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Old 09-11-2014, 08:24 AM   #1
wmcbrine
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Why does the Mini literature push MoCA?

Looking at the "Start Here" flyer, I find this quite bizarre:

"... via a MoCA network (recommended) or an Ethernet network."

and "MoCA network (recommended)" appears twice more on the same page. Now, I understand that a MoCA option is a great boon to people -- and I understand there are many -- whose houses are already wired with multiple TV drops, but without Ethernet. But, if Ethernet is available, when and how would MoCA ever be preferable? That's a rhetorical question, since to me, the answer is "never"; but I assume there was some (misguided?) thought behind the flyer, and I'm curious to know what it was.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:52 AM   #2
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So tivo support doesnt have to troubleshoot ethernet, routers, firewalls, etc. They want the KISS principle, chances are that more people have pluses and pro and its easier to troubleshoot. tivo to ethernet and all you need to do is hook up a mini to coax.

Its more of a subliminal suggestion for the average user so they follow directions in order for it to work at the recommended way that Tivo wants them to use it. There is a science to all of this.
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Old 09-11-2014, 09:05 AM   #3
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Does it really matter much? To the user, whether using MoCA of Ethernet it will seem identical. All my Minis are on MoCA while my Pro, Basic, and Premiere use EThernet.
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Old 09-11-2014, 12:42 PM   #4
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I kind of thought it would be the opposite with the ethernet being simpler compared to MoCA since ethernet has been around for a much longer time and are more familiar with it on routers and computers whereas with MoCA many people don't even know what it is, plus it's harder to troubleshoot remotely because of the variables with splitters and quality of coax and PoE filters not to mention possible interference and noise from other devices bleeding in. The simplicity of installing MoCA is a lot better than running ethernet all over, but with troubleshooting it's kind of the opposite.
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Old 09-11-2014, 01:51 PM   #5
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I haven't gotten my MoCA filter, and don't have a direct ethernet line to where the Mini is, so right now I'm using a Netgear WNCE3001 wireless bridge. It actually works fairly well. A couple of hiccups here and there, but usable as a placeholder until I can get MoCA up.
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Old 09-11-2014, 03:08 PM   #6
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Almost all places someone would want to put a Mini likely already have a coax drop, very few will have Ethernet. So MoCa is preferred for simplicity.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:30 PM   #7
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Almost all places someone would want to put a Mini likely already have a coax drop, very few will have Ethernet. So MoCa is preferred for simplicity.
That's not what the flyer is saying, though. It's implying that MoCA is somehow preferable over Ethernet even when both are already available.
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Old 09-11-2014, 05:31 PM   #8
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Well I put mine on MOCA even though I have a CAT6 network.

I did it for a few reasons. One I never used MOCA before and wanted to see how well it worked and if it worked.

And two why not offload traffic to MOCA if I can and it does the job. It's unused network bandwidth in my home. Might as well keep Cat6 open for every other use. Not that I needed to do this but ..

Three, in my basement I had another device that was using the ethernet port. Instead of buying yet another switch (or putting the device on wifi) I hooked the Mini up to MOCA which is really what got me started using MOCA in the first place.

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Old 09-11-2014, 06:30 PM   #9
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That's not what the flyer is saying, though. It's implying that MoCA is somehow preferable over Ethernet even when both are already available.
I can think one reason it would still be better to use MoCa over Ethernet even when both were available... It isolates the TiVo traffic to it's own network so that there is no chance of traffic from other devices interfering with the Mini's ability to stream. If you connected them to the same Ethernet network you use for everything else and were to say transfer a large file between two PCs it could potentially use enough bandwidth that the Mini would stutter or lose connection. With the TiVo and Minis isolated to MoCa they have the full bandwidth of the network all to themselves.

