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Switch/hub and access point recommendations for hardwired house with CAT6

  • Last Updated:
  • Dec 27th, 2020 6:25 am
[OP]
Member
Jan 15, 2013
369 posts
247 upvotes

Switch/hub and access point recommendations for hardwired house with CAT6

Hi,

I am probably butchering terminology here as I am not tech savvy. I have a house with CAT6 points throughout the house from the basement. I am planning to get my ISP to hookup their router in the basement. I am looking for recommendations on how to make all of the CAT6 points “live” and what I can use on each floor to create a seemless strong WiFi signal throughout the house.

Assuming I need some type of gigabit switch that connects to the ISP router? Then plug all of my CAT6 wires into the switch? Is this correct? And then buy some hardwired access points that I can plug my “live” CAT6 into on each floor to create a seemless wireless network?

Any recommendations? I have around 16 drops throughout the house. Not looking to spend an arm and a leg but want to ensure reliability.

Thanks!
18 replies
Member
Dec 6, 2020
375 posts
353 upvotes
You have the terminology and concepts right.

You need one gigabit switch switch with at least 17 ports: one for each drop and one for the router. Standard switch sizes tend to go from 16 ports to 24, so you'll probably wind up with a 24 port switch. A managed switch is a definite plus when you're dealing with this many ports. Expect to pay around $300ish for a managed 24 port switch.

You probably only need one access point per floor. There's no definitive way to know how many APs you'll need without paying a wifi consultant to do a site survey ($$$$), but one per floor is a good rule of thumb for residential use. Expect to pay around $150-$300 for each AP.

Recommended 802.11ac (WiFI 5) access points:

TP-Link EAP245
Ubiquiti Unifi AP AC PRO
Grandstream GWN7610 (needs additional PoE injector, or a PoE capable switch, for power)

Lowest cost 24 port smart switch:

TP Link TL-SG1024DE

Lowest cost reasonable 24 port managed switch with PoE:

Hewlett Packard Enterprise HPE 1820-24G-PPoE+
Get this if you want to use APs or Ethernet-connected security cameras that require/support PoE.
Last edited by middleofnowhere on Dec 21st, 2020 5:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Member
Mar 17, 2004
449 posts
26 upvotes
I'm using a Edgerouter lite with a Ubiquity 24 port hub and 4 Unifi AP lites, 1 AP for each floor and 1 for the detached garage. I started with 2 AP's, added 1 for the garage and another to the 3rd floor later to fill in areas with weak signal. The Unifi AP's are all POE so I just had to plug in the ethernet cable and configure them, no separate power cables needed @ the AP. Its been rock solid with tons of bandwidth for all our phones, computers, Tvs etc.
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
3461 posts
1038 upvotes
Edmonton
Just go with cosco APs. They are tough, reliable, customizable. There's a reason they are used everywhere in commercial and industrial settings.

Quality over quantity here....
warming up the earth 1 gas fill-up at a time...
You only live once, get a v8
Sr. Member
Mar 25, 2002
618 posts
79 upvotes
I went with Ubiquiti gear, its not the easiest to setup, but not the hardest as well. would look into those.

Basically I installed:
Purchased a network Rack
UDM-PRO which is a router, and NVR for camera's
Unifi Switch to power the access points and unifi cameras using POE
3 unifi Nano APs

I have a few other things in the rack but unrelated to networking
Deal Addict
May 23, 2009
2829 posts
1295 upvotes
Mississauga
I'll also recommend Ubiquiti gear. I'm currently using it at my place and mapped my house with Ekahau Heatmapper to pick the ideal locations for the access points.

One Unifi USG Router
Two Unifi 8 port POE switches
Two Unifi WAP (UAP AC Pro)
  • 1st UAP AC Pro on 1st floor at the back on house.
  • 2nd UAP AC Pro on the 2nd floor at the front of the house.
5GHZ on high power, 2.4GHZ on low power and seamless roaming between access points without interference from neighbours wi-fi. I bump 2.4GHZ to medium in the summer to cover my driveway and backyard deck.

Adding all my clients (kasa switches, Google homes, phones, computers) comes to over 60 devices on my network. I favor wired were possible (TV, PS4) and the Unifi software shows the WiFi experience at over 95% for every single client. I'm really happy with this setup.
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12213 posts
6753 upvotes
Brampton
tmkf_patryk wrote: Just go with cosco APs. They are tough, reliable, customizable. There's a reason they are used everywhere in commercial and industrial settings.

Quality over quantity here....
Stick to the automotive section.
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
3461 posts
1038 upvotes
Edmonton
tebore wrote: Stick to the automotive section.

What do you have against Cisco? I have set up APs which have thousands of clients. Seperate VLans and all, making seamless links walking from one end of a building or mall to the other.
warming up the earth 1 gas fill-up at a time...
You only live once, get a v8
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12213 posts
6753 upvotes
Brampton
tmkf_patryk wrote: What do you have against Cisco? I have set up APs which have thousands of clients. Seperate VLans and all, making seamless links walking from one end of a building or mall to the other.
I'm glad you understand you're talking about Cisco.

