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Bandwidth Increases and the Moving Bottleneck

network switch

Bandwidth Demands in the Modern World

For today’s post I am not going to talk about the challenges of managing large enterprise networks or spend the next 200 words trying to explain some complex network diagram. Instead I am going to look at some of the recent changes on my home network and how increasing bandwidth in one area moves the bottleneck to another.

My home network is split into two locations. I have an office where I have most of the storage and an ESX server for running all sorts of tests. It is connected via two 1Gbs Ethernet cables to the house where my broadband connects. When I was building the house 10 years ago I got the electrician to run Cat5 cabling to most rooms so I don’t need to rely on Wireless for everything.

Home Network

For those of you who don’t know me I live near a town called Claremorris which is in the west of Ireland. Internet connectivity speeds are decent enough around here as the town was chosen as one of Irelands first fibre connected towns. Most businesses in the area are connected via 250Mbs fibre connections.

Ireland

I recently upgraded my broadband connection to vDSL. In Ireland the service is called eFibre and a company called Eircom look after most of the infrastructure. Prior to the upgrade I had an 8Mbs DSL connection which was okay but it was the bottleneck when it came to moving data around.

My new vDSL connection gives me a 60Mbs Internet connection so that has moved the bottleneck back into my network. All of the wired stuff is fine as it’s all connected via 1Gbs connections; problem is now with the wireless devices.  Maybe problem is too strong a word; I just want to make sure that all devices on my network are connecting at the fastest speed possible. I switched my wireless router over to 802.11n after the vDSL upgrade and I am now reading up about the 802.11ac standard. Do any of you have any opinion on this, what is best for a home network? Please leave your comments below.

Finally, my next project is to implement a new firewall on my network, one which has better filtering options. More and more devices are arriving in the door with wireless connectivity. My plan is to set up multiple VLANs. One open which can connect to all devices and the Internet, one restricted so it cannot connect to some devices on the network and one very restricted for kids devices that may need to download updates from the Internet. The latest version of Untangle looks interesting but more reading is required.

Do you have any recommendations for securing home networks? You can add comments below.

Darragh Delaney