Adding switches to home network

By CMH ยท 9 replies
Jun 7, 2008
  1. Hi, I'm trying to network my home with tons of ports....

    However, since some of these ports are really hard to wire up, and we're not so interested in having double or triple ports all over, my question is this:

    If I added a port in a room now (which is then connected to a switch, which is connected to a router, which is then connected to a modem, which is finally connected to the internet), is it possible to later on, connect yet another switch there? Will there be any problems connecting to the internet, or sharing files or printers, etc, from this new switch with other computers connected with the earlier switch? (configuration then would be switch-switch-router-modem)

    No, before suggesting it, wireless networking is out, since the port in question is going to be used for a media player, and file transfer speed is top priority. We're thinking that we might place another computer (or two) in the future.

    These cables do not exceed 30m, total length shouldn't be anything more than 35m.

    All cables are CAT6 (some Cat6e), not Cat5 or Cat5e.

    Right now, with the switch-router-modem setup, computers connected to both the switch can connect with computers connected to the router (which has wireless, and computers connected via wireless). File/printer sharing, and internet is all without problem.

    As I don't have a second switch yet, and may not get one for awhile, I would not be able to just connect it up, and see if it works, which is why I'm posting for some help.

    Thanks in advance.
  2. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,155   +985

    I usually draw it the other way round, but you're on the right track.

    You can cable switch-switch-switch until you go dizzy OR you reach the connection
    limit of your router (most home routers support a MAX of 10 concurrent connections).
    You can also place a switch on EVERY port of the router and then switch-switch-switch again.

    The control of your network is the ROUTER; a switch is a non-configurable device
    and transparent to everything. :)

    Heck; for a roommate, I even have

    HOWEVER, systems attached to A can not see/share with those on B which is
    what we want.
  3. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9

    Okay, thanks for that reply :D

    You brought up another question tho: Concurrent connections? What do you mean by concurrent connections?

    Do you mean if my router (if its like all other standard routers), will only allow up to 10 connections? what happens if I do have more (I'm going to assume anything with an RJ45 will be a computer, which will include media player, VOIP, printer, etc) than 10 computers connected?

    I doubt I'd have more than 2 switches connected tho, since I'm getting an 8 port gigabit as the backbone switch.

    If I need a new router, which can support more than 10 connections, does any come to mind? I currently use the Netgear MR814AU. I can't seem to find any information about concurrent connections....
  4. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,155   +985

    concurrent: two or more at the same time.

    With X number of switches, you could have 30 devices connected. A router with a
    concurrent connection limit Y will allow only the first Y devices to have access and
    then ignore 30-Y devices. If one of the devices is disconnected (power off, disabled driver, or physically disconnected), then ONE other device will be able to connect.
  5. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9

    Hmm... I've got some other problem now. Apparently with the internet-modem-router-switch-computer configuration, I'm having some serious latencies....

    When playing online games, instead of getting the usual 300-400ms, I'm getting 800-1200ms latencies.

    Of course, when bypassing the switch, and connecting straight to router, all is fine.

    switch is Netgear FS524
  6. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 11,155   +985

    and there's no such lag without the switch? real strange. a switch is faster than a hub and helps reduce traffic congestion so this is not what would be expected.

    if that time is duplicated when modem-router-system is the layout, then clearly it's not
    the switch; otherwise ... guess it's a bad switch
  7. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9

    well, I thought its a bad switch as well, and was about to spank it.

    But I thought, lets just give it a few more tests.

    So I swapped up the modem and router with a modem+router. After this switch, it seems to work perfectly. So now, I'm running: internet-modemrouter-switch.

    Problem with this config is that I don't have wireless anymore. Its not a problem I suppose for everyday use, but it'd be nice to have it if I get guests or something...

    So now, I'm not too sure whats the cause of the problem. Doesn't make sense for the modem or the other router to have problem...
  8. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    Did you try swapping cables? A poorly crimped cable can appear to be working but have less than optimal bandwidfth and download speeds.
  9. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Topic Starter Posts: 2,039   +9

    I suppose that is a real possibility.

    I crimp my own cables, and I use only solid core CAT6 (Its the only stuff I got handy). I bought it to wire the house...

    Anyway, I don't think its cabling problem, since I use the same cables even when I switched the configuration, which fixed the problem. But I don't like this current configuration due to the lack of wireless, as well as it being a crappy router, which requires a reboot or something on a daily basis.
  10. NetCablesPlus

    NetCablesPlus TS Maniac Posts: 228

    Well, if you used the same cables in the other configuration and it worked fine, it is mush less likely that it is a cable problem.

    I will quickly mention, however, that Cat 6 cables are much harder to correctly crimp than Cat 5e, due to the staggering of the leads in the end plugs. Solid core is easier to crimp than stranded core network cables, but still tricky. That is why most of my system integrator customers prefer to buy factory crimped and tested patch cables whenever possible for their installations. A bad crimp can cause intermittent connectivity problems and reduced bandwidth even while seeming to be fine.
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