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Home wired network -- Wiring home

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Well I did it. Bought my first home. Closing date is March 27th and I'm already itching to get the place wired for my home network. However I need some advice and help. The ideas I have in my head are probably overkill and I can already hear the future wife screaming at me for the next 5 years. So with that being said maybe someone can help me out with my home network plans. I really don't want to spend anymore money than I need to.

Setup as follows:

Bedroom 1 - x2 Runs
Bedroom 2 - x2 Runs
Bedroom 3 - x2 Runs
Bedroom 4 (Used as Computer Room) - x4 Runs
Loft - x2 Runs < --- undecided if want to wire

Living Room - x4 Runs
Den - x2 Runs

x2 wireless access points. 1 upstairs and 1 downstairs.

Total of #18 Runs. With the patch panel being in the basement.




1. Does this seem overkill as far as the number of runs go? I would like to have an HTPC set up in the living room with the ability to watch movies in any room with a tv / computer.

2. Which type of cable? I already decided I want at least a 1gbps network with a possibility of 10gbps later on down the road. So.. that leaves me with either Cat 6 or Cat 6a? Is Cat 6a really worth it? Opinions?

How would they wire the home with existing drywall? What kind of damage should I be expecting? Would the walls need to be opened up? Or could the runs be fished through?

What kind of price range should I be looking at? I have read that to have your home professionally wired you are talking every bit of $150-$200 per run. Unless these were old figures I was looking at?

Also I was curious about how the setup would be.

Cable Modem --> Router --> switch --> patch panel -- ??

Do I need a router? or could I skip the router?

Anyone have any recommendations as far as routers and switches go?
Edited by orlywutlol - 3/14/13 at 9:41am
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post #2 of 12
Not sure about anything as far as actually running cable in the walls goes, but i do know some things.
As far as speed goes, unShielded Cat5/e can do GBe if it is terminated properly and there isnt much interference, but you will need CAT6 or Shielded cat5e or better if you want to expand to 10GBe, which i dont think we will be seeing a real need for in homes for a while. Shielded Cat5e or Cat6/a will increase your expense quite a bit.

You will want a Router behind the modem, as it will allow for more functionality when using multiple devices. If you are going to end up using alot of these runs you may want to custom build a router using Special Linux distro's. As far as a brand to go with for routers and switches, i would look at Netgear or Asus for a router and Netgear or D-Link for a switch. thumb.gif
post #3 of 12
Use Cat6 or better. They are going in the walls and will probably not be re-run for a very long time. Do yourself a favor, get something that can easily handle 10GBe. Always plan for the future when running wires in walls.
post #4 of 12
In my area a lot of people buy a "starter home" (cheap/ small) and within 2-5 years they sell it and move up to a larger home once they have better credit/ equity. So if this is what you are doing, I would not invest a bunch of money in wiring up a grand network. On the other hand if you plan to stay in this home for over 5 years then I would look at options that cost more.
     
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post #5 of 12
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick7269 View Post

In my area a lot of people buy a "starter home" (cheap/ small) and within 2-5 years they sell it and move up to a larger home once they have better credit/ equity. So if this is what you are doing, I would not invest a bunch of money in wiring up a grand network. On the other hand if you plan to stay in this home for over 5 years then I would look at options that cost more.

Thanks for the input. We have the same thought process. However the home I bought isn't exactly a starter home. I plan on staying there fort he foreseeable future.
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post #6 of 12
Are you going to utilize any NAS type devices on this network or a media server (streaming movies in particular) out of curiosity? I would be hard pressed not to run Cat 6 cable simply for "just because" lol But like others have said properly terminated Cat 5e is fine for what the majority would use it for (considered the amout of devices that we use WiFi on now a days).
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post #7 of 12

on mono price there is only a $20 difference between cat5e STP and cat 6 STP cables , i would go with cat 6.http://www.monoprice.com/Category?c_id=102&cp_id=10234

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post #8 of 12
It seems like alot of runs. How many computers do you have?
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post #9 of 12
Damn I just typed a long reply then it got lost when I clicked the wrong button. I have to reinstall lazarus.

