How should I set up my home network?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by pianodude123, Aug 6, 2008.

  1. pianodude123 macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2005
    in the internet
    So it seems as if I have come to a roadblock.

    My house requires 4 wireless access points / routers in order to have decent signal in key places around the house. I currently have a mix of G + N routers and a mix of G + N capable computers. Currently, our cable hookup comes in through the basement, and that is where our internet lives... in the basement. However, if I were to have wires run throughout the house to the places where the wireless access points should be located, I am wondering whether this configuration would provide for optimal speed and cost.

    If I take the cable modem --> 4 port router/switch --> 24 port netgear 10/100/1000 switch/hub (what's the difference?) and then from the netgear have an assortment of wired connections and wireless routers/switches that I already own (some gigabit, some not) placed throughout the house where I need them. I have heard that having multiple routers/switches/hubs on the network slows down the overall speed of the network. Is this true?

    Also, if I walk from room to room with my laptop, will it automatically pick the best wirless router to take the signal from, like a cell tower? what if I am on a wireless voip phone? will it be able to switch access points without interruption?

    if I have some non - N routers on the network, does this cause the N routers to function at slower G speeds?

    I know that this is a lot of questions, but thank you for helping.
  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    You might want to set the wifi signal channel manually to 1, 6, 11 to minimize interference.

    Use cat 5e or cat 6 cable for gigabit ethernet. I would try to run at least a couple of cables to each room if possible.
  3. pianodude123 thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Mar 1, 2005
    in the internet
    Okay, but what about the other questions... will it slow the entire network down if I add more switches/hubs?
  4. Siron macrumors 6502


    Feb 4, 2008
    North Carolina
    The easiest thing to do is have one 'N' router in the basement where your cable hooks up and use wireless repeaters wherever you need them throughout the house. Or use some of these
    Also the non "N" devices will just run at the lower speed - they won't affect the "N" device speeds.
  5. mrwizardno2 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 19, 2007
    Columbus, OH
    a hub shares available bandwidth across all ports - it rebroadcasts all traffic to each port. a switch does not do this. it is kind of like a router in a way, it directs the packets to the appropriate MAC address attached to a specific port. depending on topology and where traffic is coming from in your network, there may be more... efficient ways to connect the multiple switches, but you should be fine. I doubt you'll be running so much bandwidth as to saturate a switch.

    as for adding additional WAP's, no, it will not slow down the speed of the network collectively. what might happen is interference between bands /wireless channels on the different AP's. if you follow the advice in the post above about spacing them out appropriately on separate channels, you'll be alright. but as for the wired network, unless you run the cables next to power lines / etc, you're safe to bet on getting what you pay for (10/100/1000). just make sure if you do go the gigabit route that you have adequate cabling.
  6. ctshu2002 macrumors newbie

    Aug 9, 2008
    you may also want to try using different antennas. changing antennas and locations of the access points can make a huge difference. I replaced the standard antenna that came with my dlink antenna and purchased the one of the indoor omni-directional antennas and relocated the access point. This increased the signal and speed for all of the wireless computers in our home.

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