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post #1 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 12:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Networking questions - Wired routers

I've always kept my modem and router in the living room (cable internet) and kept my servers there also, while my office where I do all my ripping, etc. is connected via powerline adapter. That's created a bottleneck writing to the server but has worked fine otherwise (and since I handbrake my movies I'm never in a big hurry on that anyway). Now though I'm thinking of switching it up and moving modem, router and servers to my office instead. The router I'm currently using (Netgear Nighthawk R7000) can be set up as an access point and since I only need wireless inside the house I'm thinking of configuring it that way and getting a new wired router for the office (I don't need wireless in there).

Where I'm confused is shopping for wired routers. I didn't expect manufacturers to still be putting out a lot of these considering most people only want wireless these days. But the only affordable ones (>$200) I can find with gigabit LAN connections are all marketed as VPN routers for business. Since I don't need or want VPN, would you assume that could be turned off? Or if I go for a wireless router with gigabit ports, is it standard that you can turn off the wireless signal and have it function as a wired router only? I'm trying to find answers in the product descriptions and reviews but they are pretty buried. Right now the only router I know for sure would work would be the same model Nighthawk to pair with the one I already have but that's $200 where I'd like to spend half that at most.

BTW, leaving the modem and router in the house and just putting a switch in the office is how I'm set up now but that's not going to work if I move the servers to the office. I'd be going through the powerline adapter both ways to write from my desktop to the server sitting right next to it. (I know I said I'm not in a hurry writing to the server but that would annoy the heck out of me).
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post #2 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 12:18 PM
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If you put a switch in the office with all the machines, I assume the powerline is just to get to the router in the living room? If so, nothing will go over the powerline when communicating between machines on the switch in the office. The powerline connection would only be used for connecting to the router (internet) and any other equipment on that end of powerline.
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post #3 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 12:20 PM - Thread Starter
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Forgot to mention that my office is a detached studio in the backyard. So I don't think I'd trust putting the router I have in the office and using a wireless range extender inside the house instead. Going through 2 sets of exterior walls, the wireless signal I get in the office now is weak and drops often enough that I don't even try to use it anymore. That's why I think powerline connecting to a second router as wireless access point inside the house would work much better.
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post #4 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElJimador View Post
Where I'm confused is shopping for wired routers. I didn't expect manufacturers to still be putting out a lot of these considering most people only want wireless these days. But the only affordable ones (>$200) I can find with gigabit LAN connections are all marketed as VPN routers for business. Since I don't need or want VPN, would you assume that could be turned off? Or if I go for a wireless router with gigabit ports, is it standard that you can turn off the wireless signal and have it function as a wired router only? I'm trying to find answers in the product descriptions and reviews but they are pretty buried. Right now the only router I know for sure would work would be the same model Nighthawk to pair with the one I already have but that's $200 where I'd like to spend half that at most.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...0XP-000A-00001

Wired gigabit routing only. Ubiquiti makes good stuff, btw.
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post #5 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by stanger89 View Post
If you put a switch in the office with all the machines, I assume the powerline is just to get to the router in the living room? If so, nothing will go over the powerline when communicating between machines on the switch in the office. The powerline connection would only be used for connecting to the router (internet) and any other equipment on that end of powerline.
Really? I thought switches were dumb and only direct traffic through the router? You're saying if I stick with my current networking setup and have desktop and servers connected on the same switch in the office, that when I write from desktop to server it's only going through that switch and not all the way to the router via powerline and back?

If that's the case that would be terrific since I've already got an 8 port gigabit switch in the office.
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post #6 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 12:26 PM
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OK I hate it when they Ad "wired routers." To me Ethernet hubs are simply SWITCHES.

An 8-port Gigabit Ethernet switche can be had for under usd$50, Monoprice.com sells one, and typically a bare bone, no-frill gigabit switch is all one needs, and you did not mention any specific requirement. Most current WIFI routers include a 4-port ethernet switch if that's all you need.

I can't quite parse your long post, but yes, you want to avoid going through your powerlines if you can help it. So put your server where you need the bandwidth the most.

Last edited by MrBobb; 03-30-2015 at 12:31 PM.
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post #7 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 12:30 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by EricN View Post
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...0XP-000A-00001

Wired gigabit routing only. Ubiquiti makes good stuff, btw.
Thanks Eric. I noticed that model searching newegg before posting here and it does look pretty good. I was a bit concerned with the reviews saying a lot of CLI is required if you want to do any configuiring. But since there arent' any advanced features I'm looking to set up then hopefully it would be mostly plug and play for me.
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post #8 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 01:09 PM
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They don't really require CLI, but the controller software for Windows is heavily Java based, and is finicky and flaky as hell. That said, unless you need a portal, you only need the controller software for initial configuration.

