Tech Support Guy banner

Setting up Network for Home and Business?

1728 Views 12 Replies 2 Participants Last post by  zx10guy
I recently built my home office and would like to upgrade my existing home network that basically contains just a router and about 20 devices all connecting off it. It's struggling big time.

I need a Network Switch to manage the traffic on the network, Can someone please let me know what they would recommend in terms of Manufacturer, Model and Switch Type?

I have very basic knowledge of Networking and this is going to be my very first time setting up a Home Network using more than just a Router.

I have a new 5k iMac, Mac Pro. But I can run Windows too or Linux so not restricted to OS's.

At the moment there the following are all connecting to WiFi and I want to get as much as possible connected by hardwiring with CAT6.

PS4 Consoles x3
Apple TV x2
Mac Pro
iPhones x3
Sky Digital Box

We also run a business from home so we have guests using our wifi.
I'm thinking I need something maybe a bit more powerful than Home use, maybe Business use but not very high end.

I'm going to also install CCTV so need something that can handle PoE.
I was thinking 24 port, Smart Switch I know the Fully Managed Switches are expensive, is it worth going the full hog in terms of price to get the extra management capabilities?

I was looking at some of the D-Link or Netgear Hardware but there all very confusing.
I want something that has a good bit of detail to manage and also something easy enough to use and configure.

Would you recommend a Cabnet for the Switch and a Patch Panel?

As well as for my own personal use my 3 kids are mad into the PS4 and Phones etc, we also run a guest house and would like to have a separate WiFi connection for our guests that stay so they won't clog up ours, do I need Access Points for this and will I be able to manage, limit or restrict access if necessary?

I know there is a lot here to ask and it's my first post too!

See less See more
Not open for further replies.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
When you say you're having performance issues, is it over the LAN or is it accessing Internet resources? Are all 20 devices wirelessly connected? What's your budget?
No it's performance issues in terms of speed of internet with too many users on the wifi and too many devices.

So I was thinking of trying to take as much as possible off wifi and connect via LAN instead. That would just leave me basically with phones connecting to my wifi.

We stream a lot too so I need to setup a network so I can prioritise traffic and downloading from my kids and guests.

Thanks for your reply!
Well there's to things you seem to be lumping together. Wireless performance and Internet performance. First, what is your Internet service? Usually the bottleneck is the Internet service and not anything related to wireless or SOHO router performance. Next it could be a wireless issue because I'm assuming you're running a single SOHO wireless router. SOHO wireless routers are not designed to handle that many wireless clients. Enterprise access points can vary in the number of connected devices depending on what the clients are doing. If it's web surfing, you can typically cram more wireless clients on a single AP versus devices which are taxing the network by doing streaming.

You need to provide a budget as this will dictate the design of the system and the equipment to be selected.

You can have everything on wireless and have very good performance. But equipment like this comes at a cost. You mention wanting have everything wired. I assume your home isn't prewired. If this is the case, are you going to have cabling pulled and network drops installed in the walls? Or are you just going to have cabling out in the open across the floor? This will also answer whether a patch panel would be appropriate or not.

You mention PoE for possible use with IP cameras. There are two flavors (actually three) but two which are relevant for you. One is PoE or IEEE 802.3af and PoE+ or IEEE 802.3at. The difference between the two is PoE is spec'd to provide power up to 15.4 Watts. PoE+ is spec'd to provide up to 30W of power. The third I sort of glossed over is to provide power around 60W. Obviously going with a switch which can do PoE+ will inflate your costs. When looking at a switch, you have to determine how many PoE/PoE+ devices you're going to run. Then you select the switch based on the overall power draw. Some switches can provide full power across all PoE ports. Some can't and there's power budgeting at play which balances out power load. My suggestion is to look at PoE+ capable switches. The reason being, it provides the greatest amount of flexibility. Most devices will run on PoE such as APs, IP cameras, VoIP phones, and even small 5 port switches (which I have two in my home network operating this way). But more and more devices are starting to require PoE+. These include newer high performance APs and IP cameras with PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom). I have 2 (soon to be 3) 802.11ac capable APs which require PoE+ power to perform at maximum spec. All my IP cameras run only on PoE along with my VoIP phones.

How critical is the network to you? Are you going to combine your business with the home/personal use? If the network is critical to you in terms of up time, you might want to consider switches with dual power supplies with each one on separate power circuits/UPS'.

