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Thread: Home distribution panel networking question

  1. #1
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    Home distribution panel networking question

    Hello,

    I have a new home that has been pre-wired with ethernet jacks all around the house and then brought down into a home distribution panel in the basement. I currently have 11 Cat 5 cables (with expandablity to 16) that have been brought into the panel and and connected to punch down type connectors. I have a DSL modem outside the panel and a Cat 5 cable has been run into the panel. Currently, I have a wireless router on the top floor of my house that I brought with me from my prior home (a Linksys WRT54G). Inside the panel, the network cable from the DSL modem runs to just the punch down connection that corresponds to the one network jack I have in the upper level where my wireless router is connected. That leaves me with 10 other ethernet jacks in my house that are essentially dead because they are not hooked to anything past the punch downs in the panel. My thought was to add a switch to my panel (like the unmanaged Netgear FS116), connect the DSL modem to this and then out from the switch to all the connections on the punch downs and continue to use my wireless router on my upper level. My concerns are, I don't have much experience with switches so I don't know if this is appropriate to distribute the DSL signal throughout my house (I want full internet connectivity to my entire house and well as full peer to peer connectivity). Also, I don't know how my wireless router would get along with the switch. I had someone tell me to just disable the DHCP server settings on my wireless router and and connect it using Lan Port 1 but I don't know how the switch would handle the DHCP duties since it is unmanaged. I just need some advice. I can't use a router at the panel since I will need 16 ports. Should I just get another cheap router to use at the panel and connect the switch to that? Will I still be able to use my wireless router on my upper level? Thanks for any help!

  2. #2
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    DSL modem ==> Router ==> Switch ==> Short patch cables into the ports on your patch panel.
    You want the router in between your modem and switch....because it will take the single IP address from your ISP and, using NAT, allow up to 253 devices to connect to it.
    MORNING WOOD Lumber Company
    Guinness for Strength!!!

  3. #3
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    Ok. I figured I would need to put a router before the switch but I'm just trying to keep it as uncluttered as possible. Will I still be able to connect my wireless router to the other side of the switch from the upper lever of my house? Also, do you recommend any particular router to put before the switch or will any basic one do the trick? Thanks!

  4. #4
    Moderator YeOldeStonecat's Avatar
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    You can add a wireless router to another routers existing network......just change the LAN IP of your wireless router to be in the same IP range as your primary router (meaning, if primary router is 192.168.0.1, and your wireless router is 192.168.1.1...make your wireless router LAN IP something like 192.168.1.2 or 192.168.1.254....now disable DHCP on the wireless router, and lastly...uplink the wireless router to your main network using a LAN port of the wireless router, you will not use the WAN/Internet port of the wireless router.

    But your wireless router, the wrt54g, may work fine as your primary router and cover the home with wireless. Try that? My current home, and my past home, were both large 3 story 3,000plus sq ft homes...and I had full wireless coverage with just 1x wireless unit.
    MORNING WOOD Lumber Company
    Guinness for Strength!!!

  5. #5
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    I will be probably go with the 2 router option. My wireless router is mediocre at broadcasting a signal (had problems with that before) and I know that mounting it in the basement isn't going to be optimal for it... plus I use two of the wired ports on it as well (one for a laser printer and one for a desktop computer). I've been wanting to upgrade to Wireless N anyway so I will probably turn off the wireless part and use that router before the switch and get a new Wireless N router to use after the switch. Hopefully I can get it to all play nicely with each other. Thanks again for your help. It sure would be nice if there was such a thing as an affordable 16 port switch with routing capabilities. It still amazes me how many connections can be made by only utilizing one port of the primary router.

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