Network Switch - It's capability and set up.

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by Riggy, Jan 10, 2012.

  1. Riggy

    Riggy
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    Hey!

    Well first off, me and my other half are looking to buy a house this year. The plan was to start looking seriously around July for personal reasons, but we've found a gem and it would be stupid not to go for it. I've now got to start planning the cabling, what were going to have/need, security, and placement of furniture as it's important to know where things are going when you plan on chasing cables about the house.

    Now, I've gotten myself quite confused about Network Switch's. I have around 5 items that will need wiring in for access to the internet, which are as follows;

    TV,
    Blu Ray player,
    PS3,
    Xbox360,
    PC x1.

    I could use wireless for both my PS3 and PC and just use a router, but I'd rather get everything wired. Plus I plan on getting a NAS drive on the network, I want to sell my Onkyo 608 and get the 609 for the lovely Spotify streaming. I will only end up adding more and more things that I will want connected to the internet.

    I've looked at so many 'Guides to Network switches' than I care to think about, but nothing really goes into the detail I'm looking for and is the reason why I'm posting here, I've got a couple of questions that need clearing up.

    The 'guides' I've read regarding network switches only ever mention plugging in PC's, so can I plug in, say, the Blu Ray player without an issue of getting connected?

    How user friendly are Network Switches? How easy are they to set up with such a network I'm aiming for? I've seen guides that have pretty much suggest that it's plug and play, but I thought that was more towards the Network Hub route as I think there is more to set up than just plugging everything in.

    Is there anything I should consider regarding getting a Network Switch? ISP going to be an issue at all if I start using a Switch?

    Really appreciate any help, my brain has pretty much done a fart and wants to stop reading.

    Rig
     
  2. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    Hi there.
    Switches are easy. For you configuration, just think of it as a splitter. Your router will take care of assigning the IP numbers and connecting all the equipment to the network and each other.

    You can have more than 1 switch, so you could have one nestling behind your home cinema set up and another in your office, just linked up with 1 cable.

    Switches are normally just plug and play. You do not need a managed switch, so all it will have is power and as many network ports as you specify. You are not building an office with hundreds of PCs, so you don't need to worry too much about topology or bandwidth management.

    I suggest you get Gigabit switches. These are 10x times the speed of normal 100MBs switches and cost little more. TP-Link to a range of good priced units suitable for home use. Connect them up with Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable and then just one cable to your router.
     
  3. Riggy

    Riggy
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    Are they really that easy? I think I may have just over thought it... I honestly thought there was more to it :D

    How are switches in terms of gaming? Any issue there?

    Thanks for your input man, its kinda made my excitement rise tenfold, can not wait to start getting my hands dirty and installing it all.
     
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2012
  4. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible
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    Gaming and any other activity on the network won't be affected by the switch. Remember to get a switch not a hub. The latter may be a bit cheaper but they're not efficient at managing network traffic.

    Other than that, yes it is as simple as just connecting everything up and connect one port from the switch to one Ethernet port on your router which will do the assigning of IP addresses etc.

    GL!
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2012
  5. Kristian

    Kristian
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    The only gotcha with multiple switches, which includes the switch ports on your router, is not to connect your switches together to make a loop.
     
  6. Riggy

    Riggy
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    Ahh yeah I wouldn't loop them, ill be going spider like with it. I'm thinking of running a cable from the router to the living room where most of the AV equipment will be and put a switch on the end there, and one in the gaming room? Will that work? Or is having a big switch at the router then routing all the cables to where they need to be better?
     
  7. doctorPhil

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    Some high end switches can be configured. This isn't some thing you would do or need at home though. Plug and play all the way.
     
  8. Kristian

    Kristian
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    Either or :) ; whichever is easiest, cheapest or aesthetically pleasing, it won't matter much in the home.
     
  9. Riggy

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    I really am loving how easy it sounds. Though I do still have the routing to do... that should be fun!
     
  10. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible
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    "Fun"? Depends on where you routing takes you! To get from one side of the house to the other I enlisted the help of two helpers and used push rods to get the cat5 cable between the ceiling of downstairs and the flooring of upstairs. Are you going to do your own crimping of the Cat5 ends? It is a bit fiddly to start with when you don't know what you're doing, but it soon speeds up.
     
  11. Riggy

    Riggy
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    Yeah, there was a certain amount of sarcasm in that word :D
    Yeah I plan on doing my own crimping, purely because I know my father and brother won't appreciate how easy it is to damage the cable. I'll just buy some practice materials until I'm satisfied I can do it to a reasonable standard :D

    I'm already planning on lecturing them about the pulling tension of the cables, its going to be a right nightmare :D
     
  12. Kristian

    Kristian
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    Don't crimp plugs on solid cored cable, use modules/faceplates with IDCs and a punch down/Krone tool. It's quicker, easier and designed to be done that way.
     
  13. Riggy

    Riggy
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    Ahh cool, already been looking for face plates, still haven't found anything that suites what I need. Got any suggestions? I think I'm going to route just one cable to where I need it, then use a couple of smaller switches, that way I can keep the costs down on cable.

