Currently we have a D-Link DI-524, which is a wireless router with 4 wired Ethernet ports, and an uplink port. The uplink port is plugged into the cable modem, and 2 of the 4 Ethernet ports have our desktops plugged into them. Sometimes we plug in our laptops, too, for better bandwidth, or other computers for various purposes.
We're renovating our house and putting Ethernet ports in each room. They're all running to a 12-port patch panel in the office, but clearly we're going to need a different router/switch in order to plug them all in.
So the question is this: What should we get? We want to keep the wireless capability, but I'm having trouble finding any 8-port wired switches that also have wireless (and that fit into a home budget). I imagine it should be possible to plug an 8-port switch into 6 of the patch panel ports, use 1 of the remaining switch ports to connect to the cable modem, and the last port to connect the old wireless router in some capacity... and then we can plug the 4 ports on the wireless switch into 4 of the panel ports (leaving 2 panel ports unused, but that's fine for now). I thought I had a grasp on the difference between a switch and a router, but everyone seems to play fast and loose with the terms, so two different people saying "switch" might mean two radically different things.
Anyway, unless someone knows of an affordable 12-wired-port-plus-wireless switch/router, anyone got any advice?