1

I'm trying to decide between two home network layouts. Here are my goals that I'm trying to achieve:.

Network Goals

  • IPv6 Support
  • WAN and LAN speeds capable of handling 2-3 HD video streams (HD Netflix as an example)
  • Wireless access for mobile devices, wired access for stationary devices

Commonalities Between Both Options

  • 50Mbps Comcast connection (IPv6 ready)
  • DOCSIS 3.0/IPv6 capable cable modem (strictly just a modem)
  • Single Drop Area with Coax+Ethernet to 5 Rooms (reasonably short runs)
  • Drop Area is in the basement and isn't ideal for WiFi
  • CAT6 house wiring + CAT6 patch cables
  • 802.11ac/IPv6 capable wireless router
  • Any choice-specific device will be Gigabit speed/IPv6 capable
  • Per-room Hubs/Switches will be installed if needed to support that room's wired devices

Choice 1

Main Coax -> 2-way Splitter -> Coax run to Central Room -> Coax Patch -> Modem -> Ethernet Patch -> WiFi Router -> Ethernet Patch -> Ethernet run back to Drop Area -> 5+ Port Switch -> 4 remaining Rooms via Ethernet runs -> Ethernet Patches -> Wired Devices

2 hops for wireless clients and clients wired into the WiFi Router. 3 hops for wired clients wired directly to a Room's Ethernet Jack. 4 Hops for wired clients in Rooms that require an addition Switch/Hub.

The Splitter's other output will go to a 4/5-way Splitter to provide TV services to the remaining rooms (can HD TV signals be split like this?).

Choice 2

Main Coax -> 4/5-way Splitter -> Coax Patch -> Modem -> Ethernet Patch -> 5+ Port Wired Router -> Ethernet runs to all Rooms -> Ethernet Patch in Central Room -> WiFi Router

3 hops for wireless clients and clients wired into the WiFi Router. 2 hops for wired clients wired directly to a Room's Ethernet Jack. 3 Hops for wired clients in Rooms that require an addition Switch/Hub.

The Splitter's other outputs will provide TV services to the remaining rooms

Question

As long as Coax signal degradation isn't bad enough to sacrifice any of my goals, Choice 1 seems superior since it should be cheaper and only requires 1 routing capable device. But would it work given the Coax splits and multiple run traversals for some clients?

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Your cable modem should be installed after only one split from the drop Comcast gives you. Your cable modem will probably have at least a 4 port switch built-in, so you could possibly run one patch cable to your wifi router to the modem, and a second patch cable to a separate switch that serves your wired ports. In other words, directly connect your wifi router to your modem on one port, and your switch that serves your other wired ports to another modem port. By directly, I mean that there's no other powered devices between modem and wireless router, and modem and switch.

Because too much signal is lost from a 4 or 5-way splitter (matters most to upstream; there's usually plenty of downstream signal) the second option you describe, is not recommended. As well, Comcast will put a small barrel filter on the leg of the splitter that serves your TVs; this will keep ingress noise from your TVs and additional coax from interfering with your modem's upstream signal.

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