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Another networking question
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: July 21, 2020 09:50AM
I'm continuing my work in connecting as many devices to my network via ethernet as possible. Are there any issues connecting a switch to a switch?

Example: 1 ethernet run to family room which is fed by connection to a switch. In family room, switch plugged into the wall jack and this switch feeds tv, Apple TV, blu-ray, game console.

Looking to do this in a couple of rooms to connect computers, game consoles, tv's.

All switches are or will be gigabit rated.
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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: July 21, 2020 10:05AM
I have my main switch that connects to my gateway and distributes some ethernet to AP's as well as one or two drops. That connects to a larger switch upstairs that handles the rest of the drops plus another AP. The main switch also goes to a switch in my entertainment cabinet that connects my remote, bluray player, Roku, receiver and TV. No problems.




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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: July 21, 2020 10:15AM
Quote
bazookaman
I have my main switch that connects to my gateway and distributes some ethernet to AP's as well as one or two drops. That connects to a larger switch upstairs that handles the rest of the drops plus another AP. The main switch also goes to a switch in my entertainment cabinet that connects my remote, bluray player, Roku, receiver and TV. No problems.

Thanks. Didn't think it would be an issue, but better to ask before investing in hardware.
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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: jdc
Date: July 21, 2020 10:55AM
You can think of swtiches a the power strips of ethernet, if that helps.

Switches should be pretty cheap.

Funny how some peeps are wiring everything, and I *dont* want to wire anything. The few the better. =)

Im down to just 2 ethernet cables in my whole house. One for the cable box to its wireless router, and one from my iMac to an 11 year color laster. (which could easily use USB)



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: mattkime
Date: July 21, 2020 11:00AM
Quote
jdc
You can think of swtiches a the power strips of ethernet, if that helps.

Switches should be pretty cheap.

Funny how some peeps are wiring everything, and I *dont* want to wire anything. The few the better. =)

Im down to just 2 ethernet cables in my whole house. One for the cable box to its wireless router, and one from my iMac to an 11 year color laster. (which could easily use USB)

Different people, different needs. I'm running ethernet as well and it definitely provides better speed.



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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: jdc
Date: July 21, 2020 11:22AM
Quote
mattkime
Different people, different needs. I'm running ethernet as well and it definitely provides better speed.

Oh, I get it... its just... contrasting? I cant seem to think of the word I want...

I remember my first 8 port gigabit switch, near $700. Hooked up to all the G4s in my studio. My employees thought I was kinda crazy, but I was getting tired of the "zip disc shuffle" cause 100 BT was slow. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. =)

Our family just doesnt need it, everything is wireless... and speeds are totally fine. No drops, no stalls, no nuthin... and with just a single wireless router in the midle of the house.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: mattkime
Date: July 21, 2020 11:32AM
Quote
jdc
Our family just doesnt need it, everything is wireless... and speeds are totally fine. No drops, no stalls, no nuthin... and with just a single wireless router in the midle of the house.

I'm sure the construction of the house plays into it. Older home here.
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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: July 21, 2020 11:39AM
My rule of thumb is that you can almost always chain two switches without introducing performance issues, but three is pushing it.

...But the best thing to do is to start with a single switch that has enough Ethernet ports and wire everything to that.

One flaky switch (which could be years down the line) can mess with everything both upstream and downstream and multitudes of switches can make for multitudes of headaches if you have to troubleshoot.



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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: jdc
Date: July 21, 2020 12:37PM
Quote
mattkime
I'm sure the construction of the house plays into it. Older home here.

100%. Mine is only 17 years old. wood and drywall. No metal, no brick, no lathe and plaster.



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Edited 999 time(s). Last edit at 12:08PM by jdc.
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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: July 21, 2020 01:15PM
....is this a.....gateway......to bigger and bigger switches......???



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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: July 21, 2020 04:51PM
Unmanaged switches are happy to talk to each other. 21st century unmanaged gigabit switches especially so.

