Thoughts on home network

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Le Big Mac, Dec 12, 2005.

  1. Le Big Mac macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #1
    I'm planning a home network. 2 1/2 floors (a partially finished attic). Unfinished basement.

    I'd like to create a wired network, with jacks on each floor. There will be a downstairs part, wired from the basement, and and upstairs part, wired from the attic.

    Question is whether to run all the cables to the basement, where the router will be.

    Or, I could run one cable from attic to basement, and put a switch in the attic for the upstairs rooms. Any problems with this design? I realize that the one cable from basement to attic will be a potential choke point, but I'm guessing that won't be a huge problem too often--certainly not for websurfing.

    Thoughts from the experts?
     
  2. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #2
    How many rooms will there be upstairs?

    If only 2 or 3, then a 100mb/s wire from attic to basement might be enough. (make sure it's cat6 for future upgrade)

    If you want more: buy a gigabit router and gigabit switch in a couple of years time. That'll let you run HDTV to a couple of rooms through the same wire.

    Or: depending on your wiring arrangement, it might be just as easy to run several ethernet wires from basement to attic as one.

    cheers

    RedTomato
     
  3. NtotheIzoo macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2005
    #3
    If you are going to run one wire, why not run more??? But anywho, I had to run wire for a company and we normally would just run one wire to each location. Then setup a switch and have around 5 to 8 computers/switch. You most likely will not come close to using the 100 mbps bandwidth...but if you are afraid just get a gigbit switch like the above poster said..
     
  4. Le Big Mac thread starter macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #4
    I'll probably have 2 jacks per room, with 4 rooms and the attic, so 10-12 jacks. Not all lit though--just for flexibility. So it's 12 wires that I'd have to run, versus 1. Or maybe I could run two, and get two 8-port switches, and then figure out a way to balance the load.

    Only thing I can think would possibly be a problem is streaming media. Maybe Tivo to start and who knows what in a few years.

    On the side of running a dozen cables is the fact that an extra 300 feet of wire is a lot cheaper than cutting open the walls again.
     
  5. ALvie macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2005
    #5
    I would run a min. of two wires to each box. This will give you expandability aswell as you can take the second connector and run voice over it if you want . It is nice to have the flexibility of running Data and/or Voice from each drop point.

    ALvie
     
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #6
    While you are pulling cable into places that will be inaccessible later (esp the basement to attic run) make the conduit and/or holes oversize and include a good quality string in the bundle, as a pull string for whatever future wire or optical cable you need in years ahead.

    (when you use the pull string to pull a new cable, attach another pull string as well, so you replace it at the same time.)
     
  7. Le Big Mac thread starter macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #7
    Already planning that--I'll have two wires to each box, use one for voice now, and then change over in a few years once everything is cat 5 (or better) including phone.

    I'll definitely try to get a conduit in there for future expansion. But if I have 12+ cat 5 cables, I'll need a pretty large conduit. Might have to do a second one!
     
  8. RedTomato macrumors 68040

    RedTomato

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2005
    Location:
    .. London ..
    #8

    Make it cat6 now, saves you a lot of work in the future, and 300 feet of cat 6 is only a few quid more than cat5e.

    As someone said above, why not run 2 or 4 wires from the basement to the roof? Easier to install than 12 (!) and not much more space than a single.

    You can connect a single one to a single switch in the attic that serves all the upper rooms for now, then in the future, have two or more switches serving between 2 and 6 jacks each, each switch with its own connection to the main router in the basement.

    That should serve you well for a very long time. Also gives flexiblity if in the future a wire goes bad, gets chewed by rats or has a nail put through it...

    cheers

    ..RedTomato..
     
  9. Le Big Mac thread starter macrumors 68020

    Le Big Mac

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2003
    Location:
    Washington, DC
    #9
    That probably is a sensible compromise--I'll put a few in, and surely that's enough capacity for a homeowner. If I start running a server farm, I'll be doing something more anyway.

    BTW, I don't suppose there are switches (priced for the homeowner) that one could put two-three trunk cables into and have it automatically switch between them.
     

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