Answered New House is Cat6 wired...now what do I do?

Discussion in 'Networking & NAS' started by 47degrees, Jun 27, 2018.

  1. 47degrees

    47degrees
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    Morning all,

    I have a new (built in 1962) house that I am having rewired, I am having 13 cat6 cables run to different rooms (2 to each of the three bedrooms, 3 to living room, 2 to the kitchen and another 2ports near to the back of the house so I can boost WiFi in garden)

    I have a large under stairs cupboard that all the cables will run back to and then I need to connect them all up, I am totally new to networking so here’s the ...

    QUESTION, what set up do I need? Budget is a consideration but I want good kit, what is a good future proof router?

    What switch will be best ? On amazon there is a well reviewed product NETGEAR GS316-100UKS 16-Port Gigabit Ethernet Desktop Switch

    Will that do? There is no online gaming in the house I just want a good strong internet connection on everything wired and our phones and tablets, we use YouTube and stream music and that’s about it, oh and I will have wireless CCTV installed soon

    Maybe having a NAS drive attached will be an option

    Any help will be much appreciated
     
  2. Best Answer:
    Post #10 by mickevh, Jun 27, 2018 (1 points)
  3. ChuckMountain

    ChuckMountain
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    Are the cables in the cupboard terminated into anything i.e. a patch panel or sockets?

    If not that's your first thing you will need.

    Who is fitting\fitted the cables? Make sure if its an electrician that he does it properly and supplies proper CAT6 cable not the Copper Clad Aluminium (CCA) which does not meet any of the standards but is cheeeaapp :)

    Where is your current router and can it be put into the cupboard?

    The switch you mention should be fine for most needs. Its unmanaged so it is plug and play. There is not much to unmanaged switches so long as you have a gigabit one which you do then there isn't generally going to be any noticeable difference in how they perform.

    Ideally you would have (short) patch leads plugged into the patch panel then plugged into the switch.

    To get good WiFi round the house then ideally you may well want multiple Wireless Access Points depending on the size of the house and construction. These should by preference be wired backed to the main switch. You might want to consider running more cables to ceiling points and getting a PoE ceiling WAP like a UniFi one. Having a number of these round your house will get good coverage.
     
  4. Kristian

    Kristian
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    Terminate the cables onto a patch panel, not plugs. Buy patch leads to connect from the patch panel to a switch. Switch needs to be big enough to support active devices, not necessarily every terminated cable. Saying that, it's only 13 cables so a 12, 16 or 24 port switch would be fine. I get the impression you don't need any fancy management features so a basic gigabit switch is all that's needed. Netgear seem okay, as do TP-Link and D-Link.

    You then use the router supplied by your BB supplier to get the internet connection (modem, DHCP, firewall, NAT, routing etc), by connecting a port to the new switch.

    For wifi you can either use the wifi on the router, or purchase a separate AP (e.g. Ubiquity) and turn the wifi off on the router. An external AP will be much better than the router as you can install it where is best in your house rather than where the router needs to sit.

    [Edit: just like CM says :). I was to long between starting a reply and finishing it!]
     
  5. 47degrees

    47degrees
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    Thanks guys, ok so I will need a patch panel and a switch? Soooo if I get virgin broadband (250+mb available at the new house) I use their router as a modem, connect that to an aftermarket router then connect to the switch then connect the switch to the patch panel?!? Is that correct?

    The electrician will be doing the wiring and he is a youngish friend of a friend who is used to doing rewires with networking in mind but I will emphasise what you mentioned and I will potential order the cables myself online from that (cable monkey or whatever it’s called haha)

    I’m not actually in the house yet, I will get the keys in around 2weeks at which point the electrician and heating engineer go straight in
     
  6. 47degrees

    47degrees
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    Thanks Kristian, please see my above reply, if you think there is anything more you can add that would be really helpful thank you
     
  7. mickevh

    mickevh
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    There's no need for an additional router because you are buying additional Wi-Fi AP's (unless you have some other reason.) Most SOHO routers will allow you to disable their Wi-Fi if you don't want to use it.

    Just take an ethernet link from router to switch. If you wanted to , you could even use the "spare" ports on the ISP router (if it's close enough) - just patch them to the patch panel as you would switch ports (the "LAN" ports in a SOHO router are effectively a built in ethernet switch.)

    Be aware that an electrician "doing the wiring" won't necessarily have he expertise (or the very expensive test equipment) required to verify the install is "cat" whatever: There's more to it that just buying "cat" whatever cable and bits and bobs. That's not to say it won't "work" for gigabit ethernet, it just may be that it isn't strictly to cat6 (or whatever) standard and may bite you in the future if you try to drive (say) 10Gig ethernet down it some day.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
  8. 47degrees

    47degrees
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    I’m just to go and google all that terminology pahaha before I try compose an intelligent reply.

