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I've just moved into a new house, and I'm trying to get the network setup to be the best I can.

Currently my ISP supplies a router that I need to use, and that only provides a single port for the internal network to use. It is mounted in a small cabinet with metal walls, together with a patch panel where single cat6 cables run to various rooms in the house.

The router has very limited functionality, and I'd much rather use an Asus RT-AC66U or similar, and be able to manage both wifi and network configuration from a single device. (Scheduling, DHCP, QoS, etc). Any other devices in my home would use the RT-AC66U as a gateway, both wired and wireless devices.

I could simply stuff the RT-AC66U into the small cabinet and place it in the ISP router's DMZ, but because of the metal walls the wifi coverage would be less than ideal.

What I'm wondering is if it is possible to place the RT-AC66U elsewhere in the house, simply by placing a switch in the cabinet instead. Like this:

Network sketch

Where the switch would be connected to each port on the patch panel.

Will this work? Or do you have any other suggestions on how to solve this? I want to keep the gigabit capability, so network splitters are not an option, AFAIK.

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The modem/router only provides a single port for the internal network to use? Are you sure? Most ISP modem/routers come with at least 4 ports... one that comes with ONE Ethernet port is usually just a modem... – Big Chris Jul 16 '14 at 12:53
From your diagram what you're trying to do is fairly straightforward but you're going to need to make sure your ISP router is providing DHCP to your network and turn off DHCP on your wireless router. Many wireless routers can have the router functionality turned off so that it acts as a wireless access point or bridge ("bridge mode"). You could then put the wifi box wherever you please around your building. There are a number of tutorials on how to use a wifi modem/router as an access point in existing networks. – Big Chris Jul 16 '14 at 13:07
I'm sure. It actually has 4 ports, but three of them are dedicated to IPTV and are marked as such on the router. – Vegard Jul 16 '14 at 13:09
The problem with bridge mode for the RT-AC66U is that it disables the firewall, IP sharing, and NAT. This are features that are poorly supported on the ISP router, and one of the reasons I'd rather deal only with the wifi router internally. – Vegard Jul 16 '14 at 13:17
then no, this topology will not work. Routers are by definition devices with two sides, and every device in the world is on one side or the other. in this case, you would have local clients on both sides of the router. I'd just put the router inline before the switch, and get an AP that you can deploy on the other end of the house where wifi is poor. – Frank Thomas Jul 16 '14 at 14:02

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