Ultimate Network

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by ukrspp21, Aug 4, 2013.

  1. ukrspp21 macrumors newbie

    Aug 4, 2013

    This is my first post in this forum so please be gentle...

    I am currently planning a rennovation at home and am thinking of creating the ultimate home network for all my media. I am not a noob to networking but I am far from expert. There are 2 goals for this activity:

    1. Internet and network file sharing, printing etc.
    2. Music streaming and connected speakers

    My home is stone built and therefore wifi attenuation is an issue, so I plan to have a wired network, with a series of WAPs.

    The kit I have/am looking to service is as follows:

    2 imacs, office based
    1 mac mini - thinking of how to use this as a server?
    1 MBA
    1 MBP
    various iPads/iphones/tablets etc
    Drobo FS - 10 TB - used for media storage and back-ups
    4 apple TVs
    3 virgin boxes
    1 Network printer
    Powering (2 smart TV's, Home cinema projector)
    Netgear AC router
    Virgin Media router (connection is super fast 120mb, and currently I get it)

    I have seen set-ups where ethernet is used to power speakers, given the rebuild of the internals in the house this is something I am considering. I would like the system to be as future proofed as possible, and am planning to have at least one port in each room (5 bed, study, lounge, kitchen). Currently everything runs from iTunes but am open to changing to something else whether Sonos or Plex or other.

    I would like to run user based access control for the permanent members of the household, and guest networks for others.

    I don't have nor do I plan on running any windows machines so that isn't really a consideration for me. I have a number of powerlines from previous installations but given how I am likely to split the power distribution in the house these are only likely to be suitable for minor tasks in the network if at all.

    I would welcome advice on where to start, and blogs, guides, books or other that would help to construct the "ultimate home network". Any advice would be truly welcomed.

    Many thanks,

  2. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Cat 6 cabling minimum

    Spec for 1-2 additional network ports at each location (ie behind TV)

    Use the mini with the drobo and run plex / iTunes to serve media
  3. Thelazer macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2013
    Rather than go crazy with cable to each room (everything is going WiFi anyways) I would consider setting up a main hard wired router in your house, use the location that is going to be easiest to run your cable to 3 zones or so of your house.

    Zone 1 - 1st Floor
    Zone 2 - 2nd Floor
    Zone 3 - Outdoors

    Of course, I don't know how your house is setup, but look at each zone as a area that your WiFi issues occur in, (basement, brick wall rooms, etc.) I would perhaps run 2 more wires to the most likely high bandwidth area (behind the tv) and whatever room your media server might be in.

    Then in each Zone, drop in one a Mesh Wifi Router


    The idea, being here that your mesh access points will get a direct hardwired line for speed and the mesh itself should overlap enough that your on the "same" network thru the whole place and that mesh network is going to be good enough for 95% of your devices. I'm betting you'll run more into issues with your actually up/down speed from your provider, than you will maxing out your own in house bandwidth.
  4. alexrmc92 macrumors regular

    Feb 7, 2013
    The easy thing here is going to be the fact that you aren't incorporating windows PC's. Here are some thoughts and suggestions of mine.

    1. I would use airport express's to accomplish your wifi needs. You can easily manage them in the airport utility and extend a singular wifi network. Not to mention you can also setup speakers and airplay music to them. Make sure you hardwire them!

    2. Changing to another music play may cause issues as far a sharing media to other apple devices (apple tv's in particular). You may loose airplay functionality in those apps if they don't support it. DRM music bought in itunes may cause issues as well.

    3. UAC is not the easiest task and i wouldn't use the drobo FS to do it. I would get some external RAID type storage for the mac mini and setup and OD server. Bind all of you macs to the OD sever and allow their logins to access the file share on the external storage. This way you dont actually have to log into the shared storage, OD will do it for you. This may be an issue with non apple devices and they wont be able to access the share. The other option would be to use OD to setup radius on the airports. This requires usernames to log into the wifi, but you will need another set of WAP's to manage the guest network which should be double natted to the main network to prevent file share access by guests. This can get complex.

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