    Surely if I disabled the WiFi on a router I would only have internet access on the wired connections and no WiFi for tablets/phones?
     
  9. mickevh

    mickevh
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    Correct.

    If you are not adding additional Wi-Fi AP's as others have suggested, then leave Wi-Fi active on your ISP router. Thence, there's even less reason to use the SH in modem mode and add a second router.

    However, if you are planning to add additional AP's (especially if you are contemplating one of these new fangled "whole home" type systems,) you may want to disable the SH Wi-Fi, but you don't to and you don't need "modem mode" to achieve that.

    I'm just trying to steer you away from thinking you need your ISP router in "modem mode" and an extra router - you don't need such just to add an ethernet switch downstream of your ISP router or turn off it's Wi-Fi.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
  10. 47degrees

    47degrees
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    Ahhh ok I think the penny has dropped, well to shed some light on the whole AP situation.... my initial uneducated view was to use one of the spare network facias/plates upstairs and downstairs to connect one or more additional AP’s, so I suppose this steers it of topic BUT what is the best solution? The router will be located in an under stairs cupboard along with the patch and switch, would a £150-£200 all singing n dancing router still be able to give me good WiFi all over the house? Infact in the garden? The garden is 80ft long hence why I was thinking of adding additional AP, if so what would be a good system to use? It’s most likely I will be getting virgin broadband as it seems the fastest but I hear people talking on here about “BT home everywhere “ or whatever it’s called :) is there a better option? Just more routers? Sorry I’m just a little confused guys
     
  11. mickevh

    mickevh
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    OK, here's my standard Wi-Fi 1-on-1: :D

    All Wi-Fi is availed by things called Access Points (AP's or WAP's) - there's an AP built in to the SOHO "get-you-on-the-Internet" omni-box most people call "routers" along with a bunch of other stuff. (Incidentally, there's a block diagram of a SOHO router attached to the "Using Two Routers Together FAQ pinned in this forum, though IIRC the diagram omits a modem stage.) You don't need "routers" to "do Wi-Fi" all you need is AP's - it's just that for a SOHO a "one box that does everything" solution is of course very convenient, so SOHO routers often include an AP in the box with everything else.

    Wi-Fi is a two-way conversation like walkie-talkies, not a one way broadcast like television. All Wi-Fi devices (phones, tablets, laptops, printers, APs, routers, everything) are Wi-Fi transmitters. In each Wi-Fi cell "only one thing at a time can transmit" - the more things you have, the more they need to transmit, the more competition there is for some "air time."

    Wi-Fi transmit power is limited by law, and most kit is, and always has been, at of very close to the permitted max. There's no magic "uber-routers" or "mega-AP's" with "much more signal" than everyone else because it simply isn't allowed.

    So, will router X provide a good service in location Y to areas A B C is simplest to contemplate if one swaps radio waves to sound waves: Imagine you are sat in your cupboard (acting as AP) trying to simultaneously hold a conversation with your wife in the kitchen, the kids in their bedrooms, and your granny in the garden shed. Imagine the challenges you would have both "hearing" and "being heard" by all your interlocutors. It's pretty much the same for Wi-Fi, except is uses radio waves instead of sound waves.

    If it doesn't work very well, how would we fix it: Again (think of sound) you have to fundamentally get the communicating peers closer together (because they cannot "shout louder.") Either by moving everyone else closer to the stair cupboard, or by putting up additional AP's closer to the kitchen, bedrooms, garden etc. and cable the " backhaul" link from each AP back to the cupboard under the stairs using wired ethenet.

    Basically, that's what we do on big sites - we put up tens/hundreds of AP'(as geography and number of users dictates) and an ethernet infrastructure to connect them all together (and to everything else.)

    Often when so doing, we use a "managed" fleet of AP's that have a whole host of "tricks" to (for example) managed the authentication, radio channel planning, roaming hand-offs, provide a single management interface and a few other things. This sort of technology used to be the preserve of "enterprise" class systems (with price tag and complexity to match) but is now percolating down to the domestic realm as people are finding that "one AP in the middle of the house" isn't delivering and they need a multi-AP infrastructure but want the benefits of managing such (ideally) automatically. Hence "whole home" and "mesh" are being bandied about as the latest "marketing" buzzwords to describe such systems. (If I were being cynical, I might also believe there's money to be made too.)

    Wi-Fi coverage and service quality is notoriously difficult to predict with any accuracy. If you are moving to a new home, I suggest the simplest thing is to just try it for a few weeks and see how well (or not) it's working for you and if not, "fix" it if need be. Whist it might be prudent to install the cabling if the property is at "building site" mode, it may be fine without additional AP's so one could hold back the AP purchase until it's proven you really need it then spend on some AP's if it turns out you need them.

