Home networking done right

This, ladies and gentlemen, and children of all ages, is how you do home networking correctly. First, you start with a central wiring panel:wiring-1

Notice how there is a module for cable and telephone distribution on the left and three modules for network distribution on the right? Yes, start there. Hook up the cable and phone distribution first – incoming lines go behind the module, outgoing to the house go in front. Networking lines to the house go behind the modules.


Make sure your terminations are clean – you want a little bit of slack, a little bit of what would be called a “drip loop” for an aquarium setting, but not so much that the excess cabling gets in your way.

Then you connect active computers to one or two ports elsewhere in the house and start verifying your infrastructure bits work. See the green lights on the switch? Green lights are good:


Once you’ve got one or two good distribution connections, add your home server:


Make sure it has power, and make sure your other machines can get to it in every way you need to get to it – SSH, VPN, RDP, VNC, whatever.

Now, finish cabling the distribution panel to the switch:


If you have the ability, you want to make your own custom-length cables. Seriously, you don’t want 4 foot long cables hanging down looking like an overturned bowl of spaghetti, that’s just amateurish.

Finally, add the LCD panel and keyboard for the home server, just in case you do something stupid and break network connectivity to it:


If you’re competent, you’ll use this monitor/keyboard maybe three times in your entire life, save for power loss events which are really the power company’s fault, not yours.

Now, young padawan, go enjoy the fruits of your labor – if you’ve managed to get everything accomplished properly, you deserve a beer. Which is where I am headed as soon as I hit the “Publish” button!

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