New house setup - Router/switch/hub setup

New house setup - Router/switch/hub setup

Post by Kevin Gibb » Tue, 25 May 2004 12:59:29

Hello all,

I'm in the process of designing my wiring layout of a new home we're
building, and I'm trying to find the best approach when it comes to
network wiring and sharing of my internet connection throughout the
entire house.

I know many are going the wireless route nowdays, but I'm an old
school network guy... and I still like the comfort of RJ45 connections
I can snap into :)

So very basically, what I plan on doing is having my Cable modem
located in a central wiring closet - and of course have the modem
going out to a DSL/Cable Router. Now in this same closet, I'll have
all my Cat5e runs come back to this home location. Simple enough...
it keeps the modem & router hardware out of plain site, and allows for
easy connections from various places around the house.

What I'm a bit confused on is what hardware to go with along with the
DSL/Cable router. About the biggest DSL/Cable router I've seen around
is 8-port, but I'm going to have at least 10-12 Cat5 runs coming into
the wiring closet -- so the router itself won't cut it for all my

So do I go with say a good quality smaller DSL/Cable router (like a
4-port), and then connect this with a small network patch cable to a
larger hub that's capable of more connections? And if so, when
connected -- will the ports of this hub be as "plug & play" as the
DSL/Cable routers usually are?

I'm running an SMC Barricade 4-port DSL/Cable router right now, and
I'm very pleased with the ease of use. But this is for a very small
apartment setting, and I simply plug additional PC's into the ports
directly on the device itself. No configuration is ever needed on the
PC's because of my ISP's DHCP network, so it's super easy to share the

But when branching off into a larger hub, I'm in a bit of a grey area
how this is going to work -- and what hardware would best suit the

Any suggestions on this situation would be greatly appreciated.


New house setup - Router/switch/hub setup

Post by Chuck Yerk » Tue, 25 May 2004 14:10:12

evin Gibbons <kevin@ wrote:

Easy. I have a festival of older network hardware, but "on" right now
is an 8 port Netgear hub catching most of the computers. Over by the
"working on crap" area, there's a 6 port Netgear Switch. They attach
to a firewall - could be your DSL/Cable router.

Most/many network switches have 1 port marked "uplink" - on the
netgear's it's a switch, on others its where you choose one of two
ports to use (regular/uplink).

Yup. The DHCP packets just pass through to the router/firewall thing.
No difference to you at all.

No difference.

Go get an 8 port switch. Plug it in. If it utterly fails for you
(really unlikely), just return it and say "it doesn't work for me".

I like the netgears in part because I can STAND on them. There might
be nits folks could raise about full speeds port to port for several
machines, but I would't use these in a high performance situation.

Home? No problem.
Even on a private network between a 100,000 user IMAP server and it's
LDAP/auth server? Yup (low bandwidth, typically).
But for a public network between a couple T3's and the IMAP server, and
webmail and perhaps a large gang of other machines? Not a chance.
Large Ciscos go there.

So a basic larger switch/hub should work for you.

And you know to run extra CAT5's to all the rooms, just in case, right?

I'm using a couple serial throws to the den for an LCD that gives me a
few buttons and status on anything going on and another that's attached
to a gang of sensors upstairs. And an ethernet. And IR (sharing the
ethernet wire).


New house setup - Router/switch/hub setup

Post by Doug Fitzp » Tue, 25 May 2004 15:13:15

On Mon, 24 May 2004 03:59:29 UTC, Kevin Gibbons

If you like SMC, take one port from your router and plug it into a
SMC-EZ6508TX-CA. It will give you another 7 usable ports. That's what
I've done here.

**** remove leading g for email replies. ****

New house setup - Router/switch/hub setup

Post by Kevin Gibb » Tue, 25 May 2004 15:38:55

ey there Chuck,

Thanks for the quick response... very much appreciated :)

So I guess I was pretty much on the money with my guess on which
devices to go with. I too like the Netgear switches/hubs... I've had
one in the past, and they are built like a brick shithouse for sure.

The only thing I didn't like about the Netgear was the fan was LOUD -
probably as loud as my PC for that matter. So I eventually swapped
that with a Linksys, which had absolutely no fan sound whatsoever.
Again, this was for home use.. so I didn't have to go with anything
too high end, and the Linksys worked just fine.

In your post, you mention that you have some serial runs in your home
setup -- are you talking good old DB-9 style serial runs? Personally
I'm not sure that I would ever use that type of cable wired internally
in the house... but I am open to suggestion for sure.

Right now I'm planning on a simple setup:

- Cat5e throughout most of the rooms, even rooms that I'll probably
never use it in. But what the hell.. the walls are wide open, so why
not :)
- Three RG6 cable runs to each important room (this will handle two
satellite feeds for each room, along with one dedicated standard cable

I have multiple DirecTIVO units from DirecTV, and they require 2
inputs -- so that's where the two satellite feeds come in. And I've
never been a fan of using Diplexers on my cable/sat lines -- I feel
the picture quality is jeopardized when using them.

And lastly, good old phone cable to each room also. I know many use
Cat5 for phones these days, and I've been pondering this... but for
simplicity I might stick with good old phone wire simply to keep the
old Red/Black/Yellow/Green color scheme intact when it comes to
working on things down the road. However, I'm still debating this

That's really the whole shooting match... again, I'm wide open to
suggestion on additional types of wiring.

