Home Networking Clarification

Aug 3, 2018
You helped me last year identify that my network needed a router. I have a clarifying question about the network setup.
I have drawn a diagram but I cant seem to upload the pic:

Isp > modem > router (4ports) > switch (4 ports) > patch panel (7ports)

My question is, is it necessary that each port on my patch panel is associated to a switch port? I imagine in my setup above I could run 1 cable from my router to the switch and 4 cables from the switch to the 4 ports of my patch panel AND use the other 3 ports on my router to go directly to my patch panel to get all 7 locations active!? Or am i missing something.

The patch panel was existing when i bought the house and it runs cat5 to every room in the house.

My current switch only has 4 ports, but my patch has 7 ports (12 total, but 7 that I want to use).


Your setup of 3 patch panel ports connected to the router will work fine. Just be sure you have gigabit ports for all the patch panel connections. That way every room has equal access to the internet.
The router 4 LAN ports is a built-in switch, you by adding an external switch just extends the total Ethernet ports availability to 6 (if your ext switch has a dedicated UPLINK port then you would have a total of 7 available). So all those 6 ports, regardless of whether router or ext switch is logically identical to the network, use them at will.

The only difference is (and this is beyond newbie color cables), stuff that are hooked up to router takes a little bit of CPU bandwidth from the router. I.e.: If I had surveillance cameras that are constantly writing to a local server, I would want them to be hooked up to the ext switch and no need to disturb the router, because there is no Internet traffic involved. Follow the signal path and be aware limited bandwidth are shared.