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#130823 29-Sep-2013 15:22
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I'll try to explain this without a picture :)

Telecom DSL comes in at one end of the house. It's split with a Telecom installed master splitter and goes into the standard Telecom/Thomson router (it's a newer one but I cant remember the model number right now) and there are 2 laptops and a phone/tablet using wifi from here.

That's then connected to a Netgear switch at the other end of the house which has a Linksys WRG54 off it servicing 1 laptop and another tablet. This switch is wired to the HTPC in the lounge and to another Netgear switch in my garage which has my server and two games pc's.

This garage switch is then wired to another wireless router in my office which has another two wired connections and 1 wireless phone/tablet.

My printer is currently in the garage and runs from the server. It would be better in the house really, although I could do with another in my office. It's not pretty, it's simply grown over time as the house, garage and office are all separate buildings at different sides of the section.

I rarely need to flick big files around, the kids laptops can play anything from the server, the four locations where we have Spotify are all good and the two games machines in the garage are rarely used and are really only connected to the network for updates. 

Given its all 'linear' the OCD in me is telling me to sort it out with a central location, but I'm also thinking if it ain't broke don't fix it. I have excellent access to both the roof space and under the house so that's no excuse either and everything is connected with either cat5e or above.

So what do we think ? Buy a bigger router/switch for the center of the house, buy some longer bits of cable and pull everything from that ? Or just leave it alone ?


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  #904695 29-Sep-2013 18:36
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If you only want to make the decision on cost vs benefits:

You have to weigh up the bottlenecks- and work out if there are any bottlenecks.

For example
If two devices down one end of the house were pulling data from two seperate devices at the other end, and the single 100mbit cable in between them was causing a bottleneck, you should make the changes.

If that 100mbit cable isnt being used to its full capacity, like if the devices are transfering less than a gigabyte an hour between each pair, then its not worth the expense.

If all 4 devices (two at one end, two at the other) were wired into a central switch, there would be no shared bottleneck. One pair could transfer files between each other at 100mbit (or more), at the same time as the other pair - there is no shared cable to slow things down.

A media centre watching high definition video is not going to use up a huge amount of bandwidth capacity.
So im my opinion, you probably wont find much of a performance benefit.

However you will tidy things up, make it more easy to troubleshoot faults, and probably have a good happy feeling for something you once possibly considered messy as now being tidy.

Ray Taylor

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  #904735 29-Sep-2013 20:08
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Yup, would be tidier, easier to troubleshoot, would be possible to add a spare cable to each location, and you could use any outlet you choose for phone or whatever you need to connect at the central location. Main problem is likely to be what sort of space you can find to put up a cabinet on the wall or find a cupboard that can be dedicated to the network. I suggest that your server might be near a good space already. You might also be able to mount the TV or wifi things on the walls while you're at it, so put a couple of the outlets high up for that.

Time to find a new industry!

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  #906766 2-Oct-2013 22:25
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8 port gigabit switches are now cheap enough not to really worry about cost. 5 port are a little cheaper but why bother?

Put one in each area where you have multiple cables coming together, and then plug your APs into them, so that you have no bottlenecks between anywhere.

Advantages over using the switches in wireless routers is that you dont lose lan access everytime the damn things reboot.



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  #916589 17-Oct-2013 13:48
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Thanks for the feedback, I think I'll look at Richard's idea of putting in a couple of 8 port switches where necessary and just tidying up the cable runs in general to be less 'linear'.


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