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Old 02-28-2011, 01:01 PM
klieart klieart is offline
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Question Need help to setup G, N, and wired network @ home

Hi,

I'm new to this forum. I don't have much experience with networking and haven't had much time to read everything in this site, so bare with me.
I also didn't know where to put this thread, since I'm looking for an overall wireless and wired combination to serve all my devices with the best performance I can get around a $50-$200 budget.

I'm trying to setup a home network with a NAS, a few notebooks, and devices like phones, Blu-Ray player, and other DLNA ready devices. Here is my current home layout:
http://img228.imageshack.us/img228/6409/homedevices.jpg

# The home is wired with CAT5 (sockets represented as green diamonds) and they all meet at the master bedroom closet (large green rectangle). The closet does not have a router, just cables.

# The blue circles are wireless capable devices. The Blu-Ray player in Room3 and the HTPC in the Living Room are near a CAT5 socket and may be wired. The other circles can be notebooks, cellphones, and other portable devices that would be more convenient to have wireless.

# The blue boxes in Room1 are devices I really want wired. These devices are bandwidth critical.

# The yellow cylinder is the NAS. It's a Synology ds211j. I can also move it to the Study to function as a print server. This device is also bandwidth critical.

# The red box in the study is a printer that only has a USB connector. I'd like to hook it up to a router or the NAS to serve as a print server.

# Internet is 20Mbps down, 3Mbps up. The modem is currently located in Room1 to serve the bandwidth critical devices, but I was planning to move it to the master bedroom closet and wire it to a router that connects all the CAT5 wires to the internet.

I currently just have a D-Link DGL-4300 (Wireless G router with no print server functionality) with the WAN connected to the modem and the LAN connected to the other devices in Room1. All other wireless devices in the house connect to this device. I seem to be having throughput issues with all my devices, and I would like to upgrade to a wireless N setup as well. I read I should have G and N routers separate. So, I was thinking the following:

1) I connect a very good WAN/LAN router at the master bedroom closet
2) I connect a Wireless N router in the study + the NAS + the printer
3) I connect my D-Link DGL-4300 (Wireless G) in Room1

So, basically my plan was:
Modem -> WAN/LAN router -> Wireless N router -> NAS & printer & N devices.
Modem -> WAN/LAN router -> Wireless G router -> Ethernet & G devices.
Modem -> WAN/LAN router -> Ethernet (directly from the wall).


So, this would mean I may need to buy a Wireless N and a WAN/LAN router. I've been reading some guides, but I'm still not confident about my purchase decisions. Any suggestions on what to buy?

I'm also worried about performance. Would this be the optimal setup for my case, or is there a better method?

If anything is confusing, let me know. Maybe I can make more pictorial illustrations.

Thanks,
Klieart
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Old 02-28-2011, 06:00 PM
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First, anything that is bandwidth-critical (this would include devices involved in HD video streaming), should be on Ethernet. This does not need to be Gigabit, 10/100 will work fine.

G and N wireless need to be separated only if you have lots of simultaneous activity on both flavors of devices.

"I seem to be having throughput issues with all my devices". What are the "issues" and are they just on the wireless devices? If wireless, are the the G devices, N devices or both. Are the problems location related?
Be sure you are using WPA2/AES encryption or the N devices will be limited to G link rates (54 Mbps maximum).

If you have only one Ethernet jack in each room (except for the Master closet),
then it's best to move the modem and router there. If you need more Ethernet ports in any of the other rooms, you can install small switches there.
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Old 02-28-2011, 08:42 PM
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Thanks thiggins. I will use WPA2/AES once I get a wireless N router, and keep G and N routers isolated as planned. If I want to take advantage of the NAS, wouldn't it be a good idea for me to use Gigabit Ethernet?

The "issue" I'm currently having is that whenever I stream through G, N, and Ethernet directly from my D-Link DGL-4300 is that my videos and audio will stop buffering. This happens in YouTube, Netflix, Pandora, etc. on multiple machines on my home. Of course, it's worse with HD content vs SD contents, and the same for Videos vs Audio. But more often than not, long continuous streaming many times stalls. In gaming and p2p, continuity doesn't seem to be as much of an issue. I'm guessing it's because the packets are small and not as continuous. I haven't had time to look into benchmarking yet.

I just have the D-Link DGL-4300, which is just an 11g router. Any recommendations on WAN/LAN routers I can use at the closet? How about wireless N routers?
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Old 03-01-2011, 12:03 AM
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A NAS without gigabit ethernet is not going to be fun.
Moving big files in/out of a NAS with WiFi, even 11n, is not going to be fun (big, meaning hundreds of megabytes, like videos)
Streaming video/audio from a NAS via 11g will be OK >if< the video is not HD and if the 11g signal strength is good. Using 11n can be slightly better. But generally, streaming video via 11g/n is not a good idea. Better to use MoCA or IP on the power line, if you cannot use cat5.
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Old 03-01-2011, 10:45 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klieart View Post
Thanks thiggins. I will use WPA2/AES once I get a wireless N router, and keep G and N routers isolated as planned. If I want to take advantage of the NAS, wouldn't it be a good idea for me to use Gigabit Ethernet?
For moving files around, yes. For streaming HD video, it's not necessary.