As far as security, I wouldn't look at anything but a UTM (unified threat management) type firewall. A regular SOHO and even SMB firewall/router won't cut it. You want something that has content filtering which will allow you to control the type of sites users are visiting on your network. Ideally, you want a next generation firewall which will provide the ability to get deep into the data of the network packet and have rules act on the data contained. SPI firewalls only work on a TCP/UDP port basis. Stuff can be missed by following this now very basic level of security...lots of stuff. These firewalls can do bandwidth quotas and other features based on device or even user login.

For any guest wireless, especially since there's a home business tied to all of this, is to have a captive portal system which requires anyone using it to accept terms and conditions of using the network. Once you have a business in the mix, things change big time and you have to cover yourself legally.

What you want to do can easily be accomplished. It's just how fast are you willing to spend the money.
See less See more
Thank you so much for your very informative answer, looks like I'm going to be doing a lot of thinking:)
I'm living in Ireland and my ISP is Vodafone, I have a 100MB Fibre to Cabinet, so I actually get 65MB constant speed to my home, I lose 35MB or 35% due to the distance from my house to the Cabinet. The ISP service I must say is excellent I never have any problems. Within the next few months I will be able to get the new 1,000MB speed, it's available now but not in my area yet. As I run all my devices currently off my WiFi Router it just gets slow. Mainly because kids Gaming Online and Guests downloading and streaming etc. So I suppose really I do need something or a system that as you said can manage all that. I have already hardwired with CAT 6 Cable some of PS4's and Apple TV's but I'm out of ports on the Router.

I don't mind chasing cables around the house back to the Switch and Patch Panel in my Office which is located at the end of my back garden.

I suppose I really don't know about a budget because I didn't know exactly what is involved. I can buy just a simple switch and connect all the devices to it but I won't have the access control I want and will probably end up frustrated when others are using my bandwidth.
See less See more
How far away is the this "cabinet" to your house?

Having a business class wireless system will help with the number of devices you had connected.

Having a business class switch will provide you the ability segregate traffic instead of having everything run over the same layer 2 network. How complex you make this depends on you. In my opinion, a few VLANs is all you need. The access control, QoS, and security functions are best left for the firewall to handle. Having the switch do some of what you're asking is possible but only with layer 3 fully managed switches which have a steep learning curve. But these switches don't do firewall functions very well. It's actually very basic. Some switches do have a some what decent firewall capability but these switches are prohibitive in cost and still won't perform as well as a firewall at a fraction of the cost. Switches are designed to move frames fast and some routing for layer 3 switches. Firewalls excel at security operations and have specific ASICs designed to process these things.
See less See more
The Office where the Cabinet will be stored is about 50ft away from the house.

So to setup VLAN's I still require a Smart or Fully Managed Switch?
If I was to start looking at particular switches what would you recommend?
The Office where the Cabinet will be stored is about 50ft away from the house.

So to setup VLAN's I still require a Smart or Fully Managed Switch?
I asked you about the distance of this ISP "cabinet" to your house for a reason. For that distance, a 35% loss on what you've paid/contracted for is unacceptable. Even using copper wiring between the two locations at 50 ft, there will be no loss or signal problems due to distance. What level of service did you purchase? Is it residential or business class?

Yes, for VLAN support, you will need to use a smart or fully managed switch.
If I was to start looking at particular switches what would you recommend?
At the level we're talking about, all the smart switches are practically the same. I personally have had extensive experience with Netgear and Dell PowerConnect switches. I have configured Linksys and DLink smart switches but only a product here and there. I'd just look for a switch which fits the criteria you need in regards to the number of ports, PoE or PoE+, whether fiber support is necessary, etc, etc. And then narrow down the field based on price. I do know Netgear and Dell have a "lifetime" warranty on their products. Not sure about Linksys or DLink.
Apologies I misread your question.
The ISP cabinet is about 500ft.
Roughly speaking.
Apologies I misread your question.
The ISP cabinet is about 500ft.
Roughly speaking.
I'm a residential customer.
What's the cabling between the ISP demarc and your router? Do you have a modem of any sort? From what you said, there's fiber from the ISP to the demarc, but it's not clear if there is fiber between the ISP demarc to your home.

Since you're residential, typically ISPs won't provide a service level guarantee. But if you're seeing a 35% loss all the time from what they sold you as an up to 100 Mbps, I would start complaining.
1 - 13 of 13 Posts
Not open for further replies.