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how many network connections will I need?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
House addition is in construction now. I need to figure out how many network connections I should wire for (Cat5e) at the entertainment center.

Someday I'll have in the "center":
AVR
TV
Cable Box
BlueRay
Game system
AppleTV

Am I forgetting anything?

So that is 6 ethernet ports. Do I need a separate connection for each? Since this is new construction I assume the answer will be "why not, the walls are open!". Should I plan a couple of extra?

The next question would be how do I connect all these wires? Should I locate a switch at the "center" so I have only one wire running in the walls or should I home-run all wires to a central point next to the router and cable modem, and put the switch there?

Thanks!
post #2 of 18
Yes, putting in an Ethernet switch to combine all those signals is a good solution. A small gigabit switch is cheap. Put one in the entertainment center to consolidate the Ethernet links and use a single uplink.

You'll see us recommend a lot of cat5e / cat6 cable - only part of it is for running Ethernet. Category cable is useful for lots of other A/V-related jobs. Hence the desire for multiple runs to an entertainment center.

I'd recommend a minimum of 3 cat5e/cat6 cables to any entertainment center / TV location. We can easily come up with uses for 7. But if this is a new addition, run some flex conduit to that location in addition to ample category cable. That will allow you to add whatever comes in the future.

Jeff
post #3 of 18
How many cables do you need? More! Always more.

From "Key Largo":

Humphrey Bogart as Frank McCloud
Edward G. Robinson as Johnny Rocco
Lionel Barrymore as James Temple

Setting: In Johnny Rocco's room at the hotel, waiting for the hurricane to come.

Rocco: (concludes a monolog, full of himself) "...but there's only one Johnny Rocco."
Temple: "How do you account for it?"
McCloud: "He knows what he wants, don't you, Rocco?"
Rocco: "Sure!"
Temple: "What's that?"
McCloud: "Tell him, Rocco."
Rocco: "Well, I want, uh..."
McCloud: "He wants more, don't you, Rocco?"
Rocco: (excited) "Yeah, that's it: more!"
Rocco: (turns to others, proudly) "That's right, I want more!"
Temple: "Will you ever get enough?"
McCloud: "Will you, Rocco?"
Rocco: (taken aback) "Well, I never have."
Rocco: (turns to others, less sure of himself) "No, I guess I won't."
post #4 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Yes, putting in an Ethernet switch to combine all those signals is a good solution. A small gigabit switch is cheap. Put one in the entertainment center to consolidate the Ethernet links and use a single uplink.

Jeff

Thanks! As I started to looks into switches (which are insanely cheap!!) I thought, should I get another wireless router instead?

My current wireless covers my home, with the the substantial 2-story addition I am doing I am begining to wonder. Would it make sense to get another wireless router with several wired ports instead of the switch to make sure my wireless coverage is good for things like Ipad, etc.?

Or keep it simple. Get a switch and tackle any wireless dead spots later with other technology if it is a problem?

Thanks!
post #5 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by atomicpunk78 View Post

Thanks! As I started to looks into switches (which are insanely cheap!!) I thought, should I get another wireless router instead?

My current wireless covers my home, with the the substantial 2-story addition I am doing I am begining to wonder. Would it make sense to get another wireless router with several wired ports instead of the switch to make sure my wireless coverage is good for things like Ipad, etc.?

You can't have another router, you need a switch + wireless access point. But the good news is that many wireless routers can be turned into that combination. Goes by different names, but look for "wireless access point" in the product description, or other mention of disabling router functions. It basically turns off the duplicate functions you don't want (routing, DHCP, firewall, etc.), but uses the same hardware.

However, you may not need the additional wireless coverage - modern WiFi has excellent range/coverage, unless you have a "challenging" environment.


Jeff
post #6 of 18
Thread Starter 
Yes, saw things on how to disable the second router "routing" functions. Also saw that that method comes with it's own issues at times.

