04
Apr
2018

An Overview of my Home Network

I must admit that it is nice to have ultimate control over your network. I was not happy with the limited control that comes with ISP routers – it was time to step things up with a reliable setup.

So behold! Below is my slightly over-complicated network setup:

Network Map

So let’s start at the Internet jack in the living room. I have a phone table on which there is a Netgear DM200 modem:

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This is a cheap and simple modem that takes a VDSL/2 signal and chucks it down a 15m ethernet cable that snakes around to the study. Once I’ve disabled the routing mode of the modem and setup the internet connection, it can be plugged into one of the ports on the OPNSense router.

From there it gets, well, routed and sent over to my TP-Link SG108E Gigabit Smart Switch:

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This is an 8-port switch that has some additional capabilities – such as being able to set up VLANs or do things like link aggregation (the NAS now has a 2Gbit link). This switch connects the NAS, printer, PC and WiFI access point, which is a Netgear AC750 Access Point that plugs into the wall. It provides plenty of WiFi around the flat at pretty decent 802.11ac speeds.

For the smart TV and Steam Link I am passing the local network over to the living room via TP-Link 1200Mbps PowerLine. The wiring in this flat is quite new so the PowerLine link is very good – meaning I can use the Steam Link to stream games to the TV from the PC as if I was playing them directly on the PC.

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This is a shot of the wall sockets in use – the equipment “rack” is connected to the power meter on the left, and the 1200MB Mbit PowerLine with the AC750 WiFi access point on the right.

I like this setup since its compact and still provides easy access to power buttons. The other end of the PowerLine link comes out behind the TV, which then plugs into a very basic 10/100 Mbit switch that supplies the TV and Steam Link (which are both 100 Mbit devices anyway).

IMG-20180211-WA0003

Above you can see the equipment “rack” (an old TV stand) with the gear all set up. This was taken when I was using a different WiFi access point that proved to be too flaky, so I moved to the Netgear AC750. The printer is a Brother MFC-J5910DW I got from a friend – totally overkill for me but it works and is networked in!

The bottom shelf has the router and switch, the middle holds the 2016 NAS and on top is the massive printer.

This has been a very fun project to put together – and it works very nicely. Aside from my own blunders, this has been rock-solid. If I had to improve something – I should have got a 16-port switch instead of the 8. I have used up every port so if I want to host a LAN party then I have to unplug things… not ideal!

Fortunately I can just use the ethernet cable running to the PC (which is fairly long) and use yet another switch!

Though… thinking about it… I could also jump on the 10 Gbit bandwagon at some point! NICs still need to come down in price a little bit before I go down that road! Maybe in the future – but for now regular 1 gigabit is fine.

That’s all for now! Let me know what you would add/improve in the comments!

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