Setting Up New Bungalow Home Network

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Hi all, I've been doing lots of reading and gathering of information the last few days trying to see the best way of setting up a new bungalow I'm in the process of purchasing.

It's quite large over 3000 square feet so I've been trying to work out the best way to provide full connectivity throughout. I am in the early stages but hoping to get some advice on the direction before going into too much detail if I'm on the wrong path.

I am looking to put in at least 14 ethernet access points to various faceplates dotted throughout, and then potentially 12 POE devices such as cameras and AP's for full WIFI coverage.

All walls are solid inside the bungalow so I am looking to put WIFI AP's in pretty much all rooms, hence the larger number of POE devices.

I'm planning on putting everything in the loft space and monitor the temps especially in the summer months.

A few thoughts I have been mulling over that would be great to hear anyone's feedback or experience.

1) Should I split the POE and non POE connections across two different switches, one POE and one non ? Daisy chain switches OK any issues bottlenecks etc

2) Should I use Cat6 or Cat6a cabling purely for future proofing - all devices will work well over Cat 5e, but as all new cabling will be laid use the opportunity to do it.

3) I am looking at rack mounting a keystone patch panel, switch (ideally fanless as I want noise kept to a minimum) and the standard ISP modem/router in the same rack.

If anyone has any recommendations for any of the components that would be great as I've literally scanned 100s of different ones looking at Amazon reviews and other reviews, a lot are US based so I was hoping for more of a UK opinion with link to UK suppliers.

Switch recommendation
Patch panel recommendation (if keystone any preference on jacks, some are wider some are angled some are lite - does it make a difference which ones I go for)
Rack recommendation

I'm looking at setting up an NVR and using HiKvision POE cams as the CCTV solution.

Thanks
 
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I am by no means an expert at this, but I did pretty much the same thing in my bungalow.

1) Whether you have POE or not I think is largely a cost thing and certainly having two switches is not a problem. The latency of a switch is really small so there is no problem having two. I use the switch as the center of my network rather then most peoples approach of using the router. It's a managed switch so I can solve bottle-necking on the local network independently from the WAN/Internet. The router handles the WAN.

2) I always buy one above what I need. Networks are starting to get faster. There is absolutely no need to go above Cat5e, but the cost difference is tiny so why not?

I would be very nervous putting this lot in the loft. I don't know about your loft but mine gets viciously hot in the summer ( up to 48 degrees ). This is above most max operating temperatures, particularly routers, which tend to get pretty hot normally. I am sure my old Asus router would go up in flames in a loft. I would see if you can find a cupboard for it all instead.
 
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Thanks for the reply

Couple of thoughts...

Is there any reason I shouldn't use the ISPs integrated hub/router direct into the switch...is there any benefit to having a separate modem and router..

Pardon my naivety but I was assuming I could have my master socket sit in the loft, connect the BT hub to the master socket then run port 1 from the hub into the switch.

I've been looking at unmanaged switches as managed or smart seems overkill...what made you select managed as the price diff can be quite vast..

Thanks again
 
Soldato
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1) Largely a moot point, the NVR will power CCTV camera's, a cheap PoE switch for the AP's (I like the Ubiquiti TS-8-Pro used on eBay and AC-Lite AP's) will work fine. Daisy chaining only really becomes an issue if the daisy chained switch has high enough bandwidth utilisation to saturate the uplink to the main switch, usually you can work around that with device placement or running a dedicated feed for the devices that need it, normally keeping the high bandwidth devices on the same switch if they are moving data amongst themselves is just an easier option.

2) 5e and 6 are largely the same from a technical perspective, it's only if you use crap cable (CCA) or terminate it badly that you'll have an issue going forward with 5e, other than that it's going to be fine for 10Gb at the end of short runs often four in domestic installs. 6a is technically more capable, but also less forgiving to work with, I have boxes of both 5e and 6a on the shelf, having just moved house all 3 floors will be run with 5e, not 6a, anything fun will be on fibre anyway.

