Question Connecting switches directly to modem

GalacticLion7

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Mar 18, 2020
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Hello,

I have a situation where I may need to connect my switches directly to my modem instead of the router. Is this possible?

For context, all 31 ethernet ports around our house are connected to patch panels located in the networking cabinet, and I am planning to connect all 31 ports to 2 16-port switches. I have 2 Linksys Velop Mesh WiFi 6 System AX4200 Tri-Band access points. One of the access points is meant to function as the router, known as the root access point, where the root access point will connect to the modem, and the switches will connect to the root access point.

However, the problem is that the location of my modem is in the networking cabinet, which is far from reach of the household members, so it would be a waste to put an access point there. Not to mention, I don't even have enough clearance to add one of the access points in my networking cabinet after mounting my two switches.

Therefore, is it possible to connect the two switches directly to the modem, and connect my root access point to the ethernet port in our house so that it will connect to one of the switches, and set it up so that all traffic will go through the router access point?

Please advise. Thanks.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
Hello,

I have a situation where I may need to connect my switches directly to my modem instead of the router. Is this possible?

For context, all 31 ethernet ports around our house are connected to patch panels located in the networking cabinet, and I am planning to connect all 31 ports to 2 16-port switches. I have 2 Linksys Velop Mesh WiFi 6 System AX4200 Tri-Band access points. One of the access points is meant to function as the router, known as the root access point, where the root access point will connect to the modem, and the switches will connect to the root access point.

However, the problem is that the location of my modem is in the networking cabinet, which is far from reach of the household members, so it would be a waste to put an access point there. Not to mention, I don't even have enough clearance to add one of the access points in my networking cabinet after mounting my two switches.

Therefore, is it possible to connect the two switches directly to the modem, and connect my root access point to the ethernet port in our house so that it will connect to one of the switches, and set it up so that all traffic will go through the router access point?

Please advise. Thanks.
If your "modem" is not a combo modem/router, then no. Your modem only provides a single public IP address. That has to be assigned to the WAN port of a router. The LAN ports of the router then feed the switches. With 30+ ethernet ports, you can use wired connectivity for the Velop.
The order HAS to be modem -> router -> switches.
 
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GalacticLion7

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Mar 18, 2020
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If your "modem" is not a combo modem/router, then no. Your modem only provides a single public IP address. That has to be assigned to the WAN port of a router. The LAN ports of the router then feed the switches. With 30+ ethernet ports, you can use wired connectivity for the Velop.
The order HAS to be modem -> router -> switches.
Is it not possible to configure the switches so that it routes all WAN and LAN traffic to the root access point?
 
Last edited:
Is it not possible to configure the switches so that it routes all WAN and LAN traffic to the root access point?
It can if it's a managed switch with features that allow all that.

But instead of that mess, see if you have any coax ports near where you want your router to be--you can put the modem there as well as the root access point and then connect your root access point back to the demarc and the switches--problem solved.
 

GalacticLion7

Prominent
Mar 18, 2020
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It can if it's a managed switch with features that allow all that.

But instead of that mess, see if you have any coax ports near where you want your router to be--you can put the modem there as well as the root access point and then connect your root access point back to the demarc and the switches--problem solved.
I can't relocate my modem from the network cabinet, since it is connected to the fiber optic cable.
 

kanewolf

Titan
Moderator
I can't relocate my modem from the network cabinet, since it is connected to the fiber optic cable.
If you can't move the modem, then you either have to use one of the ethernet cables to get the output of the modem to the router, or move the router. If you use one of the ethernet to get the output of the modem to the router, then you need some other cable to get the LAN side of the router back to your switches. That could be another ethernet run or something like @SamirD suggested with MoCA.
Moving the router, turning off WIFI on that node and buying another Velop node for the house would be the simplest option.
 
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GalacticLion7

Prominent
Mar 18, 2020
7
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Modem -> router -> switches and patch panel.

If possible, please draw out the current config, and what you would like the config to be.
Include ALL relevant make/models of the devices.

For simplicity, I just kept one switch in the drawing since the function still remains the same, and reduced the clients for the same reason.
 
I don't think it can be done with the equipment you have.

The simple solution is to buy a cheap router and place it in between the modem and the switch. You can then use both of the other boxes as AP only.

How many ethernet cables do you have between the cabnet and the room with the ax4200 you call a router. If there are 2 you could hook the modem to one and hook that to the wan port. You could then hook a lan port to the other and hook that to the switch.
 
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I can't relocate my modem from the network cabinet, since it is connected to the fiber optic cable.
Gotcha. I assumed it was a coax based modem.

So the problem you are facing is that you need 2 runs in the room where the router ap needs to be. This is why I always recommend running 2x or more ethernet runs to a room and also have coax. The minimal additional cable cost prevents issues like this.

So the solutions are like kanewolf laid out--either you need to run another ethernet line back, use moca adapters. Or the simplest solution, just get something else in cabinet to be the router.

Now, I highly suspect that your fibre optic modem isn't just a modem, but a router too. And if this is the case, then you don't need a router and you already have one. If you have more than one ethernet port in your modem, it's probably a router. And if it is a router, then yes, you can plug all your switches directly into it and all your access points will be just that--access points.
 

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