    If you can get access to the property in advance (and the power is on) you could go a make a bit of a basic survey: Take a router along, place if where you are thinking of deploying, turn it on and go wander around with a client and see what the coverage it like. The router doesn't need an Internet connection and you don't need to "connect" to it - you're really only interested in the trend of the strength of the SSID advertisement (though beware of assuming your client device's "bar" meter "Wi-Fi" indicator reports received signal strength (AKA RSSI) - some report "quality" which is not at all the same thing.) I've called this a "basic survey" but you'd be surprised how often "professionals" do little more!
     
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    Last edited: Jul 4, 2018
  12. 47degrees

    47degrees
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    It always astonishes me how someone you have never met before, and never chatted to before can invest so much time into trying to help others understand their area of expertise, and with wit too (wife, kids , granny...brilliant :) ) very very helpful and really explained the bare bones of the subject I seem to jumping ahead on! Smashing! Thanks a lot Mick! I will ask more educated questions once I re-read this in the morning
     
  13. mickevh

    mickevh
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    Thank you for your kind words.
     
  14. ChuckMountain

    ChuckMountain
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    Virgin media is typically the fastest broadband you can get. I say typically, as some properties might have actual fibre direct to the house in which case they can sometimes offer comparable speeds.

    Don't be confused with this fibre marketing spiel. BT infinity 1 and 2 and the equivalent from other providers still use the single pair of copper from your phone line. This causes a limitation on the speed.

    BT Openreach network is generally up to 76Mbps and falls off with distance from green box on street. Virgin's as a new customer starts at 100Mbps and goes up to 350Mbps, it does not vary with distance.

    At my own house I can only get 42Mbps from Openreach whereas I have the full 350 service from vm.

    I would say that much beyond 100Mbps is probably a bit pointless unless you need concurrent streams of uhd films.

    BT whole home is a wireless solution designed to work with your broadband whoever provides that so is different
     
  15. jamster

    jamster
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    Good advice. 100Mbps should easily cope with 99% of typical domestic use. Many offices with tens or even hundreds of employees are still connected with less.

    The reason why people suffer slow broadband is usually either:

    1. Wifi problems - admirably explained above. I use two access points to give a consistent signal across my four bedroom house.

    2. Contention at the ISP. The UK's broadband system is a shared resource, with multiple providers in a chain, and at peak times you might be sharing your 100Mbps with other users. Some ISPs are better at managing this so-called "contention" than others, and invest more in their core networks than others. It's also complicated by the fact that (Virgin Media aside) most of the UK's network kit relies on the services of BT / Openreach at some point, and there is contention in their network too. In my last house I had a 100mbps fibre to the premises connection (top of the line, back then) and at times it was awful, because of contention on BT openreach's network.

    3. Heavy uploading. UK broadband typically gives faster download speeds at the expense of much slower upload speeds. It can therefore be quite easy to max out your upload speed. If you do this for a consistent period of time (e.g. torrenting, cloud backups) then it actually affects your download speed too. This is because 'TCP' - the transmission control protocol that underpins a lot of how the internet works - will wait for an acknowledgement ("ack") that the bits of the download that have just been sent to you ("packets") have arrived before sending the next packets. The ack needs to be uploaded by your computer - if it gets stuck behind a torrent then it can take a few hundreds of milliseconds to be sent and believe it or not this will have a dramatic effect on your download speed.

    Why is this important?

    If you are wiring your house for ethernet, you deserve to put some effort into choosing your ISP. Use an ISP that manages its network well and is willing to go the extra mile to help diagnose and resolve contention problems that arise (AAISP, Zen, IDnet etc.)

    You also deserve a good router, one that can pro-actively manage issue #3 by using traffic shaping - to make sure that your ack signals don't get held behind uploads.

    Even though at my current place the broadband caps out at ~ 30 mbps, it never feels slow because I have taken care of all three points above.
     
  16. mickevh

    mickevh
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    @jamster - interesting point number 3, I haven't thought about that before.
     
  17. jamster

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    Thanks @mickevh - as I use Mikrotik kit in much the configuration that you describe, and I use bandwidth queues to prioritise ack packets, but many routers have a "traffic prioritisation" or "QoS" setting - can make a big difference.
     
  18. 47degrees

    47degrees
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    thanks for the advice so far everyone, i am slowly but surely learning the basics.....soo tell me if i am on the mark here......

    the (now revised) 21 CAT6 cables run from my facias in each room through the walls inside a casing , down to a central point in my house, they are terminated on a 24 point patch panel, each port is the connected through patch leads to a 24 port switch, into one of those ports on the switch is the feed from my virgin media "router", to increase my wifi coverage i will then connect 2 x mesh networks APs via ethernet cable to the facias at different parts of the house......jobs a good un?
     
  19. ChuckMountain

    ChuckMountain
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    Just be careful with products marketed as mesh networks as they often use a separate wireless channel for the backhaul. You want to use your wired network as the backhaul :)
     

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