Things only get twitchy if your router can't hand over enough IP addresses. Most can handle at least 50 devices (wired and wireless).

Consumer grade switches don't last more than a few years. So make sure you can swap them out if need be.
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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: July 21, 2020 05:36PM
Quote
cbelt3
Unmanaged switches are happy to talk to each other. 21st century unmanaged gigabit switches especially so.

Things only get twitchy if your router can't hand over enough IP addresses. Most can handle at least 50 devices (wired and wireless).

Consumer grade switches don't last more than a few years. So make sure you can swap them out if need be.

How do I find out how many ip addresses a router can handle? Maybe that's why my xfinity modem/router keeps dropping a few wireless devices. I have at least 46 devices (wired and wireless) that I can think of.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/21/2020 05:36PM by macphanatic.
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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: July 21, 2020 05:57PM
Quote
cbelt3
Things only get twitchy if your router can't hand over enough IP addresses. Most can handle at least 50 devices (wired and wireless).

Not so. They each have their own tables and caches, and both can fill or get corrupted or fail with a little time/heat/humidity.



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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: rz
Date: July 21, 2020 07:54PM
As others have said, shouldn't be a problem. I have an old house (~70 years old) that's spread out. Cable modem is in my office on one end of the house. Goes into a switch with one port going into the wall, up through the attic to the other side of the house where my wife's office is, into another switch. Works great.
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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: July 22, 2020 06:56AM
When we added a second story to our ranch house in 1996, I had the electrician run Cat5 Ethernet cable to all the upstairs rooms from the basement. My downstairs offices I wired myself, just drilling holes in the floor.

Had a small switch die the other day (it was just feeding a color printer and a couple of old PCs that I wasn't using any more). Everything comes via my Apple Airport Extreme router in the basement to a couple of switches there, and the two wireless networks feed laptops, 'smart' TV, phones, and any guests.

Can't say I see much difference in speed between the wired and wireless computers/devices, but I have this idea that wired computers are safer. My wife is doing Zoom conferences now, so I unplug the Ethernet cable, turn on the wireless on her iMac, and switch her to the Guest network, which AFAIK doesn't talk to the main home network. Seems as fast as the Ethernet cable.

/Mr Lynn



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/22/2020 06:59AM by mrlynn.
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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: July 22, 2020 11:26AM
Quote
mrlynn
When we added a second story to our ranch house in 1996, I had the electrician run Cat5 Ethernet cable to all the upstairs rooms from the basement. My downstairs offices I wired myself, just drilling holes in the floor.

Had a small switch die the other day (it was just feeding a color printer and a couple of old PCs that I wasn't using any more). Everything comes via my Apple Airport Extreme router in the basement to a couple of switches there, and the two wireless networks feed laptops, 'smart' TV, phones, and any guests.

Can't say I see much difference in speed between the wired and wireless computers/devices, but I have this idea that wired computers are safer. My wife is doing Zoom conferences now, so I unplug the Ethernet cable, turn on the wireless on her iMac, and switch her to the Guest network, which AFAIK doesn't talk to the main home network. Seems as fast as the Ethernet cable.

/Mr Lynn

Cat 5 only supports speeds up to 100 Mbps — Wi-Fi has exceeded that since 802.11n going back more than a decade now.



It is what it is.
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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: July 22, 2020 11:35AM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
mrlynn
When we added a second story to our ranch house in 1996, I had the electrician run Cat5 Ethernet cable to all the upstairs rooms from the basement. My downstairs offices I wired myself, just drilling holes in the floor.

Had a small switch die the other day (it was just feeding a color printer and a couple of old PCs that I wasn't using any more). Everything comes via my Apple Airport Extreme router in the basement to a couple of switches there, and the two wireless networks feed laptops, 'smart' TV, phones, and any guests.

Can't say I see much difference in speed between the wired and wireless computers/devices, but I have this idea that wired computers are safer. My wife is doing Zoom conferences now, so I unplug the Ethernet cable, turn on the wireless on her iMac, and switch her to the Guest network, which AFAIK doesn't talk to the main home network. Seems as fast as the Ethernet cable.