By the way, not all switches are dumb. There are smart switches too, which you can do all kinds of Layer 3 stuff with.
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post #9 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 01:21 PM
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I have this Buffalo wireless router and just turn the wireless function off.. It has 4 RJ45 GP ports, I use one to connect to a 16 port gigabit switch, everything else is wired to the switch.. This setup has been working fine for a long time for me.. If you need wireless, easy enough to buy an inexpensive N600 router and configure as a access point..


BUFFALO AirStation HighPower N600 Gigabit Simultaneous Dual Band DD-WRT Wireless Router - WZR-600DHP


bob
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post #10 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 01:25 PM
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I think you mean you turned off the routing functions? It wouldn't work as an AP if you turned off the wireless function.
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post #11 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 01:34 PM
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A Switch can localize traffic (traffic between local devices are not going through uplink router unless it is a broadcast packet). That's probably what OP really needs. Two routers don't make much sense unless you have a very specialized usage. And no one is making any consumer grade wired only routers any more (I still have one back when Dlink actually made one) because it doesn't make economical sense. Just buy a $20 wireless router and turn off the wireless.
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post #12 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 01:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post
I think you mean you turned off the routing functions? It wouldn't work as an AP if you turned off the wireless function.

Sorry was not clear.. the buffalo router and switch are in my structured cabinet, there are Ethernet lines to all rooms of the house. The wireless radio in the buffalo router is turned off.


I use an old wireless router configured as an access point in one of the rooms.. need this so my ipad and cell phone can connect..


hope this was a little clearer..
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post #13 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 01:47 PM
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Gotcha. Kind of the same setup I have. The radio on my Verizon router is turned off, and I have access points and "wireless routers configured as APs" throughout the house.
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post #14 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post
Gotcha. Kind of the same setup I have. The radio on my Verizon router is turned off, and I have access points and "wireless routers configured as APs" throughout the house.

I am thinking of putting in a ceiling mounted AP, they have some out that look just like smoke detectors.. Better "wife acceptance factor" then some others with lots of antennas sticking up..
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post #15 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 01:56 PM
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That's what I have. Right now I'm on the Ubiquiti Unifi AP Enterprise ones. I tried a ZyXEL NWA1121-NI, but it was terrible. Never was able to get it stable. The Ubiquiti one is bigger around, but it is SUPER flat. Think of a Nest Protect, made round, and flattened. Oh, and you can turn off the LED ring on the Ubiquiti - you'll want to in the house.

I was a little upset that the Ubiquiti APs use their own type of PoE, which meant I couldn't use my PoE switch and had to use their injectors. But at least it came with them. Just now I have all sorts of crap plugged into my UPS's in the closet.

Oh, if you want 5ghz, the Ubiquiti APs get EXPENSIVE. This is why I still have some Asus routers configured as AP's around the house, just for 5ghz in one area I can't wire my wife's PC, and another in the bedroom for our phones and stuff. Both are hidden. I have the bedroom one mounted to the back of the dresser, for example.
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post #16 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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A Switch can localize traffic (traffic between local devices are not going through uplink router unless it is a broadcast packet). That's probably what OP really needs. Two routers don't make much sense unless you have a very specialized usage. And no one is making any consumer grade wired only routers any more (I still have one back when Dlink actually made one) because it doesn't make economical sense. Just buy a $20 wireless router and turn off the wireless.
Thanks Foxbat. It sounds like all I really need is a gigabit switch for the office -- but not just any switch. That's where I'm still a little fuzzy. The switch I have there currently is this one:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16833704173

Being an "unmanaged" switch, does that mean this type is dumb and can only direct traffic through the router? Or will this allow desktop and server sitting next to each other in the office to write through the switch only without going through the powerline to the router?

If this works then I shouldn't need any new gear. If it doesn't I need to know what kind of switch I'm searching for (or I'll just buy any wireless router w/gigabit LAN ports if it's standard that you should be able to turn off the wireless on any of them).
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post #17 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 02:38 PM
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A switch, think of it like a power strip. All the same power is available at all outlets. And if you were to apply power to one of the outlets, that power would also be available at all outlets. Everything goes everywhere. (I realize I"m describing a hub, but for what we are talking about here, it is applicable).

The switch you have in the link is just fine.
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post #18 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 02:49 PM
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Really? I thought switches were dumb and only direct traffic through the router? You're saying if I stick with my current networking setup and have desktop and servers connected on the same switch in the office, that when I write from desktop to server it's only going through that switch and not all the way to the router via powerline and back?

If that's the case that would be terrific since I've already got an 8 port gigabit switch in the office.
Bingo.
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post #19 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 02:50 PM
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Ah yes, and now I see what was being asked. Kapone is right. So yes it's like a hub as I was describing, but only sends the traffic to the device being spoken to - so it's like a hub with traffic control.
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post #20 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 02:54 PM
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You definitely don't need a managed switch. What you described is a hub which you can't really purchase anymore. The difference between a managed and unmanaged switch is finer control over the traffic between ports and even the broadcasting packets. You will actually know how to manage the managed switch to make it work better than an unmanaged switch. And in home networking where a lot of operations like SSDP (device discovery), UPnP and DLNA is based on broadcasting packets (where an unmanaged switch will just forward to router), an incorrectly configured managed switch can make these features non-working.