The basics of it were, I'd use CAT6 or CAT5e, probably CAT6 given the expense of getting it in the wall. I'd not wire the rooms that don't actually do _bulk_ data transfers (TL-PA211 homeplug/powerline do over 80mbps actual for me, which replaces 100mbps ethernet, so is fine for streaming 1080p, in fact it's 28GB/hr which is enough for _uncompressed_ bluray). Another option for replacing runs of cable is using wireless bridges, but depending how noisy your wireless environment is you might soon run out of spectrum doing that. Bear in mind if using powerlines that the same issue applies (you just can't see it with an inssider type tool) - they will compete for spectrum on the cables and lose bandwidth, so are great for one or two pairs, but above that not so good.

I'd get a TL-SG3424 as the main switch (I'm a bit of a TP-Link fan, not that I believe they are the be-all-and-end-all, but when compared $ for $, they blow everything else away for building nice networks on a budget), I have an old Dell managed switch now as my backbone but that was brought some years ago, and in all honesty although it has the basic features is a piece of junk with a horrible admin interface. Unless you have the money for Cisco/Juniper, I'd get the TP-Link and if my Dell ever dies that's what it'll be replaced with. Don't even consider an unmanaged switch with the kind of deployment you're talking about - you may not appreciate why you need managed features now, but you will soon.

Talking of being a TP-Link fanboy (unpaid, I might add) I'd use TL-WA901NDs as the WLAN APs since they run OpenWRT without a problem. Incidentally, in this kind of deployment I can't see why you wouldn't be planning a guest SSID, and if you are then the TL-PA211s (and therefore I believe any homeplug) passes 802.11q un-mangled, so you can trunk VLANs out across powerline to the wireless APs, and running OpenWRT the TL-WA901NDs can bridge VLANs to multiple SSIDs giving you proper segregation of guest and private traffic. PM me if you want details - I just set this up so it's fresh in my memory and I can give you some pointers.

Quite aside from all the technical stuff, have you not considered running the wiring yourself? Unless you have a job that earns enough per hour that this kind of thing is a waste of time for you, I'd just DIY it, but that's me - I don't like paying people to do stuff I could do myself.

What's your router too? Obviously that bears on the practicality of doing it "properly" - if you can use OpenWRT on some kind of all-in-one box then that should offer plenty of functionality, other than that I can highly recommend PFSense, I run it inside vsphere/esxi which does add a little bit of complication, but makes future hardware changes easy and also allows for plenty of flexibility in terms of testing environments to play with stuff and running other network services on the same hardware.
Edited by BorisTheSpider - 3/14/13 at 6:06pm
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post #10 of 12
Does the basement count as one of the stories? Is the loft a finished attic?

I used to do network cabling for a living, mostly commercial but I have done homes as well, pre drywall and after. After the drywall is up costs go up exponentially. It is much more difficult plus plan on needing much more cabling since everything has to be fished into the wall from a crawl space / attic. For the number of runs per drop it doesn't matter, really only effects cost of cable, doesn't really take more time to make 2 runs on a drop than 1. From the size of your job I would say your gonna have multiple boxes of whatever cable you choose so they can all be pulled at the same time.

The main problems are going to be getting the wire horizontally, in the case of multiple story houses you have to run cable up or down 2 stories in order to move horizontally. If the drywall wasn't up you would just drill sideways through the studs, same as electrical before they put the insulation in and drywall up. Makes it much easier and use much less cable.

Another issue is getting the cabling between floors, typically there is 6 to 8" of solid wood depending on the floor joists used which are pretty inaccessible. Sheet rock at these locations when moving from floor to floor will probably need to be removed. This could be minimized by selecting a single location to pull all the wire through in order to minimize construction costs but can increase the amount of cable you need.

Without prewiring you may also run into issues with cable length. Cable length does effect performance and can even hinder you from maintaining a reliable connection. The higher the bandwidth the shorter the runs need to be.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_6_cable

See the section on cable lengths.

1) Doesn't seem like overkill at all. Wish my house was wired but don't plan on keeping the house forever.

2) 6a is gonna be way more expensive but may be the only way to get speeds you want. It's also gonna be a lot harder to wire. 6a is thicker but has less length constraints. Either go all 6a if you really want 10gbps through out the house or you could consider going 6a from floor to floor and 6 for the floor runs but you would need switches and a patch panel on each floor.

150$ to 200$ per drop seems reasonable (not including wire/hardware/construction costs), prices may have gone up since I was doing wiring 13 years ago. It will be more dependent on how accessible the areas are and the time needed.

You will need a router if your cable "modem" doesn't include it. You could just as easily put a wireless router downstairs, and just an access point upstars.

Good luck, sounds like a massif job. =p
Edited by zer0patches - 3/14/13 at 6:45pm
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