    If I use solid core cable from the router to the switch, then a small stranded cable from the equipment to the switch, will I just be making the solid core cable pointless? Or will I see very little difference in performance?
     
  14. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible
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    Does that imply that any "DIY" patch lead should not be solid core if you want to crimp?
     
  15. Riggy

    Riggy
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    I've not done any DIY cabling before, I did actually assume that you 'crimped' for both solid core and stranded :D
     
  16. Kristian

    Kristian
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    Afraid not, sorry - I've not bought any in ages for home use and our cabling contractor provides them for work jobs.

    No and none. Solid core cable is used for the main run where it's never going to move. Patch leads are then used to connect the devices because the stranded cores allow lots of flexibility. Both types of cable of a particular Catx standard will provide the same physical/electrical performance.
     
  17. Kristian

    Kristian
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    Yes, it does, however things are never that cut and dried :)

    In general, whether it's DIY or 'professional', stranded cable is used for patch leads for connecting devices and are terminated with plugs, and solid cable is used for the actual cable runouts from [network/server] cabinet to cabinet and terminated with a module at one end and a patch panel at the other (or another module). You can however terminate solid onto plugs, but it's not recommended, but sometimes it's the only way it can be done.

    There are plenty of people, especially on here, who advocate that plugs on solid is fine at home and there's nothing wrong with it. In part I agree but I tend to like things done properly ;). I also find it's much easier to properly terminate a module than a plug :)

    If you are using plugs on solid then make sure you get the right type of plugs to match the cable.
     
  18. Mr Incredible

    Mr Incredible
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    Didn't know that! I struggled with solid in a module plate, even with the right tool!
     
  19. GloopyJon

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    I recently bought a 24-port switch for the new house that we were hoping to buy...unfortunately, that one fell through and now we're buying a different house which isn't network cabled so I'm not sure whether I will end up using the switch (or at least, possibly not very much). It depends on how easy it will be to put network sockets around the house, and that probably won't be very easy or cheap.

    Anyway, the point I was vaguely trying to get at is that you should be generous in your estimation of the number of network ports you will need. It's true that many of them will be clustered around your TV / hi-fi setup, and it's very practical to have a simple little 8-port switch there which connects up to your main switch (i.e. the one that plugs into your Internet connection). For the future, though, it's very possible that you will end up adding more network devices here and there, so don't buy something where you will only have 1 or 2 spare ports - it doesn't cost that much to go from 8 to 16 ports, for example.

    Regarding having multiple switches, it should be fine but you may have to make sure that only your main switch is issuing IP addresses, and therefore turn off the DHCP function on any ancillary switches. That should ensure that your network is all one simple subnet and you don't have any conflicts or internal routing problems. I don't think there's much else that you might need to do.

    Oh, and I agree with you fully - wired all the way, wherever you can do it. Wireless can work very well but it's a PITA when it doesn't, and wires just work, virtually all of the time (unless you accidentally cut the cable or mess up the crimping, or tug the cable out of the plug etc - but all of those are physical things that you can see). Another tip - if you have a switch on your AV rack, buy some short network cables to connect them up (0.25 - 0.5m), as this will significantly reduce the volume of cabling round the back. Get different colours too, as this makes it much easier to trace which cable leads to which device. Also, if you have cables running anywhere that you can't see both ends and the whole cable, mark both ends with something to identify them - either a simple numbering system or just write "BEDROOM 1" on the other end, for example. Again, different colours can also help.

    Doing a few simple things like this will make it much easier to maintain and troubleshoot your network in the future. It also impresses girls a lot! *




    * This is a joke. Girls don't give a flying fig about important things like network cabling - strange but true!!
     
  20. diluxe

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    i've just bought a TP-link switch (TL-SG1005D) from Amazon £14. with the plan to plug this to one of the port on my 7800n billion router, i need 20M of Cable and i plan to lay it only once down, question 1) should i purchase 5e or 6, 2) should it be "ethernet cross over cable" or normal (TBH not sure what the difference is), and 3) could i chop one end off and re-crimp it if wanted?
     
  21. noiseboy72

    noiseboy72
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    Suggest you buy a ready made 20M Cat5e patch cable. This will be easy to cut the end off and re-terminate if required. Cat 6 is more expensive and will probably work at a higher speed, but just to link to your router, this won't be an issue, as your broadband speed will be the limiting factor anyway.

    You just want a straight cable. Crossover is for connecting 2 computers together. It probably won't matter what you get as most swtiches will correct for the wrong type anyway.
     
  22. diluxe

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    cheers, i'll be conencting at the router end which is located in my home office, my nas plus my laptop docking station, at the switch end , ps3, squeeze box touch, panny 50GT30, plus a AP. I dont mind paying the extra for CAT6 now if its going to mean i'm future proof for 5 years or so.

    Are all CAT cables created equally? or would any one recommend a particular vendor?

    cheers
     
  23. Kristian

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    Any Cat5E UTP (unshielded) patch lead will be fine. Cat6 will not give you any benefit over Cat5E for a 10/100/1000Mps Ethernet link.
     

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