Help sought with house ethernet choices

I have recently moved into a new house and while many rooms are Cat 6 cabled, the developer omitted to fit a switch in the loft. A frustrating couple of hours tracking down why we couldn’t access the internet!

However this presents an opportunity and hence this thread.

In a couple of weeks I am having a dedicated mains installed and I have the opportunity to run additional ethernet cables while having a 16 port Netgear switch fitted. My questions are about connection to the AV and Hi Fi systems which share a room. My ND5 XS2 is currently operating on wireless but I prefer hard wiring.

Is it likely that SQ will be improved if the AV devices are on a separate network cable to the streamer?
If so, where would it be best to deploy my EE8 switch? In the loft, after the Netgear and then feeding only the streamer or at the end of the ethernet cable and then utilising my Shunyata cable from the EE8 to the streamer?

I have read @Simon-in-Suffolk 's helpful technical advice and while I don’t want to go further down a worm hole, I have a one off opportunity to make a good installation choice so have to make a decision and don’t have the opportunity to explore options. Thanks in advance.

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Put together ee8 as close to the streamer as possible so I’d run from the netgear in the loft to ee8 then 1m or so Ethernet to streamer .


As @Hifi-dog says, as near to the streamer with a short Ethernet cable.



Thanks to @DiggyGun and @Hifi-dog for clear answers. If I did this, would it be better to have the AV set up on a separate feed and switch rather than also being fed by the EE8?

I have my TV connected to my EE8 with no noticeable issues.


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Having been through this, my advice is to put in more Ethernet cables/RJ 45 wall sockets in each room than you think you might need at present. Maybe twice as many. It’s amazing how devices add up over time. I’d also suggest a 24 port switch to accommodate them. I went for a 48 port switch in my data rack as I have several NAS boxes and servers.

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Yep. I have all my av stuff on a netgear hung if the bt router and a feed from router to ee8 for hifi

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I have the streamer, TV and AV amp on the EE8 and it’s absolutely fine, none of the three connections are being used at once after all.

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Ok if not too late I recommend Ethernet cables put in plastic ducting… it makes swapping it easier in the future.
I would also suggest two parallel Ethernet leads to each of your main room say from a core area.
You mention too late for the loft, perhaps the cupboard under the stairs, perhaps where your fibre or VDSL connection is arriving.
I would recommend core switch, perhaps a 24 port. I personally would go for Ubiquiti device or a Cisco Catalyst 1000 or 9200.
If you are using wifi access points, I recommend PoE, so you might want to have a PoE variant of the above… that means you power your house wifi APs from this core switch without having separate numerous power supplies.
As far ‘audiophile’ switch… I would connect that to the structured wiring in your room in your to suite… or not bother depending on viewpoint or preference.

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Thanks to all for your advice - much appreciated. In our last house, I had the streamer, wireless AP and AV kit all coming off the EE8 switch. It seems counter-intuitive that they don’t cross interfere but I never tested to see if I could detect an effect. I will definitely have at least two, if not three wired feeds as there is one in the main room already.

@Simon-in-Suffolk . Thank you Simon, concise and helpful advice as always.

The main network switch will go in the loft. I bought a recommended Netgear 16 Port Gigabit Switch (GS116UK) but it does not have PoE capability.

I would be willing to buy something like the Ubiquiti USW-Lite-16-PoE switch (about £200) if it was really needed in my modest set up. I will be having some wired access points added but the only other addition will be for the Hi Fi and AV kit - my fitter is confident he can get extra cables into this room. Unfortunately running directly from the Openreach point is probably too difficult but I will ask him to look at this.

Is it worth changing the switch and if so, is the Ubiquiti easy enough to configure? My previous house had Ubiquiti APs and the cloud based set up was beyond me and I had to buy in help. The Netgear is ‘plug and play’. Thanks in advance.

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Probably not if you have bought the switch already. You can add PoE injectors, it’s just it is more clutter compared to a PoE switch. That Netgear switch will work, but it is as basic as they come so you are limited to what you can do with it, but it might be fine if all you doing is simply providing basic switched ports as a daisy chain to your home broadband router on a single subnet as opposed designing more of a home network. I personally would get a switch that at least supports IGMP snooping and port aggregation as my core switch… with a view to home audio applications.

You can use PoE to power other switches capable of being PoE powered (again Ubuiquiti, Cisco as well as Netgear provide these). I find PoE can be useful for cutting down prevalence of noisy power supplies.

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I only needed one POE feed to power my single ceiling mounted AP that gives sufficient coverage, so I opted for a cheaper non-POE switch and an injector.

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Hopefully this isn’t straying off topic, and is just hijacking a thread with another query on POE switches. At present I have a BT Home Hub 5 with the older black discs as a mesh network. Each of the discs is connected by ethernet through a chain of switches (not ideal I know, but there was only one cable that was directly connected to the HH5 and I’m not pulling off all the skirtings again…) The wired backhaul was used as the house is traditional build and I never got more than “good” on the BT app for the quality of the disc signals. Sometimes two of the discs were “poor”, and they are now always “excellent”.

The cable from the HH5 goes to a 16 port unmanaged Linksys switch, which feeds my TV box, PS5, AV setup and a NAS drive. Two cables run from the Linksys out through the wall, up the drainpipe and into the loft (external cable used). One of those goes directly to a BT disc, the other to a 5 port Netgear unmanaged switch. From there, 3 cables lead directly to BT discs and the 4th to yet another switch in the garage, which is kitted out as a home gym. That switch feeds an old UnitiQube and a TV, both of which have terrible wireless capabilities so need to be cabled.

The question is, if I replace the 16 port unmanaged Linksys with a POE switch, AND replace the intermediary 5 port Netgear with another POE switch, can the POE element of the first switch then pass through the intermediary switch and on to the third one? If so, just how many jumps can the power make through a chain of POE switches?

Main reason for asking is that a loft conversion is being planned, and if I can remove the need for power to the second and third switches it tidies up a few elements of the plans.

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Your APs have to be PoE capable. The BT/EE discs are not suitably capable and need a local attached power supply.
PoE connectivity doesn’t jump through a chain… the PoE port has to connect directly to the powered device. The power negotiation protocol is independent of the network connectivity


Thanks Simon. The discs all have their own power supplies. The query is about power for the switches, or the chain of them. Sorry if I wasn’t clear!

See my above post. There is no concept of chaining PoE. PoE only exists between the powering device and the powered device that must be directly connected over a link, whether that be a switch, an ip phone, camera or wifi access point etc.
A powering device will be graded to provide a certain amount of power for all its attached powered devices… and the PoE negotiation protocol will manage the power brokering.


Thanks again Simon, so just to confirm for my simple mind. A POE switch can power devices along the chain, which could include another switch. But, even if that second switch is POE capable, the capability of that second switch to provide power doesn’t mean that the power it receives from the first switch can then transmit to further devices?

There are very few switches that I’m aware of being powered by POE and you would only connect a switch to a switch and not daisy chain them.

Cisco did some ages ago.

Aruba do an InstantOn range of equipment and the AP11D that combines a small 4 port Ethernet switch and access-point, there is also another higher spec one the AP22D.

The Aruba InstantOn kit is cloud managed and IMO more superior to the Ubiquity kit.