My House Networking Project

Discussion in 'Adrian Wong' started by Adrian Wong, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    This has been my pet project for the last 2+ years - the renovation of an old house I bought almost 3 years ago. We finally saved enough money to start work on it last month! :dance:

    Right now, the place is like a war zone with the original house being demolished and earthworks underway. The "wet works" should be complete by December, but by early November, I have to start electrical works and this includes any cables for networking, satellite TV, CCTV, security systems, etc.

    So I would like to pick your brains regarding these cabling. Let's take a look at the floor plans (see below).

    The final house will have 4 rooms upstairs (3 bedrooms and 1 office) and 3.5 rooms on the ground floor (one of them is a store room).

    I intend to terminate ten LAN cables - two cables per location to areas highlighted in red.

    On the ground floor, this would be :
    - the TV area (to supply the media player and maybe, a future network drive),
    - and the kids' room (for future proofing).
    - I was originally thinking of adding two more at the breakfast table for guests, and the small room at the back of the house (future proofing) but this is probably overkill...

    On the first floor, the remaining three locations would be :
    - the master bedroom (future proofing)
    - bedroom 2 (future proofing)
    - bedroom 3 (at the end of the room where I would place a work desk)

    All those 10 LAN cables were originally supposed to terminate in the WiFi cabinet in the store room on the ground floor. But considering the fickleness of the Maxis router and the regular need to restart it (!!!), I decided that it would be a better idea to terminate the cables in my office (aka command center!) - highlighted in blue on the first floor.

    I also plan to install two WiFi routers/AP to ensure sufficient coverage. Overkill? What do you guys think? The locations are highlighted by the green boxes - one on each floor.

    The LAN cables to these WiFi routers/AP will also terminate in my "command center", so in all, I will probably need at least 12 LAN cables...

    It is also possible that I may just locate the first floor WiFi router within my office, so it won't clutter the small walkway on the first floor. Doing so will reduce WiFi signal in the other rooms though.

    In the office, all those 10-12 LAN cables will probably terminate in a wooden cabinet (like a top-hung kitchen cabinet?). I will probably leave the cables loose (with spare length) so that if I need to relocate the cabinet in the future, I can do so easily.

    Of course, I will design the cabinet to have proper ventilation and maybe even include fans in its construction. Otherwise, I will make use of notebook coolers to directly cool the network devices and provide airflow.

    I think it would be a good idea to include a UPS for the network equipment because my phone is now a VOIP phone tied to the Maxis FTTH (Fibre To The Home) service. No power = no phone. Obviously, no Internet either. :(

    Anyway, do let me know what you think... and do give me your suggestions! :D

    Thanks, guys! :beer:

    Attached Files:

  2. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Oh yeah... just how important is it to go Cat 6E cables?

    AFAIK, Cat 6E just allows for full 10 Gbps transfers over 50 meter cable lengths, while Cat 6 allow full 10 Gbps transfer under 50 meters.

    Since my network equipment is still limited to Gigabit LAN, I suppose this is just future proofing. The question is - should I spend a little extra to future proof it to Cat 6E, or will Cat 6 do?

    FYI, the house is just 14.4 m (47 feet) long and 10.66 m (35 feet) wide. The ceiling is about 3 m (10 feet) high, so the distance between the ground floor and the ceiling on the first floor is probably about 7.3 m (24 feet). In other words, I think most, if not all, of the cable lengths should be less than 50 meters.

  3. Trinity

    Trinity Little Kiki Staff Member


    i mean nice floor plan!
  4. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    ROTFL!! It's a small place actually - just over 1,700 sf, with just 4 rooms. That's why we had to expand it a little. Otherwise, there's not enough room for my office. I think, after renovation, the total built-up area is about 2,400 sf.

    BTW, the design is dictated in a large part by local council requirements.
  5. Chai

    Chai Administrator Staff Member

    This is why I think Cat6 is more than sufficient. I would look at the cost of Cat6e first.

    Personally, I don't think we are going to appreciate the 10Gbps anytime soon. It translate to 1.25 GBps. Unless you are running RAID0 SSD drives, you are not going to see the benefit. If you are not even using SSD drive today, so evidently, transfer rate is not very important to you. So why bother with Cat6e if it's going to cost more?

    We only have SATA6G today, and we will need to wait for new protocol, so we are still capped at around 550MB/sec.
  6. PsYkHoTiK

    PsYkHoTiK Admin nerd

    I haven't seen full network utilization on my home network (Cat6). It's I/O limitations for home for sure.
  7. mathew7

    mathew7 Newbie


    I agree with the 1Gbps part. 10G is useful only for backbones with 100s of clients.
    But my main concern is the dual wireless.
    I'm still looking for a WDS solution with ethernet backbone. But I only managed to do it only with wireless (as offered by some models, but me with OpenWRT). This means the slave (2nd) wifi sends all client packets to the master wifi. If I connect both of them in the same ethernet, a packet loop occurs.
    Any other solution means wifi renegotiation and loss of active connections when client switches between the 2 (like a phone or tablet).
  8. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    Moving this discussion here.