Quote:
Originally Posted by klieart View Post
The "issue" I'm currently having is that whenever I stream through G, N, and Ethernet directly from my D-Link DGL-4300 is that my videos and audio will stop buffering. This happens in YouTube, Netflix, Pandora, etc. on multiple machines on my home. Of course, it's worse with HD content vs SD contents, and the same for Videos vs Audio. But more often than not, long continuous streaming many times stalls. In gaming and p2p, continuity doesn't seem to be as much of an issue. I'm guessing it's because the packets are small and not as continuous. I haven't had time to look into benchmarking yet.
If you are trying to run too many simultaneous streams, you may be running out of bandwidth.

HD video is the most sensitive application to run because it is extremely time sensitive. If your HD players don't have good and deep buffering (most don't), any variation in wireless bandwidth is going to show up as problems in your video stream.

Quote:
Originally Posted by klieart View Post
I just have the D-Link DGL-4300, which is just an 11g router. Any recommendations on WAN/LAN routers I can use at the closet? How about wireless N routers?
Switching to an N router won't really help solve your HD streaming problem. But if you want to try one, I'd suggest NETGEAR WNDR3700 or Cisco Linksys E4000.
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Old 03-01-2011, 07:34 PM
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With unlicensed band WiFi and the like: You share the medium with neighbors in kind, and with non-WiFi devices that don't cooperate

With cat5/6 Ethernet, you exclusively own the medium, of course.

With MoCA, it's the same as with cat5/6 Ethernet, and there is little/no noise.

With IP over power wiring, there's noise galore, and some chance your neighbor's signal will sneak into your wiring, causing competition for access to the media (CSMA/CA) as in WiFi.
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Old 03-04-2011, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thiggins View Post
For moving files around, yes. For streaming HD video, it's not necessary.

If you are trying to run too many simultaneous streams, you may be running out of bandwidth.

HD video is the most sensitive application to run because it is extremely time sensitive. If your HD players don't have good and deep buffering (most don't), any variation in wireless bandwidth is going to show up as problems in your video stream.

Switching to an N router won't really help solve your HD streaming problem. But if you want to try one, I'd suggest NETGEAR WNDR3700 or Cisco Linksys E4000.
I was looking at the WNDR3700v2 and WNDR3700v1, but people seem to be saying v2 is a step down from v1. Is this due to firmware or hardware limitations, or both? I can get v1 for a slightly lower price as well.

Also, with the Cisco, did you mean the E4200 or the E3000? There doesn't seem to be an E4000. I can bare $130 for the E3000 and WNDR3700, but $180 for the E4000 is a bit too much for my router budget. I may consider it if it's worth the price.

There's is still one question that I haven't got an answer for yet, but I guess it has more to do with the wired section of the forums. In the closet, where all the cables meet (including the internet) I was wondering two things:

1) Since I will be hooking up a router here, and another router may be hooked up to it in another room, how will this affect A) my shared internet speed, and B) my file transfers speeds between machines in the local network?

2) Let's say I want more than 4x gigabit ports, what would be the best way to share more connections from the closet without sacrificing gigabit speeds. Would linking a switch to the wireless router taking in the internet connection result in a lower performance for those machines connected through the switch (internet -> wireless router -> switch -> Ethernet to computer)?

Last edited by klieart; 03-04-2011 at 11:36 AM.
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Old 03-04-2011, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klieart View Post
I was looking at the WNDR3700v2 and WNDR3700v1, but people seem to be saying v2 is a step down from v1. Is this due to firmware or hardware limitations, or both? I can get v1 for a slightly lower price as well.
NETGEAR changed the antenna design on the 5 GHz band on the v2, resulting in reduced performance.

Quote:
Originally Posted by klieart View Post
Also, with the Cisco, did you mean the E4200 or the E3000? There doesn't seem to be an E4000. I can bare $130 for the E3000 and WNDR3700, but $180 for the E4000 is a bit too much for my router budget. I may consider it if it's worth the price.
Sorry, I meant E4200. But E3000 would probably work about the same. Again, none of these routers will guarantee problem-free HD streaming.

Quote:
Originally Posted by klieart View Post
1) Since I will be hooking up a router here, and another router may be hooked up to it in another room, how will this affect A) my shared internet speed, and B) my file transfers speeds between machines in the local network?
You don't want two routers, just one. I don't understand your concern here or the question, since it is too broad.

2) Let's say I want more than 4x gigabit ports, what would be the best way to share more connections from the closet without sacrificing gigabit speeds. Would linking a switch to the wireless router taking in the internet connection result in a lower performance for those machines connected through the switch (internet -> wireless router -> switch -> Ethernet to computer)?[/quote]To expand Ethernet ports, you connect a switch to a router LAN port. You will not sacrifice speed by doing this unless you have enough simultaneous traffic going from the machines on the switch to something connected to the router switch. If traffic adds up to > 1 Gbps (transmit or receive) then the single Gigabit connection will limit speed.
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