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Reorganizing my home network. Suggestions?

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XeRn

New Around Here
It's my first post on SmallNetBuilder forums, so first of all I'd like to say hi to everyone
on these forums :D .


Now on to my current home network situation. Right now I have all my networking
gear in my room(router, broadband modem, network printer, NAS). All this stuff takes
a lot of room, and some of the gear is hard to access for some of the family members
who access our LAN through wifi(like printing something when I'm out, or in the early
mornings in the days when I can sleep till noon but others here can't ;) ).

I was thinking about moving everything except for the broadband modem to the living
room. I think it will also improve the wifi coverage, because the range to all the computers
using wifi will be closer, and there will be less obstacles(walls...) in the way.

My problem is - I wanted to use PLC(powerline) to connect the broadband modem that
stays in my room with the router in the living room, and back from the router to the PC
in my room(I don't want to use wifi to connect my PC to the network). I was thinking
about using a pair of ethernet splitters( sth like this ), but I'm not sure if they'll work with PLC.


...........PC...................................................LAN1 on router
................\.....................PLC...................../
..eth splitter>------------------- / / --------------------<eth splitter
................/................................................\
broadband...................................................WAN on router


So, does anyone have experience with similar setup? Do you guys know if it would work
or not? Maybe you have some other solutions to this problem?

Thanks everyone!
 
I can't really follow your diagram. But those "splitters" are crap since you don't "split" Ethernet.

Your problem is that you don't want to mix WAN and LAN sides of the router. You need two separate subnets.

If I recall correctly, you can do this with two sets of powerline adapters. You'll just need to set different security codes on each pair.

Modem > PL Adapter > Powerline > PL Adapter > Router WAN

then

Your PC < PL Adapter < Powerline < PL Adapter < Router LAN

A pretty expensive way to go. I'd look for a way to get Ethernet from your room to the living room or move the modem to the living room.
 
Thanks for answering my message thiggins!

Unfortunately there's no way to connect the modem in the living room :(
Also, it's not possible to run an ethernet cable from my room to the living room.
Using two sets of PL adapters is the first thing that came to my mind, but it's too
expensive.
I know this severely limits my options, but I still want to do it the best way I can.

I know that the diagram was hard to read. I'm sorry but the
Code:
 bbcode is disabled 
on these forums so I had to use dots instead of spaces. But just to let everyone know 
what I have in mind I'm attaching another version of that diagram below: 

[ATTACH]108.vB[/ATTACH]


If some of you guys don't know how ethernet splitters(aka RJ45 splitters) work, 
you can read about it [URL="http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-your-own-Ethernet-%22splitter%22/"]here[/URL]. It's mainly about making one yourselves, 
but after going through it you'll also know how it works. 

If no other suggestions come up I might try using the ethernet splitters, 
and if that doesn't work I'll go with wifi.
 

Attachments

  • net_diagram.jpg
    net_diagram.jpg
    19.8 KB · Views: 119
That "splitter" won't work. All it does is let you put two 10/100 Ethernet runs into one CAT5 cable. It works for that application only because 10/100 Ethernet requires only two of the four pair in the cable.
 
Keep in mind that the splitter thing won't work with Gigabit ethernet, as Gig uses all 4 pairs. I had an old room-mate who did the splitting thing and it seemed to work for him.

The whole goal seems to be to give people better signal, so if you have an ethernet connection running to the living room where you want to put things, maybe throw up a 2nd access point in the living room? Seems less complicated than trying to jerry-rig the whole setup. That's what I've done in similar past situations.

I don't suppose the ethernet connection was run to the living room after the house was built? If it was, it's likely not tied down to anything inside the wall (just loosely fished) in which case you might be able to take the wall jacks off and re-pull some new cables. If the Cat5 was put in with the house that it's likely tied onto something inside the walls (which code usually requires). I've done this with a few retro jobs before.

Depending on the situation, sometimes it's worth it just to pay the piper and run some new lines.
 
I believe it will not work over powerline either.... unless you have 2 separate adapters (which support multiple signals on a single power ring).

If these were two lan devices you could use a switch at either end, but the fact that one is your wan rather complicates things.

How come you cannot run ethernet cables? If thats not possible then just use a single powerline link from your modem to your router, then connect ur pc wirelessly (unfortunetely).

Also ethernet splitters generally tend to be unreliable if your wire is more than a couple of metres in length because the different wire pairs in cat5e cable have different numbers of turns per metre making the noise characteristics of the unused pairs quite different in some cases.
 
That "splitter" won't work. All it does is let you put two 10/100 Ethernet runs into one CAT5 cable. It works for that application only because 10/100 Ethernet requires only two of the four pair in the cable.

Ok, that's why I asked the question in the first place. I thought that if powerline
adapters are transferring signals of all four pairs, then those splitters should work.
The assumption here is that a set of powerline adapters is equivalent to a CAT5 cable,
which might, and probably is wrong, given the fact that each device is a bit more
complex than a couple of meters of cable.