Lofts aren't ideal environments for electronics, they are dusty, have extreme swings in temperature and humidity, but choose the right kit and you're generally OK. Patch panel I normally just get the Connectix Elite 24 port, they're stupidly cheap and easy to work with. You can use the ISP router if you want, generally they are a lot better than they used to be, but it depends on the ISP, you do run a single feed from the router to the switch.
 
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Soldato
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As usual, I would agree with @Avalon. I’ll bow to his knowledge/experience on the CAT5e/CAT6 thing but I always use proper (splined) CAT6 and that’s just me. I’m sure CAT5e will, as @Avalon says, be just fine.

If you’re putting an access point in every room, then consider the UniFi UAP6-IW access points because you kind of kill two birds with one stone in that one network drop gives you a WiFi6 access point and 4 gigabit RJ45 ports. And port one of those is a proper 48V PoE port. So it’s a very good value device. I’d still run at least two drops to every room just because, it’s smart to have another separate drop.

And to anyone who says you don’t need an access point in every room. No, you don’t for WiFi5 and even WiFi6 but for WiFi6E you do. And if, as it’s likely, the UniFi UAP6-IW is the first UniFi access point to get WiFi6E then having one in every room will be a very smart move.

I’d also run specific drops to where you think you’ll have TVs, media devices etc. I quite like RJ45 drops with a single 13A socket at about 1.5m off the ground because they’re great for Sonos speakers. Once you’ve seen/lived in a house that has had the media integrated properly anything else just seems extremely messy and crude.

I’m fine with electronics in the loft. I just add a fire/smoke sensor “just in case”.

And yes, I’d probably get a UniFi PoE switch, especially if you’re going with the UniFi access points because they just play nicely together. And a UniFi Dream Machine (not Pro) because that will give good general coverage until you make your mind up about those UAP6-IW access points.

Do bear in mind though that in future WiFi6 and WiFi6E will require at least 2.5Gbps ports on the switches so you want to consider something like the upcoming UniFi USW6-24 switch as it has PoE 2.5Gbps ports.

Also remember that you can start off just running all the cables with a cheap, unmanaged, switch and upgrade as time, knowledge, and budget allows.

The fabulous thing about cabling up your home is that 99.9% of the low-level hassle with WiFi just vanishes. You will not regret doing it properly for one second.
 
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And when you’re running the external cables for the cameras consider whether you might ever want WiFi in the garden or in front of the house for Over-the-Air car updates as you really only want to go up those ladders once!
 
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For the small difference in cost, for future proofing I would run Cat 6a cable, though 5e would also be fine and possibly easier to use/run.

I used the Connectix tool less Cat 6A Keystone jacks from Cable Monkey, and they were great. Easy to use and terminate without special tools. I used the same ones for the ethernet faceplates as well (single gang with angled shuttered fascia).

If you aren't going to use all the ports initially (especially the POE ones), why not get a cheap 8 or 12 port unmanaged gigabit switch to get you up and running. You will get one for £20 in the black Friday sales. We have some 24 and 48 port PoE switches in our office, and they are quite noisy with the fans going all the time.
 
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Thanks for all the replies so far everyone much appreciated, some great information that has helped me in the right direction.

I think I will look for an unmanaged 24 port POE switch initially as this will cover the 14 wall ports along with the access points and the NVR will cover the camera POEs

Would it be wise running the CCTV in a DMZ as external access to the cameras could expose my home network I'm assuming ? Would it be easiest to have a the NVR on a separate switch ? or could I set this up using a managed single switch ?
 
Soldato
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Would it be wise running the CCTV in a DMZ as external access to the cameras could expose my home network I'm assuming ? Would it be easiest to have a the NVR on a separate switch ? or could I set this up using a managed single switch ?

Which camera system are you going with? Most of the Chinese ones use P2P where they stream your video through an insecure Chinese server but it’s effectively a VPN and even if they penetrated port 38767 all they’ll see is your CCTV because it’s a fully self-contained ecosystem. So no, I wouldn’t bother.
 
