Router / Extender / Switch Question

ecopod

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
89
18
Edinburgh, Scotland
Good day, I hope this finds everyone well.

Have tried to find answer but getting more confused (very easy for me), my question is in two parts as follows.

Firstly I currently have one switch connected to my router and this is functioning well, I now wish to add a second switch in another media centric room, would daisy chaining from first router be acceptable or would I be better using separate cable from router to second switch (router has plenty spare ports).

Secondly, I currently have my wifi extender plugged into the first switch over cable run, would I be better also plugging this into router directly.

I already have two Cat5e cables run to new location from study where router is based but could not run any more.

Many thanks in advance for any help that can be given.
 

bingeciren

macrumors 6502a
Sep 6, 2011
858
715
Good day, I hope this finds everyone well.

Have tried to find answer but getting more confused (very easy for me), my question is in two parts as follows.

Firstly I currently have one switch connected to my router and this is functioning well, I now wish to add a second switch in another media centric room, would daisy chaining from first router be acceptable or would I be better using separate cable from router to second switch (router has plenty spare ports).

Ideally it would be better to run the additional switches directly from the first router however in most cases the performance gain will not be significant enough to justify the additional cabling.

Secondly, I currently have my wifi extender plugged into the first switch over cable run, would I be better also plugging this into router directly.
Again it would be better to plug it directly, especially if the cable is already there, but whether you can notice the difference in performance or not is questionable.

I already have two Cat5e cables run to new location from study where router is based but could not run any more.

Many thanks in advance for any help that can be given.
I'd say go with the simple and easy daisy chaining method and see if you notice any slowing. I have the daisy chain wiring at my home because of a necessity and I don't notice a performance degradation.
 

ecopod

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
89
18
Edinburgh, Scotland
Thanks for that, it was slowing I was most worried about, will be streaming movies etc, simple probably is best and is definitely easiest. Cheers.
 

Panch0

macrumors 6502a
Feb 23, 2010
682
4
Virginia
It would be better not to daisy chain the switches, but unless you have a very large number of devices in your home, you probably won't be able to see a real difference. I personally wouldn't consider it worth fishing a new wire to avoid daisy chaining switches, especially when wireless N is more than sufficient for streaming video - not to mention Wireless AC...
 

ecopod

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
89
18
Edinburgh, Scotland
Thanks for guidance, having read through replies and realising I have enough cables already dropped I will run new switch directly from router and also run wifi extender directly from router. there's only two of us in the house (alas we can never agree on what to watch/listen to) often watching different things so although may not notice any performance gain at least it will be as good as possible with current hardware etc.

Thanks this has been very helpful.
 

JAT

macrumors 603
Dec 31, 2001
6,451
122
Mpls, MN
More important is the speed. Many seem to think a $7 100/10 switch is what to look for. I have 2 or 3 (I've actually lost count!) switches that are all gigabit. Daisy chaining doesn't affect any speed I've been able to detect with my senses or Speedtest.
 

ecopod

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
89
18
Edinburgh, Scotland
Thanks JAT, it is two Netgear gigabit switches that I have. Now in situ and all seems to be working well based on viewing Netflix via ATV3 and re wifi extender no dropping of signal which has been an issue over past few weeks (Sky hub).

Cheers.
 

d21mike

macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2007
3,307
354
Torrance, CA
Also, what is the switch built into the Router. Older Routers only have 10/100 because that is fine for connecting to the Internet. Current FIOS Routers have GB Switches because their download speeds can exceed 100mbps.

I normally connect 1 GB Switch to the Router and then connect all devices off of that even other GB Switches.

Also, remember you do not need the Router for connect between devices in the home. Only when you need to access the internet.

Lastly, not sure the Router Switch is that same quality/performance as dedicated switches. I could be wrong. Anyway, GB Speeds are pretty fast if you have CAT 5s or CAT 6 running between them. You could also measure the speed between computers on different connections to verify the speed.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Also, what is the switch built into the Router. Older Routers only have 10/100 because that is fine for connecting to the Internet. Current FIOS Routers have GB Switches because their download speeds can exceed 100mbps.

I normally connect 1 GB Switch to the Router and then connect all devices off of that even other GB Switches.

Also, remember you do not need the Router for connect between devices in the home. Only when you need to access the internet.

Lastly, not sure the Router Switch is that same quality/performance as dedicated switches. I could be wrong. Anyway, GB Speeds are pretty fast if you have CAT 5s or CAT 6 running between them. You could also measure the speed between computers on different connections to verify the speed.
In a home environment, there is no issues with daisy chaining switches, especially if unmanaged. Once you start talking about small business to enterprise class gear where it is all managed, then the latency would increase.

