Rewiring house with Cat 6

Quick question. I am about to wire the house up with cat 6 prior to the arrival of 'superfast' broadband. Cable laying and terminating is no problem, however I am not so sure about which network switching equipment to go for. Looking at between 16 and 24 ports. Any advice from practical experience?
The BT home hub 5 coming out later this year has 4 gigabit ports.
HP Procurve switches do some fantastic value kit - you might look at somewhere towards the lower end of their range. Of course, Cisco is rock solid stuff if you can afford it and know how to configure it.
Surely Cat 5e allows much faster data transfer than necessary to deal with an internet connection, super fast or not? So the bottleneck between ARRSE and your PC is still the internet connection rather than the cabling or modern wi-fi. The only reason to upgrade to Cat 6 is for internal networking - so large data transfers between machines within your house, if the machines in question have gigabit network cards in the first place.
We use cat5e for BT vision installs combined with super fast broadband. If installed correctly it works up to 1 gig and is future proofed for quite some time.

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Along with the router / hub and the PC and after a short while the laptop ...
Too easy, Sire, too easy. Take yourself off to a quiet corner and reflect on hasty replies.....
I use the existing power cables in the house, HomePlug | no need for cable everywhere
I have used them in the past but they are quite susceptible to cooking when there are power fluctuations and power cuts, an issue that we have every winter.
Using cat6 rather than cat 5 is a small attempt to build in a little future proofing for little extra expense. It also allows me to link all my satellite equipment and computers between the house and big shed.
If you have already splashed out on cat6 then so be it but for a household 5e will see you right for years.
vamps, not so with Cat5e and gigabit ethernet. It will only work reliably on short runs, eg <10, and tbh I'be had nothing but problems when trying to push gigabit over any length of Cat5e greater than a meter. I don't use cheap cables, either.

Replacing with Cat6 really did make a difference to the network.

OK, back to OPs original question. The gigabit portion of my network uses two Dell switches, one PowerConnect 2716, one PowerConnect 2816. The former is webmanaged only, the later is also manageable via serial port, remote shell, etc. Superb little boxes, the 2816 being slightly more compact.

There is a slight bug in the Dell webmanagement interface whereby it tries to send the whole login session as one tcp packet instead of two, but there are workarounds.

Hanging off the switches? Plasma, BD-player, VU+ Ultimo sat box, 2x PS3, 1 x Xbox, 1xXBox360, PCH A300, Synology DS413 NAS server, BT HomeHub (on pesky 8mb, grrrhhh) Room for expansion

Hanging off the other... rather a lot! HP micro server, Sparc60, two workstations, game PC, video PC, HP Laserjet, Epson A3 printer/fax, another TV, laptop connection, wireless AP for the garden, and some other gubbins


Sure, 100Mb is good enough for now, but that only deals with a single connection to the router, under current fibre offerings. Consider what happens when you want to shovel data around internally... gigethernet provides the bandwidth for multi-device transfers internally, plus, its a LOT faster shovelling 7-15GB from a PC to device at 120Mb/sec under Ge, than it is at 10-12mb/sec under Fe.

@OP. The reason I went with Dell is that the PowerConnect range offered the best price/performance ratio. There are cheaper gig switches, but NONE of them had a true gigabit ethernet switching fabric; ie, although the port speed was rated at gig ethernet speeds, internally the device would 'cop out' trying to handle more than two simultaneous gigabit transfers; and some cannot handle more than one! You might never be in a situation where Device A is talking to Device B, and Device C to D, for example. But if you are, a cheap switch can be worse than using fast ethernet (or even 10mbit cheapernet, shudder).

Add wireless clients into the mix (one-four smartphones here, plus 1-3 ipads, and 1-3 laptops), and your switches can very quickly become a bottleneck.
I use the existing power cables in the house, HomePlug | no need for cable everywhere
Mine doesn't even stutter with HD movies flying all over the shop. Don't know why everyone doesn't do this. I have even just added a whole new suite of rooms at work to the network using £49.95 worth of plugs, compared to a very expensive and time consuming cabling job. They even come with passthrough plugs these days, so are hardly noticable.

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