/Mr Lynn

Cat 5 only supports speeds up to 100 Mbps — Wi-Fi has exceeded that since 802.11n going back more than a decade now.

Most Cat 5 cables actually meet Cat 5e specs. Would not be surprised if it reliably delivered Gigabit speed.



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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: mikebw
Date: July 22, 2020 12:18PM
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
mrlynn
When we added a second story to our ranch house in 1996, I had the electrician run Cat5 Ethernet cable to all the upstairs rooms from the basement. My downstairs offices I wired myself, just drilling holes in the floor.

Had a small switch die the other day (it was just feeding a color printer and a couple of old PCs that I wasn't using any more). Everything comes via my Apple Airport Extreme router in the basement to a couple of switches there, and the two wireless networks feed laptops, 'smart' TV, phones, and any guests.

Can't say I see much difference in speed between the wired and wireless computers/devices, but I have this idea that wired computers are safer. My wife is doing Zoom conferences now, so I unplug the Ethernet cable, turn on the wireless on her iMac, and switch her to the Guest network, which AFAIK doesn't talk to the main home network. Seems as fast as the Ethernet cable.

/Mr Lynn

Cat 5 only supports speeds up to 100 Mbps — Wi-Fi has exceeded that since 802.11n going back more than a decade now.

Most Cat 5 cables actually meet Cat 5e specs. Would not be surprised if it reliably delivered Gigabit speed.

And, suggesting that WiFi is faster than wired is a very specious statement.
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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: July 22, 2020 06:04PM
Quote
mikebw
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
mrlynn
When we added a second story to our ranch house in 1996, I had the electrician run Cat5 Ethernet cable to all the upstairs rooms from the basement. My downstairs offices I wired myself, just drilling holes in the floor.

Had a small switch die the other day (it was just feeding a color printer and a couple of old PCs that I wasn't using any more). Everything comes via my Apple Airport Extreme router in the basement to a couple of switches there, and the two wireless networks feed laptops, 'smart' TV, phones, and any guests.

Can't say I see much difference in speed between the wired and wireless computers/devices, but I have this idea that wired computers are safer. My wife is doing Zoom conferences now, so I unplug the Ethernet cable, turn on the wireless on her iMac, and switch her to the Guest network, which AFAIK doesn't talk to the main home network. Seems as fast as the Ethernet cable.

/Mr Lynn

Cat 5 only supports speeds up to 100 Mbps — Wi-Fi has exceeded that since 802.11n going back more than a decade now.

Most Cat 5 cables actually meet Cat 5e specs. Would not be surprised if it reliably delivered Gigabit speed.

And, suggesting that WiFi is faster than wired is a very specious statement.

Not for 100 Mbps Ethernet, it isn’t. 802.11n started out supporting up to 150 Mbps; the final version supports up to 600 Mbps. Even if one assumes throughput that is only 50% of the theoretical max, that is still 300 Mbps.

Subsequent versions of 802.11 have only gotten faster — much faster.

Of course, these statements assume that Wi-Fi performance is not compromised or denigrated by environmental or other factors — throughput can drop substantially under such conditions.



It is what it is.
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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: N-OS X-tasy!
Date: July 22, 2020 06:13PM
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
mrlynn
When we added a second story to our ranch house in 1996, I had the electrician run Cat5 Ethernet cable to all the upstairs rooms from the basement. My downstairs offices I wired myself, just drilling holes in the floor.

Had a small switch die the other day (it was just feeding a color printer and a couple of old PCs that I wasn't using any more). Everything comes via my Apple Airport Extreme router in the basement to a couple of switches there, and the two wireless networks feed laptops, 'smart' TV, phones, and any guests.

