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Very basic home networking question.


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Current home network is very simple. It looks like this:

 

[Cable Modem] --------- [Airport Extreme wireless/wired router] --------- [all devices]

 

However, my Apple TV2 and Mac mini are located very close to the cable modem, but are currently served from the wireless router.

I'd like to put a switch between the modem (which can assign several IP addresses, according to the instructions) and the wireless router. However, I would like all the devices that the wireless router serves to see the mac mini and the ATV2.

 

Would this work?

[Cable Modem] ------------[Gigabye Switch]---- [Airport Extreme wireless/wired router] ---- [most devices]
                 |
	  |
	  |
	  |
  [Apple TV2 and Mac Mini]

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it depends:

 

If as Nes said and the cable modem is the true router then you can and should put a switch in and get rid of as much wifi traffick as possible.

 

however if your airport extreme does the routing for the network then no - it wont work.

 

The device that assigns the IP addresses is the router on the network - the modem used in bridging mode is literally like a phone which just makes the connection with the ISP. the router handles the actual communication with the ISP and local network

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Why not plug the switch into the AirPort Extreme?

Auralic Aries G2, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, Revel Ultima Studio2, Iconoclast speaker cables & interconnects, RealTraps acoustic treatments, Sonore opticalModule (X2)

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if your airport extreme does the routing for the network then no - it wont work.

 

That's what I was afraid of (and yes, I want to keep it that way).

 

Why not plug the switch into the AirPort Extreme?

 

Well, I have, but the Airport extreme is located about 15 ft away from the cable modem, which is only inches away from my ATV2 and Mac mini. (I don't/can't move the Airport extreme, and I don't want to pull more wires under the house.)

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Do you have a free coax line near where you want the ATV2? Is your modem MoCA compatible?

Auralic Aries G2, Ayre QX-5 Twenty, Ayre KX-5 Twenty, Ayre VX-5 Twenty, Revel Ultima Studio2, Iconoclast speaker cables & interconnects, RealTraps acoustic treatments, Sonore opticalModule (X2)

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may i ask why you want the hardwired connection?

 

dont get me wrong i believe that hardwired is always best - but are the ATV and mac mini not getting the speeds you want through the wifi?

 

In the case of the mini, it occasionally loses the wireless network connection after a reboot. In the case of the ATV2, because it is there.

 

Neither reason is compelling, I agree.

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Not for this, but for my bedroom ATV, where it could make a significant difference.

 

(In a way, I already have that (my solar panel inverters feed data onto the powerline and that is then harvested) and the two protocols may clash, so I haven't messed with it.)

 

I might give this a try:

http://www.amazon.com/Ethernet-Splitter-Sharing-Networking-Computer/dp/B002BVQF5A

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This is what I do:

 

[cable modem] <-> [firewall router/DHCP server]

<-> [airport extreme]

<-> [switch]

 

1: firewalls are cheap

2: I can create access rules/lights out rules for the entire network at one point

3: it is best practice to have a single device connect to the external network and I don't trust the cable modem.

Custom room treatments for headphone users.

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This is what I do:

 

[cable modem] <-> [firewall router/DHCP server]

<-> [airport extreme]

<-> [switch]

 

1: firewalls are cheap

2: I can create access rules/lights out rules for the entire network at one point

3: it is best practice to have a single device connect to the external network and I don't trust the cable modem.

 

Yeah, I guess that is the most sensible way to do it. I assume then you just use the airport extreme in Bridge mode?

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jabbr i dont quite get what you are suggesting...

 

do you mean to install a router next to the cable modem and then just use the airport extreme as a regular switch?

 

If you use it as a bridge, it works kind of like an intelligent switch. It essentially takes over assigning IPs for the upstream router for all the devices downstream.

 

I guess I answered my own question: That topology will work if you let the Cable Modem function as the router (or get a real wired router), and run the Airport Extreme in bridge mode.

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Yeah, I guess that is the most sensible way to do it. I assume then you just use the airport extreme in Bridge mode?

 

Airport extreme in "bridge mode" is for building wireless networks with multiple airport extremes. Just use it regular, but switch off DHCP and let the firewall router handle that. Airport will then route between wireless and wired, and the firewall will route between internal and external.

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jabbr i dont quite get what you are suggesting...

 

do you mean to install a router next to the cable modem and then just use the airport extreme as a regular switch?

 

The firewall/router will have a single port that goes to "external" (WAN) ... that connects to the cable modem. The firewall/router will have multiple ports (e.g. 4) that connect to "internal" (LAN) ... connect 1 port to the wireless router and one port to the switch. The wireless router still routes between wireless connections and the wired network.

 

FWIW: I've had a Cisco/Linksys RVS4000 for years which gets the job done ... and can be picked up cheap on ebay. You could also build something with pfsense etc. RVS4000

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Airport extreme in "bridge mode" is for building wireless networks with multiple airport extremes. Just use it regular, but switch off DHCP and let the firewall router handle that. Airport will then route between wireless and wired, and the firewall will route between internal and external.

 

What you are describing is what Apple at least calls bridge mode. (I used to have it set up that way when I had DSL).

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