Think about your switch as a power strip. One cable carries power for eight outlets. You are never going to see the difference no matter where you are plugged in on that switch (e.g. daisy chaining). However, if you plug too much in at once the circuit breaker pops (multiple HD video sessions, VPN, heavy usage). You are NEVER going to hit the limit at least in this day and age in the home.
 

ecopod

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
89
18
Edinburgh, Scotland
Ah good points above, for movies already downloaded and my own music playlists/photos etc it is just local, and I'm guessing internet radio won't put much strain on the system, my only data rich requirements from the net are netflix and downloading from TV catch up channels. I live reasonably remotely and it has been mentioned several times by BT/Openreach that I'm at the end of the line so I'll stick with switch cabling and extender cabling going directly to router (which is GB) although realise the two of us will in all likelihood never max out capability.

Big thanks to all, no doubt I'll be back soon as looking at music needs next!
 

Southern Dad

macrumors 68000
May 23, 2010
1,532
547
Shady Dale, Georgia
When I moved into my house, I ran all new Cat5e. I wound up having to add additional cabling as I added devices. Switches had to be added. So I wound up doing what you are talking about. I also used GB switches. It has worked fine. One of the rooms that was added on is my family room. I actually have two switches in that room... Trust me, they use a lot of data. The point is that no matter how many things you have connected to it, they all won't be on at once. We often have two movie streams in the house (Kids and mine) it works fine.

One switch has:
Xbox 360
Xbox One
PS3
Smart Television
Apple TV

Second switch has:
Treadmill computer (if I want to surf, I have to walk)
My DD11's computer
A split off to the kitchen (where there is a computer)
Time Capsule
Arcade Game
 

ecopod

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 7, 2006
89
18
Edinburgh, Scotland
Loving the 'have to run to surf' set up, I should do something similar with rowing machine in corner of study!

Up and running a few days now and glad I ran separate cables to switch and wifi extender, intentionally ran lots of media over weekend and everything worked flawlessly re signal power and not a single drop out etc.

Improvements even got me to bring Plex back into my life, never got Plex Connect to work properly on ATV3 (I'll look at this next week) but just airplay from phone/ipad.

Will probably be starting new thread soon as about to look at zoning for music/podcast/web radio throughout house (this is all practice for new build project hopefully starting soon)
 

blanka

macrumors 68000
Jul 30, 2012
1,549
3
I have two of these, and I'm really happy with them:
D-Link DGS-108

Cheap, no heat (<5 watt power consumption, around 1 watt at idle), fast and made how they should be made: boring black steel boxes.
The lights indicate the actual speed on each cable: orange is 100mbit, green is gigabit. The controller can handle 8Gbit at the same time: each pair running 2gbit full duplex at the same time. It also does run fine on most crap cheap cables I throw at it. No cat 6 needed for gigabit. Even plain Cat5 often works at full speed.
10GB MKV's are transported through the house in about 2 minutes.

For the layout: remember that the router is first of all an authority that manages the addresses of each node, and probably the connection to the world, which is almost never exceeding 100Mbit. It can do that from a long distance. The switches do the actual transport work. So try to hook everything on the gigabit switches, then connect the router to one of them. If you have a lot of trafic between the 2 switches, you can also connect them with 2 cables. Then the road in between can handle 2 gbit full duplex.
 
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westrock2000

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2013
524
22
Also, what is the switch built into the Router.

Also, remember you do not need the Router for connect between devices in the home. Only when you need to access the internet.
Just one bit of clarity on that. It would be practical to always have at least 1 router in a network. That way you have something that can issue IP addresses through DHCP. Switches only direct network traffic, they do not issue IP addresses. You could get around this by manually programming each computer/device with an IP address, but that is tedious.

All routers can act as a switch, you only need to disable DHCP in the admin panel.

Back to the original topic, I used a 1st generation Ethernet over power line module on my ATV. It had the real world bandwidth of a staggering 24Mbps :rolleyes: and the AppleTV could still stream 1080p off my local server, just the initial buffering would take several seconds. So a 100Mbps switch will feed a couple devices no problems.
 

d21mike

macrumors 68040
Jul 11, 2007
3,307
354
Torrance, CA
Just one bit of clarity on that. It would be practical to always have at least 1 router in a network. That way you have something that can issue IP addresses through DHCP. Switches only direct network traffic, they do not issue IP addresses. You could get around this by manually programming each computer/device with an IP address, but that is tedious.

All routers can act as a switch, you only need to disable DHCP in the admin panel.

Back to the original topic, I used a 1st generation Ethernet over power line module on my ATV. It had the real world bandwidth of a staggering 24Mbps :rolleyes: and the AppleTV could still stream 1080p off my local server, just the initial buffering would take several seconds. So a 100Mbps switch will feed a couple devices no problems.
Yes, you need a router to "route" to the internet or another network. But any DHCP Server can assign IP ADDRESS's (which is mostly done with a router but not required). What I was trying to say was that I use "high quality" standalone GB switches for all (most) of my devices. I also use multiple routers for Wifi Access Points and sometimes use the builtin switches based on location. I just feel that I can leave the Router to do it's Job and let switches do their job.