The Perfect Home Network

After struggling with my personal home network for several months I finally have my home network setup perfectly (or as perfect as I’ll make it).

 

Network Setup

Here is where I ended up with the network devices for my house.

Hardware :

U-Verse Wireless Gateway – Connects voice, video, and data for my U-Verse service.

ZyXEL ZyWALL USG20 – Firewall and responsible for issuing IP addresses.

D-Link DAP-1522 x 2 – Wireless access points.  I have them on opposite ends of the house connected to the ZyXEL ZyWALL USG20 via Cat6.

Summary:

The U-Verse Wireless Gateway connects to the ZyXEL router which handles all the IP addressing for the network.  The two D-Link wireless access points are then connected via Cat6 and positioned on opposite ends of the house.  Then using the instructions from Scott Hansleman’s post (here), the two wireless access points broadcast on the same SSID with the same credentials allowing seamless wireless connectivity throughout the house.  The D-Link Access points forced me to switch to Access Point mode, which turns off any IP addressing which allowed the ZyXEL to take all that on.

The total cost for this was close to $250, so it isn’t for the faint of heart.  However, since installing this system 8 months ago I haven’t had a single Wi-Fi issue, and very good to excellent signal strength in all corners of my house.

The final step was to create a simple HTML page with links to all my devices admin pages.  I share that to all my machines using SkyDrive, but comes in handy if I need to make any changes.

Admin

 

Wire everywhere you can

I ended up having to run wire to my home office on the first floor to my wired network in the basement.  Having a finished basement didn’t help, but I was use a wire snake and some ingenuity to get Cat6 into the office.  This replaced a problematic wireless bridge that I was using before to connect my office to my network.  The result was network speeds of ~560mbps, which was a huge improvement from my previous ~60mbps.

Hardware:

75 Feet Cat6 Cable x 2 – I ran a Cat6 cable to my TV at the same time as the office and the den share a wall.

NETGEAR GS105 – Gigabit Switch – Simple switch in the office that allows me to connect multiple device with network cables.

Keystone Wall Plate(s) and Connectors – Plates to ensure I don’t just have wires coming out of my walls.  I use male female connectors, but you can just as easily splice your own Cat6 cables and use other connectors.

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