Help deciding best network options ofr garage/office
September 2, 2014 3:30 PM   Subscribe

I am converting my garage into an office and want to design the most logical way to route my data?

I want to make the best decisions about working my network in a newly renovated garage office.

I have a new conduit ready and available for data or other lines, here is what I have already.

The cable comes into the main house
I have a 4 port SurfBand Modem from TWC in the house
I have a hardline in the house run to a FreindlyNet 4 port switch
I have a Iomega NAS
Bose 2800 Lifestyle System for a Sony Bravia (no ethernet ports on any of these)
Two Computers
Apple Time Capsule

In the new configuration I (think) I will have:
Main House:
Cable Line comes in
Router, TWC SurfBand or perhaps a new router I will purchase that maybe even has more than 4 ports?
TV and Bose 2800 Lifestyle System in house unless I go to a new audi system that will allow from separately music playback in main house and office (recommendations on a new, relatively inexpensive system would be great here)

In the Office Garage I will have:
Two Apple Computers
Iomega NAS
FreindlyNet 4 Port switch
Apple Time Capsule

All I really need to figure out sooner is whether I just need to run a CAT5 cable in the new conduit and thats it, or is there anything else I should put in the conduit for the heck of it or for future proofing? Is there a recommend on type of CAT5 cable, it is not a long run, about 100'

Also, is there great place to look for CAT5 connectors, wall plugs and such?


posted by silsurf to Computers & Internet (3 answers total)
Monoprice has reasonably priced networking or A/V products, and they often have sales.

Since you already have conduit (you didn't specify what kind) in place, you can put in a pull wire to make it easy for future cables. Use minimum cat5e and look into the different type of cabling/connectors.
posted by palionex at 4:04 PM on September 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

posted by silsurf at 4:27 PM on September 2, 2014

If you can fit more than one piece of Cat5 (and really, you're using Cat5e or Cat6 here, I hope, not ancient Cat5), pull two at least. And if that doesn't fill the conduit I'd also pull some string alongside it, so that in the future you can easily pull something else.

Even if you only "light" one run of Cat5 right now, the other provides a backup in case something happens to the cable in the future, and of course if you really need more bandwidth you can bond the two together, or use them for physically separate networks if you had a need (e.g. one for your regular data/Internet network and one for some future video-over-IP network).

Anyway the rest of your plan seems sound. The equipment at the endpoints is honestly not as important as the cable in the walls, because it's the cable is the hard part to replace. You can always upgrade the routers/switches in the future.

Except that GigE switches are now really cheap, I wouldn't even pay for gigabit in a lot of domestic installations; 100BT is fine for most uses. (Most people overestimate the importance of bandwidth and underestimate the pain of latency, IMO.) The one place I'd definitely get GigE is between the home office and the rest of the house. That's sort of your "backbone", and you will probably want a switch on either end (the switch on one end may be built into your router). Some older switches only have 1 GigE port and a bunch of 100BT ports; if you have one of those sitting around they'd be fine. But if you're buying all new gear you can just buy Gig switches, it doesn't matter.
posted by Kadin2048 at 7:24 PM on September 2, 2014

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