Help please! New to networking

Andywidd

Novice Member
Hi. Hopefully I’m not posting in the wrong place. Getting some building work done. I have a sky q router (possibly the hub-has 4 Ethernet ports). Would like to use Ethernet to the following 1)Tv 2)AV receiver 3)Nativ music player/server 4)Sky q box (also have a mini box in other room but leave this connecting by WiFi if possible?)
5)spare cables for Blu-ray + other
All the boxes are downstairs but the sky router/hub is upstairs. So questions are 1) Can I use individual Ethernet cables from the tv etc downstairs and connect them to a netgear switch and then run one Ethernet cable from the switch upstairs to the router/hub? 2) Will this improve the ability of the various devices to see each other as all connected by Ethernet? 3) Will wifi speakers still see the music server or do they then have to be connected by Ethernet (I don’t know if once I’ve connected the device by Ethernet if it loses its WiFi capabilities)?

Thank you for your time. Andy
 

mushii

Distinguished Member
Hi Andy, yes it is quite normal to run a single cable from your upstairs router to a switch downstairs, then plug in all of your wired devices to the switch. As general piece of advice, try and always run your network cables as pairs. Then if for any reason, in the future one fails, you always have a backup. But dont connect both cables between your router and switch at the same time, this can cause problems (we call it a network storm). Your wifi speakers should be fine and still see your music server. Generally, cabled devices will perform better than wifi devices.
 

Andywidd

Novice Member
Cheers Mushii. Appreciate your help. This is one area where I’m totally ignorant. Looked online at various guides but still wasn’t sure so nice to have it verified!
Thanks again.
 

John7

Well-known Member
If your router is Gigabit rated , make sure you get a Gigabit rated switch rather than a lowly 10/100 one!
Also, you may want to get one with more ports than you currently need in case of future expansion.

For example, if you have 4 x devices currently, you will need a 5 port switch (one for the cable from the Router and one each for the devices connected). If you want to add another device later, you will have to replace the 5 x port with an 8 port. In this case, you may as well get an 8 x port up front!

If you don't plan on expanding, then stick with a 5 x port.
 

oneman

Well-known Member
If you sticking one behind the TV then absolutely get the 8 port, there is very little price difference maybe around £5. Its surprising how quickly the ports get used up. TV, Sky or Virgin, Media streamer, Blu ray player, AV amp or speaker system, the list going on and on and of course one port will be used for uplink to router and maybe one for daisy chaining another switch for another room.

If you putting new ethernet cabling in, then use Cat6 for future proofing. Cost wise there is very little difference to older lower specification cable and it isn't much harder to work with.

And if possible its always better to connect a device by Ethernet rather than wireless if possible, not only is it more reliable but it frees wireless bandwidth for mobile devices like phones and tablets which have to be wireless. This includes your sky-mini box, which I believe will use wireless for control but if wired then video traffic will use the wired connection which is where the bulk of the network traffic will be.

In terms of devices 'seeing' each other, generally everything on the same network regardless of wired or wireless will be able to communicate with other devices on same network unless you start messing with guest network, vlan, firewalls or other more advanced networking. By default the router will connect the wired and wireless devices to each other. So your wireless speakers will see your wired music server.

Basically unless you need advanced networking then you will be fine.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
I often advise to buy gigabit (AKA 10/100/1000) switches even if your router is not gigabit capable. The price different between 10/100 and 10/100/1000 (AKA "gigabit") switches is so small these days you "may as well" buy the faster switches and avail yourself some future proofing. That said, at time of posting, it's getting rare that even cheap ISP provided routers are not gigabit ethernet capable.

It terms of "will X work over ethernet rather than Wi-Fi" - the applications we run over networks tend to be agnostic about the underlying transport mechanisms. The applications will generally talk to each other using a networking protocol called IP. As long as the applications can establish links to each other using IP, they generally don't "care" how the IP traffic is delivered - Wi-Fi, ethernet, broadband, two tin cans and bit of wet string - as long as they can convey IP the endpoints generally won't care (or even know) how it gets there. It's like the post - if I put a correctly packaged and addressed letter in the post box and I don't have to concern myself whether it gets delivered by road, rail, air, bicycle, hovercraft or anything else.

Don't forget switches need a power supply, often it's a "wall wart" for "desktop" switches. Fortunately most "desktop" switches are fanless (ie silent) but do check if you acquire devices with higher port counts.
 
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