Edit: I started typing this before the post above mine existed, but then I got side tracked and didn't reload before posting. I hate that.
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:01 PM   #10
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yea, what others say, it offloads ethernet traffic. in my case, my setup is highly unusual, streaming was hiccuping w/ ethernet whenever i was using my slingbox so i had to switch my mini to moca. (my setup was streaming from P4 over ethernet into wireless router into powerline into switch into mini, slingbox streaming over ethernet into switch into powerline into wireless router over wifi to my kindlehd; powerline was the smallest pipe so probably the issue).
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Old 09-11-2014, 07:05 PM   #11
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I have a combination of MoCa, Ethernet and Powerline in my house. I use powerline for a Mini in a room that doesn't have cable or Ethernet and I use MoCa to bridge the upstairs and down stairs because running a cable between floors would be a huge PITA and I'm lazy.
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Old 09-11-2014, 08:42 PM   #12
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I find it difficult to believe that transferring other files between devices on the network, a CAT6, Gigabit network mind you, could cause that much of a drag on the system. Then again, I have no reason to doubt you guys that say you've experienced it either. Either way, the whole suggestion of moving traffic from my CAT6 network to a separate "Tivo" network is intriguing. I have two CAT6 lines and two RG6 lines at every cable drop so it would be easy enough for me to setup MoCA I think.

Correct me if I'm wrong but, doesn't the Roamio Plus & Pro, and maybe the Basic as well, have MoCA built in. It doesn't need that MoCA device Tivo sells does it?

Thanks for a very interesting thread guys. You put this in a whole different perspective for me and I've learned quite a bit.

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Old 09-11-2014, 09:34 PM   #13
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Roamio Plus and Pro have MoCA built in. Premiere 4 and Elite/XL4 have MoCA built in. Mini has MoCA built in. All others including the Roamio Basic require the MoCA adapter. If you decide to get the adapter, I recommend looking around online and compare pricing.
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Old 09-11-2014, 10:51 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by wmcbrine View Post
That's not what the flyer is saying, though. It's implying that MoCA is somehow preferable over Ethernet even when both are already available.
It is easier to troubleshoot (see the sturm und drang over the "Tivo doesn't support switches" thread). MOCA is simpler than ethernet for TiVo support so that's why they recommend it. IOW, it is "better" for them, not necessarily the user.

BTW: DirecTV won't support ethernet AT ALL for whole home ...they REQUIRE the use of MOCA (though, if you know how to ask, they will activate whole home on ethernet, but as an unsupported feature).
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Old 09-12-2014, 07:26 AM   #15
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So tivo support doesnt have to troubleshoot ethernet, routers, firewalls, etc. They want the KISS principle, chances are that more people have pluses and pro and its easier to troubleshoot. tivo to ethernet and all you need to do is hook up a mini to coax.
+1. This is the answer, see the 'Tivo doesn't support switches' thread for details.
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:01 AM   #16
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Doesn't the moca port on the mini perform at faster speeds than the ethernet port?
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:27 AM   #17
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I find it difficult to believe that transferring other files between devices on the network, a CAT6, Gigabit network mind you, could cause that much of a drag on the system. Then again, I have no reason to doubt you guys that say you've experienced it either. Either way, the whole suggestion of moving traffic from my CAT6 network to a separate "Tivo" network is intriguing. I have two CAT6 lines and two RG6 lines at every cable drop so it would be easy enough for me to setup MoCA I think.

Correct me if I'm wrong but, doesn't the Roamio Plus & Pro, and maybe the Basic as well, have MoCA built in. It doesn't need that MoCA device Tivo sells does it?

Thanks for a very interesting thread guys. You put this in a whole different perspective for me and I've learned quite a bit.

- Byron
You can do the same thing with Ethernet. You just physically separate the Network. This is how I have mine. So even if I used Ethernet on my Minis, all my TiVo traffic is separate from my other NEtwork traffic. The only time they mix is when the Tivos go out to the Internet or if a device on another segment of my Network accessed my TiVos.

Although I physically separate my network segments because I use all unmanaged switches instead of managed. But since I have over 65 device on my GigE network, if I did not physically separate it, I would have issues.
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Old 09-12-2014, 09:46 AM   #18
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Correct me if I'm wrong but, doesn't the Roamio Plus & Pro, and maybe the Basic as well, have MoCA built in. It doesn't need that MoCA device Tivo sells does it?

- Byron
The Roamio Plus/Pro as well the Premiere 4/XL4 are equipped with MoCA and are also capable of bridging MoCA to Ethernet. The Mini is only capable of being a MoCA end point.