Do you know how Cisco works?
Did you know it's not like some regular home router any Joe schmo can just put in 192.168.1.1 and be greeted by an dummy wizard for set up.

You don't just buy the hardware. You license it.
The cheapest meraki line IIRC is like $150 for 3 years for each AP.
You also need a controller. Which has its own licensing costs.
Sr. Member
Mar 25, 2002
618 posts
79 upvotes
I also thought you meant Costco because you spelt cisco as cosco
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
3461 posts
1038 upvotes
Edmonton
tebore wrote:
I'm glad you understand you're talking about Cisco.

Do you know how Cisco works?
Did you know it's not like some regular home router any Joe schmo can just put in 192.168.1.1 and be greeted by an dummy wizard for set up.

You don't just buy the hardware. You license it.
The cheapest meraki line IIRC is like $150 for 3 years for each AP.
You also need a controller. Which has its own licensing costs.
Is the OP looking for something idiot proof that you hook up and works or is he looking for something that works great, is tried and tested?

I would know because I have several cisco APs set up at home and they work great.
And I installed I don't know, Several dozens?

Go back to your mom's basement if you don't have any positive things to add to the OP. I am sure with some YouTube/forums he would have no problem and be super happy with a couple cisco APs and would probably last him indefinitely.

Edit: I bought some cisco AP and have them installed, no yearly fee or anything like that. Plug and play for me (once they were set up).
zeroburn wrote: I also thought you meant Costco because you spelt cisco as cosco
My bad. Phone isn't great for spell check on stuff like that, and the I and o are close together.
warming up the earth 1 gas fill-up at a time...
You only live once, get a v8
Deal Guru
Feb 9, 2006
12213 posts
6753 upvotes
Brampton
tmkf_patryk wrote: Is the OP looking for something idiot proof that you hook up and works or is he looking for something that works great, is tried and tested?

I would know because I have several cisco APs set up at home and they work great.
And I installed I don't know, Several dozens?

Go back to your mom's basement if you don't have any positive things to add to the OP. I am sure with some YouTube/forums he would have no problem and be super happy with a couple cisco APs and would probably last him indefinitely.

Edit: I bought some cisco AP and have them installed, no yearly fee or anything like that. Plug and play for me (once they were set up).



My bad. Phone isn't great for spell check on stuff like that, and the I and o are close together.
What model are they?
[OP]
Member
Jan 15, 2013
369 posts
247 upvotes
What purpose does the edge router lite serve? Would that b needed for my setup? I see a lot of Ubiquity recommendations. When/where is the best place to buy? I don’t have any CAT6 on my ceiling. They are either on the wall like wall jacks or behind TVs
dealhunting wrote: I'm using a Edgerouter lite with a Ubiquity 24 port hub and 4 Unifi AP lites, 1 AP for each floor and 1 for the detached garage. I started with 2 AP's, added 1 for the garage and another to the 3rd floor later to fill in areas with weak signal. The Unifi AP's are all POE so I just had to plug in the ethernet cable and configure them, no separate power cables needed @ the AP. Its been rock solid with tons of bandwidth for all our phones, computers, Tvs etc.
Deal Addict
Dec 27, 2007
3461 posts
1038 upvotes
Edmonton
tebore wrote: What model are they?
They are probably around 10 years old by now. Let you know after I finish work.

I moved away from the tech sector because it was boring and pay was bad, but these still work like a charm. Probably dirt cheap now too

Edit:. AIR-Lap 1142N
Last edited by tmkf_patryk on Dec 23rd, 2020 2:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
warming up the earth 1 gas fill-up at a time...
You only live once, get a v8
Member
Dec 6, 2020
375 posts
353 upvotes
zsj495 wrote: What purpose does the edge router lite serve?
It serves the same role as your ISP's router (DHCP, NAT, packet routing, etc). If you already have a router you don't need another one.

Ubiquiti networks sells directly to the public through their online store. Alternatively, you can buy from IT supply vendors that serve the business market, such as PC Canada, FrontierPC, CDW, or Grand and Toy.
Penalty Box
User avatar
Oct 13, 2008
4727 posts
1693 upvotes
Our house was built in 2006 with CAT5e prewired to:

- 1 in the living room - hooked up to the Huawei AX3 PRO WiFi 6+ Router
- 1 unused in master bedroom
- 2 in a second bedroom - one is hooked up to the Huawei AX3 PRO WiFi 6+ Router ; one is hooked up to my work laptop
- 1 unused in master bathroom (don't know why)
- 1 unused in garage (don't know why)

Totally surprised that there was just a coax in the third bedroom. No idea why the builder did that.

I have my Bell Home Hub 3000 (Bell Fiber 1.5Gbps) in the basement beside the electrical panel (previously the Rogers CODA modem was in the same spot ... as you can see in the photo that the COAX is in the back corner all unused now).

I put in an 8-Port D-Link Gigabit Switch plugged into one of the 4 ports on the back of the Bell modem.

