Planning home network


Planning home network

I’m planning to setup my home network from scratch and want to ask professional opinions or tips.

My home is connected to Internet with a cable connection (100 Mb/s). The devices I would like to connect are VoIP phone (RJ-45), TV (WiFi/LAN), 3 laptops (WiFi), 2 smartphones (WiFi), an iPad (WiFi), a Kindle (WiFi), a network printer and, probably, a home media storage (WiFi/LAN).

As you can see, the most load will be on WiFi connections (probably, even if TV supports WiFi it’s better to connect it by LAN?). So, I need help to choose the best router (or combination of routers) to support stable connections for all these devices and minimize the total number of routers/adapters. I like how Cisco/Linksys devices were working for me in the past, so preferably (but not obligatorily) I want to setup network with their solutions.

Any thoughts?

1 Answer

I actually agree with TomTom for some of that.

Here’s how I’d lay it out.

+————-+ |Cable Port | +—————-+ |————-| | Wireless | | | | Access | |+—+ | | Point | || + | | | | ++-|-+——–+ | | | ^—————————+ | ++-|-+—-|——————-+ | | || v |WAN | | +—————-+ |+—+ | | |+—+ +-|-+ +—+ +—+ | || + | | + | | 3 | | 4 | LAN | ++-|-+–+—+-+—+-+—+—–+ | +–|————————–+ |8/|6 port Gigabit Switch | | | | | | | |+-|-+ +—+ +—+ +—+ +—+| || v | | 2 | | 3 | | 4 | | n || ++—+-+—+-+—+-+—+-+—++

Always try to have separate devices for router, switch and access point. The reasoning behind this is it makes it easier to swap out a failing device, for less cost than replacing the entire integrated device.

You can also swap in a bigger switch, or multiple APs more elegantly.

For the wireless AP, I’d be looking at the Ubiquiti Unifi Pro AP which does dualband 2.4 and 5Ghz. For the switch, pick a fanless Gigabit number from HP Procurve.

For the router/firewall/NAT box, you could use any one of a number of devices. I’m assuming that your cable company provide you with a cable modem which converts the coaxial cable to ethernet (with all that magic in between).

If they didn’t, you’d be left with a far more restricted option set, basically down to a Cisco 1941 router with their DOCSIS cable card in.

As you’re just looking for a solid router to do DHCP, NAT and any other sane network magic, you’re actually looking for some sensible devices. You could use a TP-Link box running Gargoyle (very nice DDWRT clone). You could spend a bit more and go for a Cisco 5505 ASA firewall. You could go with my original (albeit humourous suggestion of something from the Juniper range, probably the SRX100.

It all depends on how much shiny you want.

the most load will be on WiFi connections

Already a mistake.

So, I need help to choose the best router

Next one. NO router with integrated LAn will come close to the power of a dedicated high end Access Point, though the later can cost.

I am in a similar situation – although my office has a ton of cabling going. There is a significant number of wireless stuff coming on top, thank heaven not where we move large data (so the 10g connections and infiniband stuff is still needed).

I consider getting some Netgear access points to feed both 2.4 and 5.0 ghz at the same time (put as much as I can on 5ghz, but some devices do not support it yet).

My router side is happily in the hand of a number of Mikrotik routers. Sadly they do not ahve the proper hardware for access points.

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