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Which camera system are you going with? Most of the Chinese ones use P2P where they stream your video through an insecure Chinese server but it’s effectively a VPN and even if they penetrated port 38767 all they’ll see is your CCTV because it’s a fully self-contained ecosystem. So no, I wouldn’t bother.
Thanks for the reply

I'm going with a Hikvision poe cameras connected to an NVR so its all local network.
 
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I wouldn't have a switch or router in the loft space as mentioned above. Would also suggest keeping to 5e cabling as well.
 
Soldato
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Whenever we install a new system we are generally constrained by the CDM regs and we have to make sure that whatever we install in the loft will not be a hazard. So I have extensive evidence including temperature logger results, reports from manufacturers and risk assessments to show that there is no hazard from installing electronic communications and surveillance equipment in the loft space of a domestic dwelling. We do install a fire/smoke detector because there is a risk that if a fire did occur it might not be immediately obvious to the occupants of the dwelling. And we can sell another sensor on the install. Every single one of the manufacturer reports state that in the incredibly unlikely event an electrical failure in the device caused an electrical fire, the extent of the fire would be limited to any flammable materials within the device. ie. some dust. And the only major source of dust in a domestic dwelling is people and animals and they dint tend to spend a lot of time in the attic so contrary to what most people believe, modern loft spaces are not dusty. What they are, VERY often, is full of cardboard boxes and plastic bags of old clothes and flammable junk. But you don’t hear people warning about loft fires.

Another challenge that is often posed by the anti-loft advocates is the temperature. Thankfully, modern house design means there is insulation under the tiles or slates that prevents a lot of heat penetration and my health and safety colleague assures me that if heat build-up really was an issue then there would be thousands of deaths a year from people over-heating in loft conversions and town houses. The average temperature year-round in a UK loft is 14.8C with peaks of around 38C and troughs just above zero. The open soffits on most UK dwellings causes air movement in the loft space so theffects of heat build-up are limited. Yes, it ‘feels’ really hot up there because we evaporate most of our heat away which is why a breeze feels cool or cold and our bodies are calibrated to really scream hot when we’re in an environment hotter than core body temperature. But it’s not really that hot up there. All of the equipment I recommend has a safe working maximum ambient temperature of 40C. That’s REALLY hot. Hotter than you get in a UK loft. And that’s the ‘safe’ maximum. They run on usually way over 60C but we work to 40 in our risk assessments.

So if you feel uncomfortable about having the equipment in the loft, that’s OK, and the bulk of the evidence shows it is safe anyway.
 
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Whenever we install a new system we are generally constrained by the CDM regs and we have to make sure that whatever we install in the loft will not be a hazard. So I have extensive evidence including temperature logger results, reports from manufacturers and risk assessments to show that there is no hazard from installing electronic communications and surveillance equipment in the loft space of a domestic dwelling. We do install a fire/smoke detector because there is a risk that if a fire did occur it might not be immediately obvious to the occupants of the dwelling. And we can sell another sensor on the install. Every single one of the manufacturer reports state that in the incredibly unlikely event an electrical failure in the device caused an electrical fire, the extent of the fire would be limited to any flammable materials within the device. ie. some dust. And the only major source of dust in a domestic dwelling is people and animals and they dint tend to spend a lot of time in the attic so contrary to what most people believe, modern loft spaces are not dusty. What they are, VERY often, is full of cardboard boxes and plastic bags of old clothes and flammable junk. But you don’t hear people warning about loft fires.