Oh... by the way, not sure if you're interested in this or not... but
when I was deciding on what type of wall plates to use in this
house... I decided on using the Keystone style plates/jacks so I can
have multiple wire types in the same plate. And I came across a good
source for very inexpensive Keystone plates and jacks -- the site is

If you contact him directly, he'll give you a far better price then
what you see on the site. His current price list is:

Any # of ports wall plates $1 each
(can be 2-port or 6-port -- same price)
Coax F connectors $1.40 each
RJ11 Jacks $1 each
RJ45 Cat5e Keystone jacks $1.25 each

Sorry to go off on a tangent there... just thought yourself or others
in this group might be interested in these items and could benefit
from these prices.

Well thanks again, and if you can... get back to me with any other
possible suggestions. Just trying to make sure I have my bases
covered before covering the walls up and hating myself for not adding
this type of wire.. or that type of wire when I had the chance.


On Mon, 24 May 2004 05:10:12 GMT, Chuck Yerkes
< XXXX@XXXXX.COM > wrote:


New house setup - Router/switch/hub setup

Post by Matt » Tue, 25 May 2004 17:42:21

Kevin Gibbons


Use a switch, not a hub.


New house setup - Router/switch/hub setup

Post by wkearney9 » Wed, 26 May 2004 00:24:09

> Yup. The DHCP packets just pass through to the router/firewall thing.

No, this is entirely incorrect. The DHCP packets won't be passed through. What
/will/ happen is the SMC will get it's own IP address from the ISP. It will
them provide it's own internal DHCP addresses to the PCs or other devices on the
inside of the network. This will then NAT route from the internal network
through the external ISP-provided IP address.

Just make sure you don't cascade too many switches/hubs. Just cascade each 4 or
8 port unit you happen to add off the SMC unit. Plug the various PCs and other
devices into those. Just don't cascade more than three levels deep.

-Bill Kearney

New house setup - Router/switch/hub setup

Post by Chuck Yerk » Wed, 26 May 2004 15:05:59

evin Gibbons <kevin@ wrote:

Um, fan? I have a (old) linksys that has a fan, but it's doom to a
moist garage because it eats it if > 5 devices are in it.

My netgears are fanless (4 port (travel), 6 and 8 port switches and a
newish 16 port switch because my brother is taking my 8).

No fans.

No, CAT5 -> RJ45. Use for ethernet or serial.

Right. Now put them on opposite walls. The mantra is a gang of cables
on catty corner walls. The stuff I've not yet wired well include an
outside bedroom wall. The phone is there (the phone at this house was
chained, not home ran - grrrr). The room is great if your set it up
backwards from how we have it. But the COAX is behind the bed and the
phone is on the far side.

Avoid that. Phone runs on 2 wires of CAT5. 2 phone runs on 4 wires.
That still leaves you a couple pair for an ethernet, or 2 IR, or...

So I ran a BIG gang (6 CAT5, 3 COAX) to a wall that's shared by 2
bedrooms. Mudrings on either side let me setup ethernet+phone+tv
and have spare wires. I just plugged them into one side.

Again, ideally, I'd have wires ALSO on the other side of each of those
rooms. but my walls are up and it's a big PITA.

Do. Because a CAT5 can carry 2 phones and ethernet just fine.
Basically, it's a superset of the phone.

I used leviton quickports. No marriage to it, but I can find them at
the monster stores and at my preferred local store.

BONUS, ponder leaving a few CAT5s up near the roof.

I just put up a weather station and had to run the wire down the side.
I used phone wire because I have a spool that's near useless, but if I
had a choice, I'd have it tuck into the soffet and into the attic.

We also have a neighborhood wireless network (down to 2 T3's at 2 sites
5 miles away). I'd be happier having the uplink in the attic (it's a
little box and a directional antenna to an antenna cluster up the hill).

Oh last: SOLAR.
I'm getting Solar in. That zero's my powerbill (summer I over generate
and sell to the grid, in winter I under generate and draw from. $0 net
is good).

I WOULD do water heat but running pipes would mean tearing out way too
much. Before walls it's really easy - you basically run 2 pipes from
the utility room to the roof. Just preheat the water before it hits
your water heater. Guy nearby had problems because he cycles from the
roof to a 10 gallon holding tank (small water heater with no heater).
It then goes into a tankless water heater (far more efficient that a
tank for most uses).

His problem was that the holding tank water was getting to > 160
degrees. Which caused problems by being TOO hot. The tankless
wouldn't go on, but it was scalding without that.

He's looking at a 20 gallon holding tank.

But a PVC from attic to power input means running solar would cost you a
lot less later. (1.5" or 1" would be enough. I"ve got 2x300v runs
going in at 12Amps total).

A pair of pipes from utility to roof means solar heat is a simple
install later.

Doing any of that later costs $100s (running cables to roof, etc) or
thousands (pipes through existing walls or routed around house and
losing heat).

My state pays for around 40% of the solar install (until July).
Many states do (NJ, MI, Pa are doing quite nicely right now, AFAIR).

Interesting and edumucational site for me was
In Maine. Where it's winter from october (