Excessive network?


Yesterday the kids got a hand me down TV from their grandparents, which caused me to do a bit of reconfiguration of things in their play room. The HomePlug adaptor in the garage had died a few weeks back, so I’d swapped it for the one connected to their little used X-Box 360. Anyway, to make up for the absent HomePlug adaptor I found myself running a cable to another switch, which got me thinking that my home network is growing a bit on the big side…

Study: I have an 8 port Gig-E switch for my PC, his’n’hers laptops, B&W laser printer and a SIP ATA. The telephone wiring in my house was done using Cat-5, so I’ve set up a wall socket to use a pair for telephone and 2 pairs for ethernet running to…

Coat (comms) cupboard: This is where the telephone line comes into the house, so I have my ADSL router (connected via a Type A faceplate), a spur to the lounge (another repurposed ‘telephone’ line) and a HomePlug adaptor that goes to the…

Garage: I very much wanted a proper line out to the garage, but after many failed attempts to follow the same conduit as the power cable I gave up and used WiFi. The WiFi was never terribly reliable, so I switched to HomePlug a few years back, which has been much better (typically giving me about 50Mb/s to my backup box). To keep things simple I also use HomePlug to the…

Kids playroom: Where they have a PC each, a media player, two games consoles and a colour laser, collectively hung off a pair of 5 port switches. This just leaves the…

Lounge: Where I have a WiFi router, which has a switch in it too, one port connected back to the coat cupboard, and another running to a media player.

So.. that’s a total of 5 switches (including a WiFi router and ADSL router) and 3 HomePlug adaptors. I’ve not even begun to list the WiFi connected devices.

I wonder when home builders will start doing a better job of accommodating this type of stuff? I asked my builder if they could run some network ports (and surround sound cables) when they were doing the rest of the wiring some 8 years ago, but they weren’t interested in helping (the Cat 5 ‘telephone’ cables seem to have been an unintentional kindness).

So – what’s ‘normal’ these days – 24 ports? More? Less?

3 Responses to “Excessive network?”

  1. 1 Tim Swan

    Hardly excessive. I’ve got as small a network as I can manage at home right now – ADSL to front room, 4 port modem/router serving the PS3 and Wii, one downstairs wired opportune connection, and the downstairs homeplug connection. Upstairs, the homeplug feeds another router (in bridge/switch mode) leading on to his-n-hers desktops. Another console downstairs or a media server (neither of which is too crazy to contemplate) would mean another switch behind the telly, and this is before we talk about machines for the kids, IP printers or anything else fancy hanging off the network. both the downstairs and upstairs routers can serve wireless (for two lappies and a couple of iPod touches) but given the number of access points in range I’m surprised we get any data over wireless at all.

    Once you start talking about internal and external IP cameras and microphones (for security and voice/motion control) and smarter home devices, you’re talking a hub or switch per room.

  2. 2 Harry

    Not excessive just messy!

    I got a 24 port Cisco 3750G switch (~2500USD on ebay), a Cisco 28xx router (~3000usd on ebay), 2x Cisco 1142 wireless access points (500usd on ebay x2) as well as Cisco 7975 phones (400usd each) scattered around the house for telephony and a HP DL380 G6 (dual xeon, 48gb ram, 6TB disk, 5000usd on ebay) as my Hyper-V running server all housed in an IBM 42RU rack (400usd on ebay).

    Works brilliantly and is very neat/easy to manage =)

  1. 1 Excessive network? « Chris Swans Weblog « Chicago Mac/PC Support

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