No, non-broadcast traffic between two local ports on a switch does not get broadcasted to other ports of the switch. That's the definition of HUB which is useful only these days to capture network traffic.
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post #21 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by TornadoTJ View Post
Ah yes, and now I see what was being asked. Kapone is right. So yes it's like a hub as I was describing, but only sends the traffic to the device being spoken to - so it's like a hub with traffic control.

That's the definition of a switch.
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post #22 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 02:57 PM - Thread Starter
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The switch you have in the link is just fine.
I love this thread. Sure I expose myself as a bit of an ignoramous for not knowing basic networking. But how can you not love it whenever the solution turns out to be that there wasn't anything wrong in the first place?
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post #23 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 02:58 PM
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That's the definition of a switch.
I realize that. I misunderstood what he was asking. Trust me, I know what hubs, switches, routers, etc. are. If not, I'd be fired.
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post #24 of 37 Old 03-30-2015, 03:03 PM
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If you are really thinking long term with this setup, I'd ditch the powerline networking and bury some Ethernet cable between the studio and the house. Move your stuff into the studio, and if it's connected via Ethernet to the house, you'll never face bandwidth issues again.
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FWIW, I'm not aware of any networking device that would result in the sending of all traffic over the powerline through the router. As far as network "splitters" go, there are two kinds, hubs and switches. Hubs send everything to everything, and are thus limited by the lowest common denominator speed wise, fortunately you basically can't buy these anymore. Switches route specifically from the source device to the destination, so they can run at full speed regardless of what else is on the network.

So yes, a gigabit switch in your office with all your servers/desktops would allow them to communicate with each other are full, gigabit speeds. The only things that would go over the powerline connection are transfers specifically to/from the house, eg internet traffic and files read from the HTPC. So just get a Gig-E switch, any switch it really doesn't matter what you get, unmanaged is fine, probably even preferred for simplicity.
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post #26 of 37 Old 03-31-2015, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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If you are really thinking long term with this setup, I'd ditch the powerline networking and bury some Ethernet cable between the studio and the house. Move your stuff into the studio, and if it's connected via Ethernet to the house, you'll never face bandwidth issues again.
Oh definitely. I would love to run ethernet to the office. I just never wanted to pay a pro to come out to do it and have never had time to even figure out what it would take to DIY. I've got some time off coming know though so maybe I'll take that on.

At the moment though I'm not sure how pressing of a need it is. I typically get 60+ Mbps transfer speed through the powerline which should be more than enough to watch high bit rate 1080p MKVs off the server, and even if I run into problems with that there are AV2 MIMO homeplugs out now that could probably get that up to around 100 Mbps from the reviews I've read. A small upgrade like that for $75 or less might be more attractive if running ethernet is going to require a significant investment.
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post #27 of 37 Old 03-31-2015, 12:14 PM
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Burying Ethernet cable yourself isn't complicated at all. Buy some burial rated cable, any decent plastic (burial type) conduit, a small shovel and....
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post #28 of 37 Old 03-31-2015, 12:29 PM
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Burying Ethernet cable yourself isn't complicated at all. Buy some burial rated cable, any decent plastic (burial type) conduit, a small shovel and....
Give it man, the guy knows what he want to spend, time&$$.
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Oh definitely. I would love to run ethernet to the office. I just never wanted to pay a pro to come out to do it and have never had time to even figure out what it would take to DIY. I've got some time off coming know though so maybe I'll take that on.

At the moment though I'm not sure how pressing of a need it is. I typically get 60+ Mbps transfer speed through the powerline which should be more than enough to watch high bit rate 1080p MKVs off the server, and even if I run into problems with that there are AV2 MIMO homeplugs out now that could probably get that up to around 100 Mbps from the reviews I've read. A small upgrade like that for $75 or less might be more attractive if running ethernet is going to require a significant investment.
I'd bury a 2" PVC and run ethernet through that if it were me

On your powerline gear are you getting 60+ Mbps or MBps? 60Mbps kind of sucks, but would be perfectly fine for playback. You said you were ripping/encoding and from what it sounds like then moving the encode over powerline back to your storage? I'd figure out a way to do the ethernet upgrade in that case. If you are actually getting 60MBps that's a different story. I get 40MBps+ between asus routers in bridge mode
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post #30 of 37 Old 03-31-2015, 02:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Burying Ethernet cable yourself isn't complicated at all. Buy some burial rated cable, any decent plastic (burial type) conduit, a small shovel and....
And then figure out where it's going in the house and office, how to set up those end points, how to navigate around the deck and the concrete around the studio/office, how to wire within the house back to the router in the living room...

Not saying I won't do it (and I don't mind the encouragement towards it either btw). Just saying there is a little bit more involved to it than digging in the yard and burying a conduit.
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