Router with 15 ports or more?


Senior Member
I want to network my entire house. I want all my wires to run to a central point in my basement and connect to a router allowing me to have one cable modem supply 15 differnt locations with the internet. I would also like the router to have wirless capabilities just in case there is that one place in the house the doesnt have a Wired connection when i need it.

I have never bought a router with more than 4 ports. So what will i need to buy? My current router is a Netgear Wirless 4-port. I really like the netgear since it seems to be easy to setup. But im open for any brand. I'd like to keep the cost as low as possible since im probably going to be spending a fortune or wire and parts for the project already.


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I haven't seen a SOHO router with more than 4 or maybe 5 ports either, but you don't need it. Just hook a simple cheap network switch into the router "outputs" and then plug your computers into the switch. You can use an 8 (or 16 or whatever) port switch on one (or more) of your router ports to expand it. If you have a bunch of network connections in one remote area, run a single cable from the router to that area, then put a switch there. It saves wiring, but isn't as flexible if you possibly plan on using the network wiring for other HA purposes. It can also keep your router from getting saturated (busy) if you are doing a lot of local computer to local computer traffic.
I have a 24 port Dell switch that I'm happy with (10/100, no gigabit). I don't need 24 ports, but it was on sale.

Dell PowerConnect switches

My Linksys router connects to the switch and then all other devices connect to that. I don't need to use the switch built in to the router any more.

I do have remote 8 and 5 port switches that connect to this switch. I'm gradually removing them from use, but this requires routing a lot more wires so they probably won't be removed completely.
What i plan on doing is using a few touch screens (maybe 3) around the house to control the house. I will have my server PC in the basement which is also where the router will be. All the other locations will be so i can plug in my laptop or so that someone else can plug in their laptop and easily connect to the internet.

So what you are saying is that i can use my 4 port wireless router and connect an 8 port switch on my living room floor and another 8 port switch on my second floor and have the capabilites of having 16 internet connections at once. I could also have a 8 port switch in the basement giving me a total of 24 possible connections and a fairly cheap price.

What type of setup is required to get the switch and Router working together?

Also will having 24 possible connections slow down my internet speed alot even if im only using 4 of them at a time or does the traffic only slow as the connections are active?
What type of setup is required to get the switch and Router working together?
An ethernet cable. There is no configuration required (until you get to much fancier and more expensive hardware than you are likely to need).

You connect the cable between one of the ports in the router and an uplink port in the switch. These days, many switches don't even have an uplink port - they are smart enough to reconfigure a port to work automatically (which is the case with the Dells linked above).

You can connect the three 8 port switches to your router without any problems. It will not cause any slowdowns when there is no traffic - you can add as many "dead ends" as you want.

Traffic is automatically routed through switches and only goes to the ports involved (unlike hubs which route traffic to every port). You want to avoid hubs - but since switches have become so cheap, it's getting harder to find hubs anyway.

With your remote 8-port switches, all traffic between ports on one of those switches will stay inside the switch and not interfere with anything else on your network. But, all traffic going to any port on that switch from outside the switch (like from a remote server) must go through the single connection. If you try and do 8 video feeds from a server through that switch, they will all need to go through the single 100mbps connection back to your router.

If you need large amounts of data going to multiple ports, you may want to run multiple connections to a single switch instead of the remote switches. This is unlikely to be a concern in typical home conditions.
pretty much everything was said, the only thing I can add is to make sure you watch which port you plug the switch in, many routers have a shared uplink/last port, so you can't use the last regular port if you are using the uplink port. Not a big deal, but if you aren't familiar with this, you might be ripping your network apart because your switch won't work right ;)
and if you want to go over the top, you can even daisy chain and fan out your switches.

So you could have:
| |
switch#2 switch#3
| |
switch#4 switch#5
that's what I do, works great, I am ready for GigE tho, which means upgrading my switches ;)
Not likely in a home lan, but I thought there was a limit on how many daisy chains one could use. I remember reading an IT disaster story of a hospital that was brought to a crawl when the IT infrastructure collapsed. Very expensive help later revealed that there were too many hubs / (switches?) in a row that started causing blockages which then caused the network to die.
Ethernet specs for 10bT and 100bT is limited to 5 segments and 4 devices (switch, hub) without a router. It is best to create a star topology, if possible, with the router in the center and no more than 3 devices between any two outer-most machines (nodes). A single cable run should be less than 100 meters, or max 330 feet.

This is dated, but it has the basics for up to 10 and 100 cat 5e UTP:

and to get really technical, try this link:

I had this configuration on my network at home:

Server - switch - switch - switch - networked media device

I noticed occasional glitches when I was watching video over this path (delays in the video). This would happen even when there was no other activity on the network. I removed one of the switches and everything is ok.

The switches were daisy-chained from room to room. Now, I'm running more wires instead.
I added a 24 port switch in my server rack when I moved into my new house. I like to "home run" all the wires instead of using intermediate switches because it increases the flexability and potential throughput of the network. It can be more of a pain to run all the wires though. Luckily for me I have a 1 story house with a full basement so running the wires wasn't too bad.