Home Network Setup



  • Currently I have a gigabit network off of one 8-port SMC switch which needs to be doubled.  The cables just hang through a hole in the closet and need to be done correctly.

    I think I may get a simple 8-port TP-Link.  I already got an 8-port SMC gigabit so between the two I should have enough.  I debated about getting a rack mount TP-Link 24-port but the price ($150) is well more than what I need and if I need another 8-ports I can always purchase an additional one of the above for 24 ports total.

    I'm also going to install a patch panel vs. having all the ends just hanging in through a hole in the wall.  I'm thinking about a Tripp-Lite N052-024. Question is the specs state Connector A RJ-45 x12 and Connector B RJ-45 x12 and what is the difference between A&B?  Is this pertaining to the wiring standards A&B?  I have always done B and am wondering if there is some reason I couldn't just do B on all 24 ports.  Is there a different brand to consider for a home installation?

    For a wall mount I'm thinking about a Tripp-Lite N060-002 2U. I really only need a 1U for the 24 ports but I can only find 2U and 4U.

    For the pfsense I'm thinking 4 additional ENCORE ENLGA-1320 NICs for the purpose of:

    1. Server / backup server / NAS switch
    2. Personal PCs switch
    3. VoIP / WIFI
    4. Son's PC if I can get pfsense to assign his computer the OpenDNS DNS settings as he'll eventually figure out the static way.

    Hopefully I'll be able to get the above 1-3 to communicate with each other if possible.

    Any suggestions, recommendations, or quality warnings on this setup?  A little off topic but tied together with the NIC cards…



  • most network devices auto negotiate now so a or B doesnt matter, if i remember correctly B is most widely used and it is what I use on my network, out of all the cables I have use in the past 10 yrs I have never worried about it and only 1 was wired for A, and it was used successfully on a B network.

    Patch panel is best or use jacks.
    You can get a patch panel that mounts on the wall versus a rack mount, price is a little more though size is smaller.

    For number 4,
    if opendns is just for him do this: use squid/squidguard/dns blacklist/lightsquid

    Looks good otherwise.



  • @XIII:

    most network devices auto negotiate now so a or B doesnt matter, if i remember correctly B is most widely used and it is what I use on my network, out of all the cables I have use in the past 10 yrs I have never worried about it and only 1 was wired for A, and it was used successfully on a B network.

    Patch panel is best or use jacks.
    You can get a patch panel that mounts on the wall versus a rack mount, price is a little more though size is smaller.

    For number 4,
    if opendns is just for him do this: use squid/squidguard/dns blacklist/lightsquid

    Looks good otherwise.

    Thanks for the response.  Well then, I'll plan on this equipment.  I just didn't see why they have 12 ports as A and 12 ports as B on the patch panel itself.  A wire is a wire no matter what the color coding is on the jacks themselves unless physically different between A & B.

    If you're saying that squid will forward the OpenDNS settings to the NIC that will be connected directly to this PC via twisted pair then I'll attempt that.  Thank you!



  • squid will not forward the OpenDNS settings, you will use squid/dns blacklist etc for your sons interface so that you can access sites that he cant. OpenDNS is network wide, meaning if you block pfsense.org for him then it is blocked for you as well. also OpenDNS can be defeated by using the ip of the site one wants to access instead of the name.

    I havent seen a panel with 12 as a and 12 as b, normally there is the color code scheme for both a and b present.

    Also I would recommend Intel NICs as they are supported A LOT better. Not sure which realtek chip they use, but some have problems, be warned. I do use realteks myself only issues I have had are with their 8139 (i think will have to check on it), every so often on reboot it is not detected, so I have to reboot it to fix it.

    heres what i do to make it so only authorized stuff is accessed:

    I employ egress filtering:
    i have a firewall rules that:
    allows access to my box via DNS and then a rule to block access to other dns servers. pfSnese has OpenDNS for its DNS so everyone is forced to use them with this setup
    only certain ports and protocols are allowed out, this is done via aliases
    country block package with every country that i dont do biz with blocked both in and out
    DNS Blacklist package with selected categories blocked
    squid for caching http sites, helps to speed up the browsing
    squidguard/light squid are for Internet filtering these block both urls and ips, whereas OpenDNS is url only.



  • @XIII:

    squid will not forward the OpenDNS settings, you will use squid/dns blacklist etc for your sons interface so that you can access sites that he cant. OpenDNS is network wide, meaning if you block pfsense.org for him then it is blocked for you as well. also OpenDNS can be defeated by using the ip of the site one wants to access instead of the name.

    I havent seen a panel with 12 as a and 12 as b, normally there is the color code scheme for both a and b present.

    Also I would recommend Intel NICs as they are supported A LOT better. Not sure which realtek chip they use, but some have problems, be warned. I do use realteks myself only issues I have had are with their 8139 (i think will have to check on it), every so often on reboot it is not detected, so I have to reboot it to fix it.

    heres what i do to make it so only authorized stuff is accessed:

    I employ egress filtering:
    i have a firewall rules that:
    allows access to my box via DNS and then a rule to block access to other dns servers. pfSnese has OpenDNS for its DNS so everyone is forced to use them with this setup
    only certain ports and protocols are allowed out, this is done via aliases
    country block package with every country that i dont do biz with blocked both in and out
    DNS Blacklist package with selected categories blocked
    squid for caching http sites, helps to speed up the browsing
    squidguard/light squid are for Internet filtering these block both urls and ips, whereas OpenDNS is url only.

    THANK YOU.  This is really good information.  I'll be in touch as to how all of this pans out.



  • I believe the reference to 'A' and 'B' just means that the 24 ports are split into 2 groups of 12 ports (if they're board mounted connectors, this allows a hybrid of different CAT standards or Shielded/ Unshielded configurations by switching out one of the boards).
    That is, group 'A' has 12 ports and group 'B' has 12 ports.  It shouldn't be a reference to the TIA/EIA wiring scheme.


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