I'm not using gigabit ethernet. only my router and my PC are actually gigabit capable,
and having gigabit connection to my router and nothing else is useless.

scotty, it's not a matter of re-running the ethernet cables, it's a matter of a not running
them, and achieving the same effect as if they were there.
 
Ok, that's why I asked the question in the first place. I thought that if powerline
adapters are transferring signals of all four pairs, then those splitters should work.
The assumption here is that a set of powerline adapters is equivalent to a CAT5 cable,
which might, and probably is wrong, given the fact that each device is a bit more
complex than a couple of meters of cable.

I'm not using gigabit ethernet. only my router and my PC are actually gigabit capable,
and having gigabit connection to my router and nothing else is useless.

scotty, it's not a matter of re-running the ethernet cables, it's a matter of a not running
them, and achieving the same effect as if they were there.

So maybe just throw an Wireless AP up in the living room via. the cat5 cable... Seems to solve the signal strength problem fairly easily.
 
If the goal is to improve wireless coverage, then adding an AP, as Scotty suggested is probably the simplest way. A few alternatives:

1) Use a pair of powerline adapters and a cheap wireless router converted to an AP.

2) If your router supports wireless bridging/repeating, then just get another router that also supports bridging/repeating.

3) Use a combo device like the PepWave Surf AP200. It can connect to any router, then act as a second wireless router.

Now, going back to your original idea, after researching this a bit more, I think it could work. But you would need to use switches, not those "splitters" on each end. Or powerline adapters with switches built in, like the Linksys PLS300.

The reason this might work is that the powerline adapters act as bridges, which means they work on MAC addresses, not IP addresses.

But the problem comes with broadcast traffic, which would be seen by all devices connected to the switches plugged into (or part of) the powerline adapters. This could reduce overall network throughput if your LAN is busy.

But the greater concern is that one of the subnets is your WAN. I don't think it is good security practice to have broadcast traffic from your LAN going to that MAC address (and vice-versa). You would have to look at the IP address coming out of your broadband modem. Unless it is a private IP, which indicates that your modem might also be doing some NAT routing, I would not combine the LAN and WANs.

[To my expert forum members: If I am wrong on this (two subnets on one switch), whack me hard!]
 
Are you able to stick your router in your room and put a wireless AP (+ possible a switch in the living room?) - Can be done with just one powerline adapter.

Although its possible Lan and Wan together is un-necisarily jumbling things up and will likely cause a headache.

Homeplug AV devices support multiple bridges on a single power circuit.

How much are you willing to spend on this btw?... from your original post i got the impression you were just willing to splash out on one homeplug av kit.
 
late but possible solution?

I realize this is an old thread, but I was reading it for some other info, and a method occurred to me that I did not see here and have not tried, but I wonder if it would work. You'd need just the one set of PL adapters, but two small 'smart' switches (Netgear GS108T or any cheap, even used, 100BT smart or managed switches capable of port-based VLANs).
Adapting the OP's attached jpeg diagram in the post to show VLAN assignment, (on both switches, port 1 is assigned to VLAN1, port 2 assigned to VLAN2, and port 8 is the trunk port with both VLANs) it would go:

Broadband --> switch1-port-1--> switch1-port-8--> PL adapter--> PL adapter-->switch2-port-8--> switch2-port-1--> RouterWAN port
Then, from RouterLAN port--> switch2-port-2--> switch2-port-8--> PL adapter--> PL adapter--> switch1-port-8--> switch1-port-2--> PC

This assumes that the PL system would not strip away the VLAN headers. Anyone? Again, I realize this thread is long over, but I like thinking through these setups. Although I may never try it, thinking through is good exercise for the bigger projects I run into.

T

Thanks for answering my message thiggins!

Unfortunately there's no way to connect the modem in the living room :(
Also, it's not possible to run an ethernet cable from my room to the living room.
Using two sets of PL adapters is the first thing that came to my mind, but it's too
expensive.
I know this severely limits my options, but I still want to do it the best way I can.

I know that the diagram was hard to read. I'm sorry but the
Code:
 bbcode is disabled 
on these forums so I had to use dots instead of spaces. But just to let everyone know 
what I have in mind I'm attaching another version of that diagram below: 

[attach]108[/attach]


If some of you guys don't know how ethernet splitters(aka RJ45 splitters) work, 
you can read about it [URL="http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-make-your-own-Ethernet-%22splitter%22/"]here[/URL]. It's mainly about making one yourselves, 
but after going through it you'll also know how it works. 

If no other suggestions come up I might try using the ethernet splitters, 
and if that doesn't work I'll go with wifi.[/QUOTE]
 
It'd work, but it would likely be more expensive than adding an AP, and have the disadvantage of WAN/LAN contending for the same throughput.

Depending on how chatty the switches are (ex: SNMP), the modem could bind to one of them instead of the router. You could work around this by powering up the modem while directly connected to the router, then putting the router back in its place on the network, but it's a hassle.
 

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