Use of a Switch and Patch Panel with broadband?

  matnmand 11:50 20 Oct 2017

I have subscribed to a fibre broadband provider (Gigaclear) and would be grateful for advice on internal wiring in my house - please forgive me if I get some of the technical descriptions wrong - I'm new to this.

My house has been wired with Cat 6 Ethernet cables from the rooms back to a central patch(?) panel under the stairs - it has 15 sockets. The cable company will provide a router with 4 port switches - what is the best way to connect the router and distribute it to the wired system? Should I use one of the router ports and link vie a switch or splitter(?) to the patch panel - if so are there any recommendations for technical spec I should be aware of. When I asked Gigaclear they wouldn't advise me - saying "When it comes to switches unfortunately, it would not distribute the optical signal strength as well". Would there be a significant signal erosion? If I can't place the Gigaclear router under the stairs next to the patch panel (right in the middle of the house and could be difficult to route the Gigaclear cable in from the outside), could I use one of the wired ethernet connections from another room i.e. plug the router in that room - and then connect the room's outlet from the patch panel to the switch and then re-distribute? I'd be very grateful for any help. Whilst we can use the wireless option it will defeat the purpose of the high speed broadband as we will be capped on speed.

Regards

Matt

  Secret-Squirrel 19:47 20 Oct 2017

.........to a central patch(?) panel............

It may be helpful if you could confirm whether it's a patch panel or a network switch. There's a big difference. The former is simply a convenient way of connecting cables together and the latter intelligently inspects and routes data packets to their correct destinations. Use Google images to confirm what you have and get back to me.

Let me know too what speed package you're signed up for. If it's the 1Gbps one then let me know if your network switch (if that's what you have) and your computers are gigabit enabled.

Having said all that, there's a good chance that if simply swap over routers when the new one comes you're likely to find that everything works pefectly without any faffing about.

...........saying "When it comes to switches unfortunately, it would not distribute the optical signal strength as well". Would there be a significant signal erosion?

I think that statement is rubbish. All big businesses use network switches and there should be no speed degradation in using one.

  matnmand 20:29 20 Oct 2017

Hi, many thanks for your reply.

Its a patch panel - with 15 ports that connect to jacks in the various rooms.

I've signed up for the 100Mbps upload/download package and will probably increase it to the 200Mbps package.

At the moment I don't have any other equipment such as a network switch. I'll be connecting the usual assortment of home electronics - Xbox,PS4, Smart Tv's and iMacs.

  Secret-Squirrel 09:53 21 Oct 2017

Thanks for the extra info.

At this stage you won't need to upgrade nor change anything with your current setup. Just swap the routers over as I said yesterday.

.......... and will probably increase it to the 200Mbps package.

Bear in mind though that most of your devices' Ethernet adapters probably have a maximum speed of 100Mbps so paying extra for 200Mbps could be a waste of money. However, if any of your devices have gigabit (1000Mbps) adapters then they'll be able to cope fine.

Whilst we can use the wireless option it will defeat the purpose of the high speed broadband as we will be capped on speed.

Most wireless devices can reach a theoretical maximum speed of 300Mbps, and all of them support 150Mbps so wireless may actually work out better than Ethernet (providing there's a good signal and little interference).

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