I subsequently ran three other CAT7 cables from the modem area to the living room by the TV area (going into a 5-Port Asus Gigabit Switch which connects to my two unlocked Android Boxes and my Denon receiver) and two other spots in the basement (future proofing for possible new entertainment room and relocation of home office space).

There was one other CAT6 that was run from the modem area to the mainfloor laundry room for the Rogers Smart Home Monitoring Netgear Router (that was put in by the Rogers Technician).

IMG_20201222_102334.jpg
IMG_20201222_102400.jpg
16'x11' Living Room 11' Cathedral Ceiling. Hisense 65Q8G. Denon AVR-S740H 7.2 setup. Jamo Classic 10 280W Towers - FR+FL; Polk S35 - Center; Klipsch R51M - RR+RL; Klipsch R14M - Dolby FHR+FHL; Polk HTS10 Subwoofer x2. Unlocked Android Boxes from Taiwan x2
Member
Mar 17, 2004
449 posts
26 upvotes
I use the Edgerouter as the gateway to the network, it sits between the ISP modem and your internal setup. If your ISP provides you a router, then, you don't really need one unless you need additional configurability that the Edgerouter provides. I got most of my stuff from Fetchcart and Amazon. Unifi does have wall mounted AP's that work just as well as the ceiling mounted ones. With that being said, Unifi does say you can mount the "round" APs on vertically if needed. If your planning on installing more than 1 AP, it may take some trial and error on placement to eliminate dead spots and provide the best overlapping coverage.

I have to warn you though, Ubiquity is not consumer grade and does require some knowledge to configure as quick start setup wizards and WAP are non-existent. There are a few videos on utube and forums that provide great step by step tutorials on setup. The learning curve is a bit steep but if you have the time, its worth it as you can literally set it up once and leave it alone. If this sounds too daunting for you, a consumer grade plug n play Mesh WIFI solution would be quicker and easier. Ubiquity does have a consumer grade product line named AmpliFi. I dont have any experience with AmpliFi though. There will be a trade off for convenience over reliability and performance
Deal Addict
May 23, 2009
2829 posts
1295 upvotes
Mississauga
A pretty good summary posted by @dealhunting. I also picked up most of my gear from fetchcart.

One additional point to note is that the Edgerouter and UniFi products are different model lines under the Ubiquiti umbrella so the configuration side of things do not talk to each other. That said once configured in their separate user interfaces the Edgerouter and UniFi Wireless Access point work fully in-sync with each other.

The user interface on the Edgerouter is also easier to work with than the equivalent router under the UniFi product line. On the lower levels of each model line the Edgerouter devices also have more powerful processors at a cheaper cost so they are quite the best bang for the dollar under the Ubiquiti umbrella.
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2004
33517 posts
7147 upvotes
East Gwillimbury
@zsj495

Not sure which ISP you plan to use, but if you only have 16 drops, you only need a 16 port switch. You will already have 4 ports from the ISP modem. You lose two to connect the switch to the router. Leaving you with a total of 18.

You probably won't need 16 ports, most people just tend to use WiFi (I hate WiFi) and will probably have a few of those drops just idle.

Here is my recommendation

First, get a PoE switch. Invest the money, you will thank me later. Especially if you plan to install security cameras later on.

Get a 24 port PoE switch, stretch the budget. You don't need to buy Cisco gear, I have Cisco gear and it is a pain in the arse. You want 24 ports in case you plan to park a NAS, Home Server, security cameras etc.
Start with a single access point and see if that gives you the coverage you need. If possible, mount it on the ceiling in the hallway on the second floor. This spot is usually open to the ground floor. If your house is not complete, ask the builder for a conduit pipe and you can run a cable from the attic to the basement.

Here is the stuff I recommend, I personally don't use TP-Link, but their stuff works and it is cheap

28 Port PoE+ Gigabit Switch - TL-SG1428PE

https://www.amazon.ca/TP-Link-28-Port-G ... B08J9ZC6J5

EAP245 Access Point

https://www.amazon.ca/TP-Link-EAP245-Wi ... 07NMZR3F1/

~400$ investment. You will probably need to terminate the jacks for the 16 drops as most contractors don't do it. If you do it yourself, don't buy cheap jacks. Use a quality jack like Belden or Panduit. Expect to pay ~10$ per jack, to terminate both ends, you will spend another 320$. You can opt for a patch panel in the basement, and cut that cost in half, but then you will spend ~150$ for the patch panel so you are exactly where you started. Don't use the cheap 2$ keystone jacks. They are 2$ for a reason. You get what you pay for. Expect to pay 5$ per wall plate, that is another 80$.

If you can't stretch the budget, get a 10 port Cisco PoE switch for a third of the price used (I have one for sale from an upgrade). That should cover most of your needs

I've setup several homes for people after they moved in and they are always shocked that the builder didn't terminate the drops. If you want to get fancy, buy an ecosystem like Ubiquity or Cisco, (TP-Link has Omada) but I find that is a waste of money for home use. Most people setup their network and never look at it again. Do you really want to spend time analyzing and managing your network?

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