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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Need help setting up my small office network.


    Im in the process of re-designing my small office network and I have some doubts and questions related with mixing CAT5e with CAT6 cables and also the mix of 100Mbps nwtwork devices like printers with 1Gbps devices like computers.

    So it would be great if some users of this forum with network experience can clarify me and give me some advices.

    Please note that all my network devices (routers, switches, external nas and computers) all have 1Gbps network ports. The only devices on my network with 100Mbps network ports are 2 network printers.

    Bellow you can see my questions / doubts. But before I leave a short briefing of my current setup:

    :: Setup Briefing ::

    Cable ISP Router IP: > LAN > WAN > IP: My Gigabit Router Draytek 2130 > LAN > Gigabit Switch TP-Link TL-SG1005D > That connects to 2 PC Desktop Computers both with 1Gbps network cards and 2 Network printers with 100Mbps network ports.

    All cables used are CAT6, except two that connect the Gigabit Switch to both network printers. Here I’m using Cat5e network cables.

    I do not have a server on my network. Just 2 x Windows 7 desktop PCs.


    So regarding this I have the following questions and doubts:

    1- Does connecting the 100Mbps network printers to the Gigabit switch will slow down all my network to 100Mbps? I ask this because I have heard that “your network speed will be as the weakest link on it”.

    So I think my TP Link Switch is capable of handling both 100Mpbs and Gigabit connections simultaneous, correct? Or if not, will I have to buy a separate switch to connect just the printers, and have the Gigabit PC Computers connected to a separate Gigabit Switch?

    2- Regarding cables, as you could read on my setup um using CAT6 on everything except to the printers where I’m using CAT5e. So can I mix CAT6 and CAT5e on the same network without having any kind of negative impact?

    Or because I’m using CAT5e cables all the other CAT6 cables will “slow down” and run at the same specs than the CAT5e (ex: 100Mhz, instead of 250Mhz). In a simple way, by using a mix of CAT6 and CAT5e cables will I lose the advantage of the CAT6 cables? Should i use just CAT6 cables? Please clarify and help me on this.

    3- My ISP Router is a very weak router, with a dynamic IP address and does not allow to be set just as a Modem. So because I want to use my Gigabit Draytek 2130 router to manage and protect my network, at the moment I have a double NAT setup, because of having 2 routers on my network.

    Can please someone advice me on the best way for me to setup both routers in order for the double NAT has little or none negative impact? Should I setup the Draytek router as DMZ on my ISP router? Should I open some ports? What? Please advice me on this.

    4- Regarding Firewall setup, both routers have Firewalls. So should I turn on both Firewalls on both routers, or should I disable the Firewall on the ISP router and just turn on the Firewall on the Draytek router?

    5- Regarding UnPn, should I leave it on on both routers, or just on my Draytek router?

    6- Regarding DHCP, I want to use on all my office computers and network printers, static ip’s, so should I leave DHCP turned ON on both routers, or turn it of off on the ISP or Drautek router? What should I do here?

    7- If you have read all my question until here you already have a clear idea of my setup. So on this question, I just want to ask you if you want to add anything more to this. Is there any important thing that im missing here?

    Last edited by pedrojose; 01-25-2014 at 01:10 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    1. No, you can mix port speeds and not slow anything down.
    2. No, same as above
    3. Enable DMZ mode on your ISP's router so you can fully manage port traffic. Enabling individual ports on the ISP's router would work too, but isn't necessary.
    4. Disable one of the firewalls, having both on will make troubleshooting very hard. ISP's.
    5. uPnP won't work because of the double-NAT, so far as I know, so you'll want to turn it off.
    6. DHCP would only be useful if you had guest devices or people that temporarily needed to plug in. Else, you don't need it.
    7. I'd push harder on your ISP and see if you can buy your own modem and run it in bridged mode.
    If you have to operate your company behind the scenes or under a fake name, maybe it's time to leave the industry and start something fresh.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike V View Post
    7. I'd push harder on your ISP and see if you can buy your own modem and run it in bridged mode.
    Hi @Mike,

    Thanks for your advices. Regarding getting a modem from my ISP, i have already try to request one. Its not an option. Putting my ISP router in bridge mode, is not an option too. In a simple way, my ISP only provides modem/router combo.

    So i think i will put my Draytek router IP on the DMZ port of the ISP router.

    Anyone has any other advices?

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