Even with a box capable of bridging, you still need to be able to get Ethernet to the box to complete the connection to the home router. For some people, like myself, with homes not wired for Ethernet and where the home router is not next to the Tivo box, one still has to use a MoCA adapter to bridge the Ethernet to MoCA at the router. In this case, all Tivo boxes are simply MoCA end points.
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Old 09-12-2014, 11:53 AM   #19
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I can think one reason it would still be better to use MoCa over Ethernet even when both were available... It isolates the TiVo traffic to it's own network so that there is no chance of traffic from other devices interfering with the Mini's ability to stream.
Not in my case. I have my Premire as my Moca server and my Roamio is my Tivo Mini "parent". So in my case it uses Moca to get to my Premire and then ethernet to talk to the Roamio.

Someday I should change my moca server to the roamio, just never bothered.

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Old 09-12-2014, 12:06 PM   #20
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Doesn't the moca port on the mini perform at faster speeds than the ethernet port?
It doesn't really matter, I think, because the most traffic a Mini should ever see is about 19.2 Mbps, well within the capabilities of either interface.

But, in theory, MoCA 1.1 is faster than 100 Mbps Ethernet, yet not as fast as Gigabit. (They could just as well have put a Gigabit Ethernet port on the Mini, but see above.) In practice, I couldn't find a benchmark that reflected this, because the MoCA adapters all came with 100 Mbps Ethernet ports. :/
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Old 09-12-2014, 01:32 PM   #21
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It doesn't really matter, I think, because the most traffic a Mini should ever see is about 19.2 Mbps, well within the capabilities of either interface.

But, in theory, MoCA 1.1 is faster than 100 Mbps Ethernet, yet not as fast as Gigabit. (They could just as well have put a Gigabit Ethernet port on the Mini, but see above.) In practice, I couldn't find a benchmark that reflected this, because the MoCA adapters all came with 100 Mbps Ethernet ports. :/
My main MoCA adapter has all GigE ports. But even when running PCs on the GigE ports it can't get the near gb/s speeds I get with my other switches. So I only use to to give network access to my Minis on MoCA and run my TiVo Desktop/KMTTG machince on Dlink GigE switches.
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Old 09-12-2014, 01:48 PM   #22
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It's probably because the common usage of a Tivo Mini is to replace a existing cable box. And if it's replacing a cable box, then there's guaranteed to be a cable outlet there.

Those who have wired ethernet plugs in every room are abnormally rare, the average non-geek uses wireless across their house, instead of ethernet drops to every room.
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Old 09-12-2014, 03:00 PM   #23
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The higher availability of coax around the house is probably a big factor. Moca also has the added benefit of potentially selling them more gear -- adapters and POE filters.

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Old 09-12-2014, 04:15 PM   #24
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I find it difficult to believe that transferring other files between devices on the network, a CAT6, Gigabit network mind you, could cause that much of a drag on the system.
PCs are designed to use as much bandwidth as is available unless you specifically throttle them. So if you have two PCs on a gigabit network and you transfer a large file between them they will saturate the entire gigabit pipe until the transfer is done. (a multi-gigabyte video file could take a few minutes) We have several customers that will edit videos on a local drive and then save the output directly to a NAS or HTPC. Doing that will also saturate the network until it's done.

So while in most cases it's probably unlikely, it's still possible and using a dedicated MoCa network just for TiVo eliminates the possibility.

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It doesn't really matter, I think, because the most traffic a Mini should ever see is about 19.2 Mbps, well within the capabilities of either interface.

But, in theory, MoCA 1.1 is faster than 100 Mbps Ethernet, yet not as fast as Gigabit. (They could just as well have put a Gigabit Ethernet port on the Mini, but see above.) In practice, I couldn't find a benchmark that reflected this, because the MoCA adapters all came with 100 Mbps Ethernet ports. :/
That's true if you only have one Mini, but a Roamio can support up to 11 Minis. If you had them all going at once then you'd exceed the capabilities of a 10/100 network but not MoCa. Unlikely, but possible.
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Old 09-17-2014, 09:45 PM   #25
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I had a mini-epiphany hooking up my first Mini to my R+. I was dead-set on using my existing hard-wired gigabit network. Then I ran into the dreaded "switch" issue. I was all set to troubleshoot that and replace whichever switches proved to be the culprit (there's 7 switches in the mix, with the most hops to the router being 4). Then I started thinking about the random issues I have with my network. Recently my Series 2 was on the way out and would beacon. I took me about 5 outages before I realized what was happening. Then I started thinking...how would my wife react if the bedroom TV (which will soon be run off a mini) went down because of a stupid network issue, or if I had to power cycle a switch or something else like that?

