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Network Opinion and setup of wireless


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I am looking for some solutions as to what some of the dealers would do with this type of layout. This needs to be C4 Supported

1. I have 27 POE ports that I need (what switch would you use for this)

2. Recommended Router (what router would you recommend to separate the C4 devices)

3. Would you recommend a router with Wireless built in or seperate out the wireless and router


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1 YOWZA! Why in the world so many PoE.... Well NVM. In this case I would ALWAYS go with one ore more midspans to handle the PoE, using whatever switch is functional for other purposes. With this many a burn-out is that much more likely and using a midspan means that won't take out everything else. Also menas I can look for the best switch for the job - regardless of PoE

2 To seperate the C4 devices? Do you mean to have all home and system networking seperate? My choice would instantly be a Watchguard XTM-21 in that scenario. 6 ports to us in any combination of seperate networks and multi WAN. She's expensive but works fantastic.

If not...then I can't say without any knowledge of the overall scope of the system (The XTM will handle whatever you throw at it - unless you're looking at oh I don't know 150 or more IP devices, and even then...)

3 I NEVER recommend a router with WiFi - or at least using the WiFi of a router that has it. Not that I haven't in smaller jobs of coure - budget may dictate using it especially on single room systems etc, but it doesn't sound like you're asking a bout a small system.

Use seperate Access Points to span the house, again what form that takes depends on too many factors to comment on considering you provide no details.

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I agree with Cyknight for the most part.

My favorite router is the Apple Airport regardless of your computer in the Home. If you have Apple Computer than get a Time Capsule, that has been a huge CYA in my business and personal computing. If you need or desire Remote Access currently with Apple portable devices then replace the router with the Netgear SRXN 3205. Control4 has a white paper on how to set it up for remote access. Unfortunately this router only supports paid DDNS providers unless you can provide DDNS from a computer in the home. Unfortunately I have not found any documentation for Android Remote Access. Both of these routers are supported by Control4 Tech support, meaning they will support your dealer in setting it up in your home, but they do not support the end user. :( Although judging the size of your system I might suggest the Netgear over the Apple.

Networking I have been using the PowerDsine products as they are relatively quiet and designed for heavy use. I used a 48 port POE switch by Dell and it worked awesome but it was noisy and being the rack was in the theater it was not acceptable. BTW it is for sale if you need one! Network switches in general are less of a concern than the router in control4 system, provided that you dont buy cheap crap. You can use managed switches if you know how to set them up otherwise leave them unmanaged and life is way easier. Most of my projects I use the Netgear ProSafe switches both with and without POE and not had problems (knocking on wood).

Built In wireless versus a WAP. This depends on your environment. If you have a moderate sized house and the wireless router is centrally located you should be fine. If you have a large house or looking to cover a larger area than you will need to consider multiple WAP's or look at LuXel Wireless. We have done some projects with Luxel that allowed as to have full strength WIFI at .25 miles from the WAP fairly directional albeit. I would say 95% of my installs use the wireless router, and we add WAPs as needed. I have only used Luxel in one home and we used 12 in a 10 story condo project.

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Many would argue -with fair reason- that the network switch is more important than the router (I am not one of them, don't blast me on this!).

In a proper set-up, there should be only one wire coming out of a router - the lead to the switch (two if using seperate switches for C4 and home - but I think you get the idea). All communication EXCEPT internet will stay within the switch so a router's capability isn't that important (is the argument). This is not untrue, more so if everything is set-up using static IP.

Not a big fan of using a router's wireless for a system (again unless it's a small project) for a number of reasons, the main two being that (1) I prefer a router being a router, a switch being a switch, and access point being an access point and a modem being a modem -let them do one thing they're good at- and (2) because of the above mentioned setup, where the access point is plugged into the switch to communicate direct with other devices, not via the router.

Personally I will never choose to go for an apple router. Not that it's bad (except the Time Cap, see above rant about having things do one thing they are good at, not combining completely different functions), but there is frankly better for less or just plain better out there.

I find that the apple router won't handle more than small systems well (of course small to me may be medium to others - as a rough reference, I would consider anything under 40k small).

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