I'll keep it simple with a switch. thanks!!
post #7 of 18
Even though 1 switch will take care of your basic needs, I recommend you run an extra Cat6 cable or 2 for future proofing.
post #8 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by atomicpunk78 View Post

My current wireless covers my home, with the the substantial 2-story addition I am doing I am begining to wonder.

Don't worry about wireless for now, just the hard wires. The only thing to prepared for a wireless is that ideally the wireless router (true geeks call it Access Point) is physically in the middle of the house, so think about that and whether you want to wire an ethernet jack + power right in the middle of your house to plug in the AP.
post #9 of 18
3-4 CAT cables is plenty, bare minimum is 2. All Ethernet can be combined into one with a switch.
post #10 of 18
Please excuse a dumb question in an old thread, but if you only need to run one actual ethernet jack because you can use a switch, then where would the additional 3-4 CAT cables be run to, and for what reason?
post #11 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucky24 View Post

Please excuse a dumb question in an old thread, but if you only need to run one actual ethernet jack because you can use a switch, then where would the additional 3-4 CAT cables be run to, and for what reason?

Cat5e/cat6 is useful for a lot of other A/V related purposes besides Ethernet networking... HDMI-over-cat5 for example (see HDBaseT).

Jeff
post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucky24 View Post

Please excuse a dumb question in an old thread, but if you only need to run one actual ethernet jack because you can use a switch, then where would the additional 3-4 CAT cables be run to, and for what reason?

In addition to that jautor says, having one switch vs 5 switches is just..... more elegant. Less boxes to worry about, unsightly, wall warts, outlets to plug in. BUT yeah if ur only worry about data and u have only one CAT5, just throw another switch in there, it's not fatal. To me though it would be more elegant not to have "more stuff."
post #13 of 18
So if I am only concerned about ethernet, would there be any advantage to wiring two ethernet jacks next to each other, or should I just wire in one jack and use a switch?
post #14 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucky24 View Post

So if I am only concerned about ethernet, would there be any advantage to wiring two ethernet jacks next to each other, or should I just wire in one jack and use a switch?

Yes, that unless you have to "boost" the signal by using another switch, it is easier to place enough jacks to serve your needs. For me, two is enough, but if I need more it is easy to pull them for that location. If I had ran them through a finished home, and unable to pull, then placing a switch at that location would work. It is more of personal choice.

It is that there is this argument by some, that cascading switches can cause problems, especially if you use sub-standard products in the mix.
post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bucky24 View Post

So if I am only concerned about ethernet, would there be any advantage to wiring two ethernet jacks next to each other, or should I just wire in one jack and use a switch?

Yes, as MrBobb said, it's simpler and more elegant. Also provides more bandwidth (in theory) to each connection. If you're running cables anyway, 2 is no more difficult than 1.

I'd say if you know you're going to have 1-2 Ethernet devices at a location, run wires for each. 3 is a maybe (although, again, having extra cat5e is always a good thing), anything more, use a switch.

Jeff
post #16 of 18
Yeah, running more CAT-5 works until you have maybe 2 devices in a room. Once you have 4,5, more, you need a switch anyways. You can also get two 100mbps connections out of one RJ-45 with a splitter (needed on both ends).
post #17 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post

Yeah, running more CAT-5 works until you have maybe 2 devices in a room. Once you have 4,5, more, you need a switch anyways. You can also get two 100mbps connections out of one RJ-45 with a splitter (needed on both ends).

Bigg, I'd hope he's figured it out in the last year or so... wink.gif

(and depending on who you ask - that's not a splitter, but a breakout - but probably not good advice these days anyway with $10 switches readily available)
post #18 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by jautor View Post

Bigg, I'd hope he's figured it out in the last year or so... wink.gif

(and depending on who you ask - that's not a splitter, but a breakout - but probably not good advice these days anyway with $10 switches readily available)

Hah, did not even notice the dates.. somehow I found this one. Yeah, you're right. Technicalities schmecnicalities.
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