    If possible, better to use LAN for network printers as well. So that you can leave the printer on standby mode (off but still connected to power source) and when you want to print something it will wake the printer from LAN interface.
  9. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Is WDS that good? Marauderz did recommend it to me, but I was thinking of routing a cable from the primary router to the second router (WiFi AP). Seems to be more "stable" that way?
  10. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    A moot point at the moment because my printer isn't even LAN-enabled! :(

    Made the mistake earlier.. should have paid a little extra for a LAN printer.
  11. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    PsYkHoTiK and Chai : Makes a lot of sense. Even if 10 Gbps becomes common in the next decade, I think I can live with "just 1 Gbps". LOL! :D

    BTW, as mentioned a little earlier, Marauderz recommended that I link the two WiFi routers wirelessly. Not sure if the Thomson router supports WDS but the Linksys WRT-320N should.

    What do you think? Does it make sense to save on the extra LAN cable from the main router to the second router (WiFi AP)? Or is it still better to just use LAN?

    Oh yeah, a little on the placement of the WiFi router on the ground floor. To avoid hanging the WiFi router on the ceiling or wall (ugly?), I may put a third LAN cable to the TV cabinet and place the second WiFi router there, so it will be concealed and all 3 LAN cables will be in a single location.
  12. zy

    zy Staff Member

    I linked 2 linksys wireless router with DD-WRT. (different model though)

    Did not like the wireless performance.
  13. mathew7

    mathew7 Newbie

    WDS is good for internet browsing. I've used it several times with an Asus wl-330g (it's called repeater mode). But the problem is that all communication (client-repeater-AP) share the same channel. So from the start the speed is divided by 2 (not mentioning overheads) when talking to the 2nd AP. It's good for range extending, since the repeating AP will have better antennas than any laptop/tablet.

    Just configuring the same name (+channel) to both APs will not work for migrations because the client establishes session keys with 1 AP and that AP has not way of notifying the 2nd AP of that session. This "sharing" is done directly by the wifi chips (so no CPU+ethernet involved) in WDS-enabled off-the shelf HW. The result: renegotiations when the weaker signal is completely lost.

    The alternative is to have 2 different wifis on the same ethernet (but at least 1 of them not being dhcp server) and switch manually between them. But this also is not good for live connections when moving from room-to-room.
  14. karhoe

    karhoe Newbie

    Worry not, Thomson can work as a print server with compatible printers. Do let me know if you need Cat 6 cables haha.
  15. Falcone

    Falcone Official Mascot Creator

    Printer servers are dirt cheap now, even some routers have print server feature, not to mention NAS.
  16. terry99

    terry99 Newbie

    I would have the LAN patch panel and modem at the point of entry of your service cable along with a UPS big enough for 4 hours minimum emergency power. If you have any chance of long power outages make it 24 hours. I don't know if your service cable is optical fibre if not allow for an update. Cat6 sounds good to me. Only way you could future-proof that would be to use internal optical fibre. You would need to gaze into your crystal ball to know which type of OF you will need in the future. :lol: WiFi should be OK in a house like that for the near future. I had to make the same decision 10 years ago and now the Cat5E hardly gets used. Future proofing is a gamble.
  17. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Only if the USB printer is placed next to it. That would limit the printer to... my command center. LOL! Well, that's still okay.

    Well, it looks like I should not need Cat 6e cables after all. So yeah, will arrange to get the cables from you later. Not sure how long I need yet though.
  18. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    The Thomson router supports USB drives but I heard from karhoe that it's really slow.
  19. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    Yes, it will be a fiber-optic cable, which I will have to pre-install myself since they won't provide it to me in advanced. LOL!

    Yeah, I will very likely have a small UPS to provide backup power for the router and modem. Not only is my broadband dependant on power being up for the modem and router, the phone service is VOIP and tied to the modem and router.
  20. Adrian Wong

    Adrian Wong Da Boss Staff Member

    BTW, this is how I now keep my Thomson router and the Unifi modem cool.

    Even though the TV cabinet has a 2 inch hole at the back for cables and a little ventilation, it's not good enough so it's like a sauna in there.

    I just plug in this notebook cooler and it drops the temperature quite a bit. At least the router and modem don't feel so hot anymore. The only requirement for this method is that one of the devices must have a USB port to provide power.

    I'm thinking of either replicating this method for all my network devices (NAS, router, etc.) and even my WD TV media player in the new house. Or I can just drill holes into the TV and network cabinets and fix fans to them.

    Attached Files:

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