Another challenge that is often posed by the anti-loft advocates is the temperature. Thankfully, modern house design means there is insulation under the tiles or slates that prevents a lot of heat penetration and my health and safety colleague assures me that if heat build-up really was an issue then there would be thousands of deaths a year from people over-heating in loft conversions and town houses. The average temperature year-round in a UK loft is 14.8C with peaks of around 38C and troughs just above zero. The open soffits on most UK dwellings causes air movement in the loft space so theffects of heat build-up are limited. Yes, it ‘feels’ really hot up there because we evaporate most of our heat away which is why a breeze feels cool or cold and our bodies are calibrated to really scream hot when we’re in an environment hotter than core body temperature. But it’s not really that hot up there. All of the equipment I recommend has a safe working maximum ambient temperature of 40C. That’s REALLY hot. Hotter than you get in a UK loft. And that’s the ‘safe’ maximum. They run on usually way over 60C but we work to 40 in our risk assessments.

So if you feel uncomfortable about having the equipment in the loft, that’s OK, and the bulk of the evidence shows it is safe anyway.

Very good explanation much appreciated !
 
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I wouldn't have a switch or router in the loft space as mentioned above. Would also suggest keeping to 5e cabling as well.

Would you go Cat5e based on ease of us, and not really being utilised to capacity with any devices currently in the home ? Are there any major flaws future proofing an install except the cable being a little harder to terminate ? I've seen a lot of videos on terminating different cables and with the keystone jacks it doesn't seem too difficult. I know standards have to be followed but in essence it seems reasonably simple to do.

I have just purchased the property and I would hope to stay there for at least the next 20 to 30 years. I'm having builders in knocking down walls, plastering all the rooms so the runs will be created already, mostly simple straight up into the loft from each faceplate and across to a patch panel.
 
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I'm planning on putting everything in the loft space and monitor the temps especially in the summer months.

Just remember that electrical equipment in the loft is a fire risk.

1) Should I split the POE and non POE connections across two different switches, one POE and one non ? Daisy chain switches OK any issues bottlenecks etc

Different switches.

2) Should I use Cat6 or Cat6a cabling purely for future proofing - all devices will work well over Cat 5e, but as all new cabling will be laid use the opportunity to do it.

Take the opportunity to do it right first time.

3) I am looking at rack mounting a keystone patch panel, switch (ideally fanless as I want noise kept to a minimum) and the standard ISP modem/router in the same rack.

You might consider having everything mounted flat on the wall to save space

But you don’t hear people warning about loft fires.

I had a narrow escape. I had a server in my loft and insects got in. Fortunately I was at home at the time.


.
 
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Just remember that electrical equipment in the loft is a fire risk.



Different switches.



Take the opportunity to do it right first time.



You might consider having everything mounted flat on the wall to save space



I had a narrow escape. I had a server in my loft and insects got in. Fortunately I was at home at the time.


.


Thanks for the reply, I've since decided to place the rack in a walk in cupboard so will run some trunking down the wall inside and terminate them all there to avoid any unknowns that could happen with a loft install.

Why would you use a different switch for the POE ?

Just confirming you would use Cat6a when you reference doing it right the first time ?
 
Soldato
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Why would you use a different switch for the POE ?

It just keeps things organised. It prevents accidentally plugging in a device expecting unpowered ethernet (not that any damage should occur anyway). It means you avoid a mess of POE injectors. It also means that you can replace one without replacing the other. For example, when 2.5 Gb or 10 Gb become cheap they'll likely be cheap on unpowered ethernet first.

Just confirming you would use Cat6a when you reference doing it right the first time ?

Yes.

Do colour-code the cables. Have your standard ethernet cables one colour and have your POE cables a different colour. Extend this to the patch panel and the patch leads. This makes the cabling immediately intuitively obvious.
 
Soldato
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Just remember that electrical equipment in the loft is a fire risk.

No, it's no more of a risk than if it was located anywhere else. Most people have quite a bit of electrical equipment in the loft, they just don't realize it.


I had a narrow escape. I had a server in my loft and insects got in. Fortunately I was at home at the time.

So actually, had the insects got into your airing cupboard, you would have had the same result?

It's nonsensical and irrational to suggest that there is any more fire risk in the loft than anywhere else in the house.
 
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