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Thread: Home Ethernet Question

  1. #1
    Automated Home Sr Member franktate's Avatar
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    Default Home Ethernet Question

    I'm sure it's the same for everyone here - my home is being filled with devices that want to talk to each other and want to connect ot the internet.
    I recently changed my Internet provider to Sky who provided a very poor router. This brought it home just how many deviced I had connected.
    So I decided it was time to set up a wired network and look forward to crawling in loft spaces and pulling wires.
    I have bought a couple of 8-port gigabit switches and some Cat3e cable.

    My Broadband router is in the office upstairs along with a Network capable printer, NAS (for the Sonos system) and office PC (which is running Harmony Pro with CCTV).
    Downstairs in the living room I have an Network capable TV, PS3, Sky+ Anytime and a WD Live Media Player (which has a USB storage drive attached with lots of films on it).

    The kids have a Wii connected by WiFi in their room. The kitchen has a wireless O2 joggler.

    We have a Laptop, Netbook, Advent Vega, Mobile Phones, DS ect connected via WiFi.

    On top of all this we have a Sonos system with 1 Bridge, 4 players & 2 controllers.

    I have discounted a power-line solution as I am running lots of X10 modules and don't want to upset the system as it's taken me years of frustration to get it right.

    OK, Im getting to the question!

    I am going to install one 8-port switch in the office and one in the living room. Should I connect these directly to each other and the one in the office to the broadband router or should I connect both to the broadband router? The router is not gigabit. Does it matter which way I wire it?

    My intention, once I have got this first stage installed, is to install another couple of media players. One in the kids room (which will be conected to the downstairs switch) and one in our bedroom (connected to the upstaris switch). Any advice?

    Thanks for taking the time to read the question; hope there's some good advice out there.

    frank
    Last edited by franktate; 15th June 2011 at 12:07 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    CAT3e cable don't you mean CAT5e cable.
    I would connect each switch to the router.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
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  3. #3
    Automated Home Sr Member franktate's Avatar
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    Thanks Toscal. Yes, I meant Cat5 not Cat3 - it was a hard day of research and my eyes and hands were tired.

    So I will connect both up via the router. Should I buy a gigabit router or is that just over the top for what I want it for?

    frank

  4. #4
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    Hi Frank,

    I wouldn't connect both switches to your router unless the ports on the router are gigabit. If not the traffic crossing from a node on one switch to a node on the other switch would be limited to talking at 100mbs (the routers port speed) rather than the gigabit speed available on the switches. So unless a node is talking to another node on the same switch nothing else will make use of the gigabit speed.

    If you connect one switch to the other then to the router the only time the nodes will not be using gigabit is when its accessing the router/internet/node on wifi.

    Hope that helps.
    B
    Last edited by bmcomp; 16th June 2011 at 03:09 PM.

  5. #5
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    Depending on switch but usually switch internal bandwidth is higher than 1 gigabit per second. This means that all the nodes can utilize 1 gigabit speed with each other.

    Now even when router has gigabit speed then you still will have bottleneck in the router side because router will allow only 1 gigabit per second through one port.

    You still might find this connection useful when you want to separate devices into different groups that do not need (or should) interact very often at high speed with each other.

    But for example do not connect your home server (or NAS) and devices that need to access it into different switches.

  6. #6

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    As bmcomp says I would definitely connect the two switches to each other, that way there is not a 100Meg bottleneck between the two switches, and then plug everything else into the switches rather than the router.

    Upgrading the router to gigabit is almost certainly a waste of money as the chances are your wireless devices are all 54Meg at best so the 100Meg link between the router and the GigE switch is never going to be a bottleneck.

    Paul

  7. #7
    Automated Home Sr Member franktate's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the replies. I have drawn up a quick diagram of what it will look like when it's finished.

    I have bruises and scratches all over my body after crawling around the loft and trying to pull cables between rooms. I'm looking forward to getting it all finished.

    The dotted lines on the diagram are to signify wireless connections. Unfortunately the Wii and the Printer do not have Ethernet ports.

    The NAS has an unusual quirk in that it doesn't get recognised by the PS3, TV or media players. I dare not change it as it works perfectly with my Sonos system, unlike the last NAS I bought.

    I have another 2Tb drive attached to the Living room Media player which stores all the movies. This also acts as an aditional backup for the Sonos NAS as I would cry if I had to re-rip all my CD collection again!

    frank
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    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by franktate View Post
    The NAS has an unusual quirk in that it doesn't get recognised by the PS3, TV or media players.
    Can the NAS operate as a DNLA server? The PS3 can stream media from DNLA servers.

    See this other thread for more info:
    http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=158357
    Have a look at the very first bit, also scroll down to the "embedded devices" section...


    HTH,

    Tim.

  9. #9
    Automated Home Sr Member franktate's Avatar
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    The NAS is a Buffalo livestation. Yes - it says it works with all DNLA devices. It lies. I have spent many night trying to update drivers and re-flash the NAS - all with the same annoying end result.
    I initially tried it with the PS3 a few years ago, so I assumed it was something to do with the PS3 as the PC could see the drive perfectly.
    Last year I bought a TV with DNLA capabilities - that doesn't see the contents of the drive either.
    As I wanted to play downloaded and backup films on the TV and I got fed up of copying them onto a memory stick and running up and downstairs, I bought a WD 2T hard drive which sits behind the TV. This has been OK for the last year but recently I found myself getting frustrated again at the lack of format support on the TV. The TV won't play certain files even after a flash update to the latest firmware.
    So I now have a WD Live attached to the TV with the WD 2T drive attached to that. Everything works like it should have done years ago. I can even share the WD HDD contents accross the network to the Laptop, Netbook and, eventually other media players.
    And that's where I am in the story - with a home WiFi at maximum capacity. Most of the ethernet cables are now in place. I just have the cable between the two switches to install. I have a few more scratches and bruises than I had a couple of weeks ago and I have lost a couple of nails. I have decided that I am not cut out for manual work. Still, the satisfaction when it is all complete will be worth it.

    frank

  10. #10
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Not too sure if this will work for you. But as regards to your NAS, how do you try and connect from the PS3 to the NAS.
    My NAS is a home built using NAS lite from Server Elements.
    I had an issue with an old media center, Pinncale's Showcenter 1000.
    To get the showcenter to see my NAS I had to manually type in the ip address of the NAS then the disk number. I have 3 disks on my NAS.
    Even though the software could see the NAS as a mapped drive X, Y and Z it wouldn't except this, and I had to type in the ip address 123.123.123.123/disk-1
    Then when I upgraded to the latest version of XMBC (my latest media center) it wouldn't see it when it used, had to do something similar there and enter the location manually. I could either enter the ip address or its name such as NAS1/disk-1.
    I have also found that some things prefer using forward slash / while others like the backward slash\.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

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