Can't say I see much difference in speed between the wired and wireless computers/devices, but I have this idea that wired computers are safer. My wife is doing Zoom conferences now, so I unplug the Ethernet cable, turn on the wireless on her iMac, and switch her to the Guest network, which AFAIK doesn't talk to the main home network. Seems as fast as the Ethernet cable.

/Mr Lynn

Cat 5 only supports speeds up to 100 Mbps — Wi-Fi has exceeded that since 802.11n going back more than a decade now.

Most Cat 5 cables actually meet Cat 5e specs. Would not be surprised if it reliably delivered Gigabit speed.

Not at all true, the primary difference being Cat 5 cable provides bandwidth up to 100 MHz while Cat 5e cable provides bandwidth up to 350 MHz. Also, the cable pairs in Cat 5e are twisted more tightly than in Cat 5 to provide better resistance to crosstalk.



It is what it is.
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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: July 22, 2020 07:07PM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
Sarcany
Most Cat 5 cables actually meet Cat 5e specs. Would not be surprised if it reliably delivered Gigabit speed.

Not at all true, the primary difference being Cat 5 cable provides bandwidth up to 100 MHz while Cat 5e cable provides bandwidth up to 350 MHz. Also, the cable pairs in Cat 5e are twisted more tightly than in Cat 5 to provide better resistance to crosstalk.

[en.wikipedia.org]

The category 5e specification improves upon the category 5 specification by revising and introducing new specifications to further mitigate the amount of crosstalk. The bandwidth (100 MHz) and physical construction are the same between the two, and most Cat 5 cables actually meet Cat 5e specifications, though they are not specifically certified as such.

Plus, I know from real-world experience.



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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: mikebw
Date: July 23, 2020 09:53AM
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
mikebw
Quote
Sarcany
Quote
N-OS X-tasy!
Quote
mrlynn
When we added a second story to our ranch house in 1996, I had the electrician run Cat5 Ethernet cable to all the upstairs rooms from the basement. My downstairs offices I wired myself, just drilling holes in the floor.

Had a small switch die the other day (it was just feeding a color printer and a couple of old PCs that I wasn't using any more). Everything comes via my Apple Airport Extreme router in the basement to a couple of switches there, and the two wireless networks feed laptops, 'smart' TV, phones, and any guests.

Can't say I see much difference in speed between the wired and wireless computers/devices, but I have this idea that wired computers are safer. My wife is doing Zoom conferences now, so I unplug the Ethernet cable, turn on the wireless on her iMac, and switch her to the Guest network, which AFAIK doesn't talk to the main home network. Seems as fast as the Ethernet cable.

/Mr Lynn

Cat 5 only supports speeds up to 100 Mbps — Wi-Fi has exceeded that since 802.11n going back more than a decade now.

Most Cat 5 cables actually meet Cat 5e specs. Would not be surprised if it reliably delivered Gigabit speed.

And, suggesting that WiFi is faster than wired is a very specious statement.

Not for 100 Mbps Ethernet, it isn’t. 802.11n started out supporting up to 150 Mbps; the final version supports up to 600 Mbps. Even if one assumes throughput that is only 50% of the theoretical max, that is still 300 Mbps.

Subsequent versions of 802.11 have only gotten faster — much faster.

Of course, these statements assume that Wi-Fi performance is not compromised or denigrated by environmental or other factors — throughput can drop substantially under such conditions.

Indeed. Under optimal conditions the WiFi might be faster than the wired, but there is much more to it as you concluded. How many devices are sharing that WiFI, how many other WAPs are there in the same range? What type of tasks are being done over WiFi? How much does lag affect those tasks?

With wired, none of those concerns exist. For some users none of that matters, or the benefits are not great enough to overcome the convenience of WiFi, or wired is just not possible. Which is to say that there is a balance to be found for every situation, or as mattkime said "Different people, different needs".
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Re: Another networking question
Posted by: mrlynn
Date: July 23, 2020 12:57PM
Well, faster or not, I've got the wires, so I use them. Guests just use the wireless.

/Mr Lynn
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