This is a meta-post inspired by a few other hardware threads:
It's "meta" in that I'm not asking for hardware recommendations (yet). I'm trying to figure out if I've got my problem defined well enough.
If an OpenWRT veteran can look at the post and say, "Oh yeah, I know what this person needs. Go get XYZ hardware." I'd consider this "done" and would go on to ask what XYZ is.
If that same veteran could reasonably say, "We don't know what your needs are around <\somecapability> and depending on those needs, you'll get a totally different answer." I'll go and figure out what that is.
ie I'd like to iterate on this until "it depends.." is no longer a reasonable response
Conversely, if there's stuff in here that's either irrelevant or self-evident, I'd be inclined to remove it.
- All hardware should be reliable; it should have a rich record of use without major problems (any problem that can't be addressed by a single entry in an FAQ or a single page in official documentation).
- All end devices can connect to the home network via Ethernet or WiFi, depending on end device capabilities.
- The home network should minimize marginal latency relative to connecting an end device directly to the modem.
- The home network should never be the limiting factor in bandwidth.
- Expect up to 4 normal users plus potential guests.
- The WAN link may be a limiting factor.
- The individual network cards on end devices may be limiting factors.
- A guest should be able to add themselves to the network easily.
- Users should never be disconnected accidentally
- Users may be disconnected if there is a physical disruption (eg moving out of range, power loss, disconnected cables)
- Users and administrators may intentionally disconnect users.
- An administrator should be able to change the permissions of particular users or devices easily.
- An administrator should be able to impose parental filters on particular sites; including content and time limitation.
- An administrator should be able to control bandwidth for particular devices, services or users
- An administrator should be able to add SPAM and tracking protection to the whole home network.
- An administrator should be able to create a firewall that allows filtering, IDS, logging and port forwarding.
- Cost isn't everything. It's a factor but I'm not looking for the cheapest solution on the market.
- This doesn't all need to fit into the same piece of hardware.
Wheelbarrow and holocaust cloak
- 1Gbps WAN (Verizon FIOS)
- ~2,500 sf over 3 floors (basement, 1st, 2nd)
- Radio quiet area (I can see the networks of only 3 neighbors and they're all weak signals)
- Modem is in the basement but there's a CAT 6 cable running to the 1st floor.
- 1 desktop with 1Gbps card
- multiple laptops, tablets and phones that support variations of 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
future plans for more 1Gbps cards
- It's possible, but not easy, to add more cabling.