So I decided, hmmmm, maybe I should try to isolate the video network so it's not reliant on all those switches? So I figured I'd have to run some more coax and stuff like that. But I misunderstood MoCA. It just works! (I had Cat6 and all digital-rated appliances). So now I've eliminated as many potential points-of-failure as possible, while getting all the other benefits listed in this thread (like preserving bandwidth on my data network).

As always, YMMV, but even with a fully-wired CAT6 house, I think MoCA is the better choice for me....
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Old 09-18-2014, 09:11 AM   #26
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I was dead-set on using my existing hard-wired gigabit network. Then I ran into the dreaded "switch" issue. I was all set to troubleshoot that and replace whichever switches proved to be the culprit (there's 7 switches in the mix, with the most hops to the router being 4).
7 switches in the mix? With a network layout like that I'm not surprised TiVo refuses to troubleshoot ethernet switches. I suspect you may have problems if and when you really try to load your network up.

If you need 7 switches in your home environment you have things wired poorly and I'd recommend you take the time to properly (re)wire your home. I have 1 - 24 port switch and I have all my ethernet wiring home run to this single switch.

In my environment I chose to use ethernet over MoCa, although I knew MoCa would work fine (I had to use the Roamio as a MoCa bridge previously to provide internet to a Verizon STB when I pulled the Actiontec router out of my network) for two reasons, I'm more comfortable with ethernet and have the knowledge and tools to troubleshoot any ethernet issues and secondly aesthetics, coax is stiff and thick (compared to UTP ethernet) which sometimes makes positioning the Coax inside and behind cabinets difficult and can put excessive strain on the connectors or exceed the bend radius for the cable.

NOTE:

RG-6 minimum bend radius is 3 inches and that's to meet specs for a 1Ghz test sweep, I suspect if you are using even higher frequencies the bend radius increases.

Ethernet UTP bend radius is 4x the diameter of the wire which should be well under 1 inch

Yes these values really do exist!

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Old 09-18-2014, 09:32 AM   #27
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7 switches in the mix? With a network layout like that I'm not surprised TiVo refuses to troubleshoot ethernet switches. I suspect you may have problems if and when you really try to load your network up.

If you need 7 switches in your home environment you have things wired poorly and I'd recommend you take the time to properly (re)wire your home. I have 1 - 24 port switch and I have all my ethernet wiring home run to this single switch.

In my environment I chose to use ethernet over MoCa, although I knew MoCa would work fine (I had to use the Roamio as a MoCa bridge previously to provide internet to a Verizon STB when I pulled the Actiontec router out of my network) for two reasons, I'm more comfortable with ethernet and have the knowledge and tools to troubleshoot any ethernet issues and secondly aesthetics, coax is stiff and thick (compared to UTP ethernet) which sometimes makes positioning the Coax inside and behind cabinets difficult and can put excessive strain on the connectors or exceed the bend radius for the cable.

NOTE:

RG-6 minimum bend radius is 3 inches and that's to meet specs for a 1Ghz test sweep, I suspect if you are using even higher frequencies the bend radius increases.

Ethernet UTP bend radius is 4x the diameter of the wire which should be well under 1 inch

Yes these values really do exist!

-TL
I use over fifteen gigabit switches on my Network plus several GigE Bridges and APs. I have no issues. I don't have the ability to have enough home runs to every location from a central location. So I need to chain switches together.. But my network has been rock solid for eighteen years now. Thirteen of which I've been running GigE. Although I didn't have so many switches in use in the beginning.
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Old 09-18-2014, 11:32 AM   #28
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I use over fifteen gigabit switches on my Network plus several GigE Bridges and APs. I have no issues. I don't have the ability to have enough home runs to every location from a central location. So I need to chain switches together.. But my network has been rock solid for eighteen years now. Thirteen of which I've been running GigE. Although I didn't have so many switches in use in the beginning.
First you are obviously not describing a home network unless you have some giant house supporting hundred or more users/servers or your are simply sadistic and enjoy making your life complicated.

