Gigabit Networking – At home

I recently upgraded my home wired ethernet network to a Gigabit network.    The reason was that I recently purchased a Wireless-N switch/access point and I thought – well 150 or 300Mb wireless speed is nice – but useless if it’s on a 100Mb ‘fast’ network.

So I get together a bunch of Gb switches.  Some netgear switches and a big Dell Managed switch to be the central HUB (Bought it on Ebay).   I setup the managed switch and use it to replace my old 100Mb main house switch and replace some of the remote switches with Netgear Gb switches.

Well first off not all the Gb switches would communicate with the main switch at Gb speed.  the standard cat5 cable between them was to long.   Now the CAT5 cable being used for these long runs was some I purchased at Costco for about $50 for 500’ and I’ll crimp on the end pieces myself using a crimper.   I hop back on Ebay and purchase a couple of 50’ length of CAT5e cable (enhanced) cable for these long runs.

Disaster!  OMG! No Internet!

Then came the snow when I found myself on a bus for 7 hours trying to get home (a trip which normally takes 1/2 hour). When I got home the home network was down – the central switch I bought on ebay had failed.  So I found myself scampering around to replace at least some of it.   I ended up moving my Asus switch/router (and the cable modem it was attached to) and using it to replace main switch to get at least some of the runs going.    The one to my office was critical (I was going to work at home the next day) and a couple others for the wife and TV.  As it was the ASUS router was also a Gb switch.  All this was sitting on a chair next to my little ‘cable closet’ behind the wall.

A couple of weeks go by and I start the project to replace the cables with the cat5E.  Remove a couple of ceiling panels running down the duct work in the basement and ran 2 nice red cat5e cables alongside the ductwork (perfect for a cable run) and at the end – one cable went up, through a hole in the ceiling under a built-in cabinet we were building for the new TV (if we ever finished it) – the other went down and out through an outlet.  I had thought about having a cat5 connector outlet at the wall but then decided to simply run the cable out the outlet to hang loose. I also connected a coax cable running to the Satellite dish to the outlet as well. 

When I was finished this outlet had a phone connection, 2 coax connections (Satellite and Cable) and a red CAT5e  cable coming out of it.  The cat5 cable is then connected to a gigabit switch (which uses it at gigabit speed now – whoo-hoo!), a blu-ray player, a computer (media), a Playstation (2), and a Voip phone device (which in turn is connected to a cordless phone base station).

Later I replaced added another gigabit switch to help replace the main ‘house’ switch.  My wife looked at the cable mess in my little ‘cable closet’ (an area behind the wall behind the furnace) and built in a couple of shelves in a little nook to hold (read: hide) all the equipment (switches, wireless, power strip, etc…) and we organized the cables.