operating your entire business network on the SAME network as that shared wireless network, very unsecured. You need to install the WAP, and from that connect your own wireless router. This will separate your network from the outside network. You can find wireless routers with built-in gigabit ethernet, but usually only 4 ports, and I don't know if that's enough for you. Still, this is going to be important if you want to keep your own network separate from everyone else, and will also give you your own wireless signal with better coverage. Just be sure you use a wireless passphrase as you don't want others in the apartment hopping on to your connection just to get a better signal.


Thank you for the reply! I realize your point, thank you! But I' wondering, since I'm connecting the extended unsecured WiFi to a switch, will the switch have any security implementation? I know nothing about the ethernet switch since I never owned one. If so, if I connect all my devices, and my own access point to the switch, aren't they all separated from the outside and can only access if anyone is connected directly to my switch, or on the Wi-Fi created by the AP connected to the switch?

Please clarify a little, thank you :) 
P.S. As I said in the reply before, I currently have the extender and the AP, I'm just looking for something I don't have to maximize my options. I currently have 3 desktops and will probably get some more in the future, so I would enjoy the additional ports a switch can offer, and I can get 802.11ac Wi-Fi routers cheaper in the future when the technology is widely implemented, I presume.

Thanks again,
James


The previous guy beat me to explaining the access points but, but anyway even a high end managed switch will not have appropriate security to lock down your network you're getting a switch and a router mixed up, and also just because a router supports 802.11ac does not mean that it will work as a router when performing this, it would still only work as an access point (therefore no security)
August 3, 2013 8:03:17 AM

Allw said:
novasix said:
choucove said:
We need to back up one step. While you can use a Wireless Access Point as a bridge to connect to a wireless network and then give you a physical ethernet connection, it's going to be on the SAME network as the shared wireless network still. This means that you are operating your entire business network on the SAME network as that shared wireless network, very unsecured. You need to install the WAP, and from that connect your own wireless router. This will separate your network from the outside network. You can find wireless routers with built-in gigabit ethernet, but usually only 4 ports, and I don't know if that's enough for you. Still, this is going to be important if you want to keep your own network separate from everyone else, and will also give you your own wireless signal with better coverage. Just be sure you use a wireless passphrase as you don't want others in the apartment hopping on to your connection just to get a better signal.


Thank you for the reply! I realize your point, thank you! But I' wondering, since I'm connecting the extended unsecured WiFi to a switch, will the switch have any security implementation? I know nothing about the ethernet switch since I never owned one. If so, if I connect all my devices, and my own access point to the switch, aren't they all separated from the outside and can only access if anyone is connected directly to my switch, or on the Wi-Fi created by the AP connected to the switch?

Please clarify a little, thank you :) 
P.S. As I said in the reply before, I currently have the extender and the AP, I'm just looking for something I don't have to maximize my options. I currently have 3 desktops and will probably get some more in the future, so I would enjoy the additional ports a switch can offer, and I can get 802.11ac Wi-Fi routers cheaper in the future when the technology is widely implemented, I presume.

Thanks again,
James


The previous guy beat me to explaining the access points but, but anyway even a high end managed switch will not have appropriate security to lock down your network you're getting a switch and a router mixed up, and also just because a router supports 802.11ac does not mean that it will work as a router when performing this, it would still only work as an access point (therefore no security)


OK I see. But the setup I mentioned above will setup a local area network that connect all my devices, correct?(But non-secure, anyone on the shared Wi-Fi directly can connect to my computers?)
So as I said, with everything I own that I mentioned above:
-EnGenius ERB300
-TP-Link WR702
-2 Desktop, 1 RPi, a bunch Laptops
what would be the cheapest solution to have a secured LAN and shared storage within?
Thanks guys, you guys have been VERY helpful,

James
August 3, 2013 8:41:29 AM

The cheapest solution to have a secured LAN would be to buy a wireless router. A switch is not going to separate the networks in any way. You can buy a wireless router which includes up to four ethernet ports for directly connecting devices. If you need more than that, you have to buy a switch IN ADDITION to the router, which will allow you to connect more ethernet-connected devices.
!