I'm sure you also don't have one long daisy chain but rather the switches all 15+ are run back to a small group (maybe 2) with spanning tree being enabled and you are using layer 3 routing some of them.

Of course we are no longer talking about consumer grade switches so your argument of 15+ switches is really not valid in this discussion when we are talking about consumer grade equipment and how its deployed.

Oh didn't think anybody used bridges any more, yes there are still some protocols that can't be routed but bridges have been replaced by switches.

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Old 09-18-2014, 12:03 PM   #29
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7 switches in the mix? With a network layout like that I'm not surprised TiVo refuses to troubleshoot ethernet switches. I suspect you may have problems if and when you really try to load your network up.

If you need 7 switches in your home environment you have things wired poorly and I'd recommend you take the time to properly (re)wire your home. I have 1 - 24 port switch and I have all my ethernet wiring home run to this single switch.

In my environment I chose to use ethernet over MoCa, although I knew MoCa would work fine (I had to use the Roamio as a MoCa bridge previously to provide internet to a Verizon STB when I pulled the Actiontec router out of my network) for two reasons, I'm more comfortable with ethernet and have the knowledge and tools to troubleshoot any ethernet issues and secondly aesthetics, coax is stiff and thick (compared to UTP ethernet) which sometimes makes positioning the Coax inside and behind cabinets difficult and can put excessive strain on the connectors or exceed the bend radius for the cable.

NOTE:

RG-6 minimum bend radius is 3 inches and that's to meet specs for a 1Ghz test sweep, I suspect if you are using even higher frequencies the bend radius increases.

Ethernet UTP bend radius is 4x the diameter of the wire which should be well under 1 inch

Yes these values really do exist!

-TL
No, my home is wired properly. I have every room home-runned to the basement where I have my "Core" switch. This core switch uplinks to my office where I have the modem and router and another 24 port switch, which I use for all my PCs and peripherals. It would be impractical to put the modem/router in the basement due to humidity and poor wireless reception). Many rooms need to support one device, so those locations have their own switch which trunks to the basement core switch. All runs are full 8-wire Cat6. All switches are GigE. My network never experiences any congestion or has problems. It is well designed, thought out, and implemented.

I suppose I could home-run a new ethernet cable every time a device is added. But I don't feel like tearing my walls apart because I added a Roku in the kid's bedroom (for example).
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Old 09-18-2014, 12:51 PM   #30
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First you are obviously not describing a home network unless you have some giant house supporting hundred or more users/servers or your are simply sadistic and enjoy making your life complicated.

I'm sure you also don't have one long daisy chain but rather the switches all 15+ are run back to a small group (maybe 2) with spanning tree being enabled and you are using layer 3 routing some of them.

Of course we are no longer talking about consumer grade switches so your argument of 15+ switches is really not valid in this discussion when we are talking about consumer grade equipment and how its deployed.

Oh didn't think anybody used bridges any more, yes there are still some protocols that can't be routed but bridges have been replaced by switches.

-TL
All my network devices are cosnumer grade. All my switches are unmanaged.

I have over 65 devices on my home network. My router has four GigE ports and from there it connects to four GigE switches in a cabinet in a closet. This physically separates the four segements of my network. Since I use all unmanaged 5 and 8 port GigE switches, this allows me to have so many devices without having issues. So from this closet it feeds the other areas of my Condo. And each area has multiple GigE switches chained together for each segment. This causes no issues and still allows me up to 950Mb/s throughput between the devices that are capable of those speeds.

So for instance my thirteen IP cameras are mostly on one segment, TiVos on another, wireless mostly on a third, and my PCs and media devices are mostly on the last segemnt. So each device only goes through the router switch for Internet access or to communicate with a device on another segment.

But in one section I go through six switches to get access to some devices. I have no issues. These are all consumer grade Dlink GigE switches and Bridges. And I am using one Asus RT-N56U router for the main router/AP and two Asus RT-N65U routers in Access point mode. And I also use several Dlink Bridges with GigE ports for most of my cameras (and for my Alarm system). They are constantly sending a video data stream 24/7/365 over Wi-Fi to a PC that stores the pertinent video.
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40TB unRAID1--53TB unRAID2--36TB unRAID3
XBL/PSN: WormholeXtreme

Last edited by aaronwt : 09-18-2014 at 01:04 PM.
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