Critique my network! Your advice welcome


Dec 22, 2008
Hi folks

I wonder if you can help. Over the last year or so my home network's been expanding a bit and being a bit of a networking novice I'm not sure whether it's particularly efficiently set up. As the diagram in the linked photo shows, I have two NAS drives streaming content over the network, connected to my router. My modem is also connected to my router. i then use a powerline network to connect my main PCs to this, and run backup cycles from them to one of the NAS drives overnight. I'm also using the same network to stream content to my Squeezebox audio player and my Revue video player.

I have a few questions if anyone is able to advise!

1) Am I 'overloading' my network by streaming content, internet, backups etc through one router? Is there any advantage in having a separate router / network for streaming content only? If so, how would this connect with my existing network for file management / content downloading / backups etc.

2) I'm using whatever cat 5 cables I happen to have hanging around the house, nothing special. I'm assuming that's fine, particularly given that a lot of my network is running along powercables?

3) Any suggestions for structuring my network for greater efficiency?

Thanks in advance!





Overall you should be fine without reviewing performance. You have a 10/100 network and what you're doing can handle it without issue. The 'router' is actually two pieces of hardware. One part router, one part switch. The switch can likely handle the workload without issue. Your internet connection is fairly slow in comparison to a private network so again, in most cases that won't be an issue.

What you should ask yourself is if you are having network connection issues or network related performance issues. The main thing available for you to do would be to add in another switch, link that to the router, and branch off select items off the second switch. For example, if you have one PC that only streams off the NAS and doesn't use the internet much or at all, you could have the NAS and PC attached to that switch. The switch would keep from sending the network data to the router.