Best location for switch and router and do I need a patch panel?

Soldato
Joined
7 Feb 2004
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3,039
I currently have my wireless router (Netgear DG834G) in the hall next to my telephone master socket, the router has 4 ports, I am however installing quite a few runs of Cat5e cable to several rooms while I have the floorboards up.
I'll have about a dozen runs of cable and approx 6 devices actually connected so am looking at getting an Ethernet switch.

It'll start to look unsightly to have lots of cabling in the hall way so can use the utility room if I need to.

So my first question is what would be the best setup regarding positioning the router and switch? For example keep the Router in hall next to the master socket and switch in the utility or Router and switch both in utility? I've checked the wireless connection and it is fine in the utility room.

My other question is seen as quite a lot of the cabling will be unused at the moment would it be best to get a patch panel and from this just connect the actual ports that have devices on them?
 
Associate
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30 Jun 2010
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UK
Probably best to leave the router next to the master socket, running a single CAT5 from there to the utility room, buying a small switch and patch panel and having it all neatly terminated.
 
Man of Honour
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Wiltshire
Yep keep the router on the master socket and run a single ethernet lead to an 8 port switch located elsewhere (in the best place to keep it hidden / easy to run the other cables back to). A patch panel would be ideal but a little over the top for a few devices unless you were going to put up a small cabinet to house other things as well.
 
Soldato
Joined
11 Oct 2005
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Derbyshire
what does a patch panel do that a switch does not?

I was under the impression a 'switch' allows you to connect one cable to router and then other devices to the switch. So all those devices connected to the switch would be using 1 port on the router.

What does a patch panel do then?
 
Soldato
Joined
13 Jan 2004
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20,683
A patch panel is a dumb device. It's a physical presentation only. It's basically a neat and tidy way to terminate your cables in one location - from there you can patch into other devices, usually a switch. The advantage of a patch panel over hard-wiring is that you can use the same medium (Cat5) for a different purpose. For example a non TCP/IP connection that uses cat5 as a physical connectivity medium but cannot be switched as you would over a switch on a regular network. (Think moving your 2 wire DSL around the house to whatever RJ45 point that terminated in the patch panel).

The main benefit is the ease of changing point to point connections without having to re-wire. For example the Living Room RJ45 port gets hard-wired to the Living Room port on the central patch panel and from there you can cable (patch) it in to whatever you want with RJ45 Cat5 network cables. It's simply a case of unplugging and replugging like you would any other network cable.
 
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