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Tight space for router

Pygmalion

New Around Here
I have very tight space in my electrical cabinet at my home, and Internet provider modem is already there. On the other hand, I have at least 8 LAN lines and WiFi to serve. Normal solution would be to buy a router AND 8 port switch, but I just don't have that much space.

One option is to get a really tiny two port router or perhaps 8 port router. But it is extremely difficult of not impossible to find such solutions on internet. I could hardly find any 8 port router (practically all routers have 4 ports) and they are extremely expensive.

What would you advice me?
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
Please post a photo of the space and approximate dimensions.
 

MichaelCG

Very Senior Member
I would look at options to expand the cabinet or have equipment outside of it. Cramming more electronics into tight spaces just sounds like a heat problem waiting to happen to cook your equipment.
 

Pygmalion

New Around Here
The available space is approx. 25cm x 15cm x 8cm.

Above is the modem from the Internet provider, below is D-Link DSR-250N 8 port router. I have to replace D-Link router, because it is one crappy piece of sh*t - problems all the time and no solutions from D-Link support.

20200814_133440.jpg
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Yikes, that's horrible!

As other's have said the initial reaction is to try and move both those devices to another location. I guess the issue there is that all your wired (you said "at least 8") connections terminate in this box? That might still be possible with a managed switch depending on how your LAN cables are laid out.

What is the box with the T2 logo on it? I'm guessing it's what you called your "provider modem", but it looks more like a router to me. It appears to have one blue and two grey Ethernet cables going into it. What are these? Is it only providing internet services, or is it doing other things like VoIP or IPTV?
 

CaptainSTX

Part of the Furniture
No router is going to have great or even good WiFi signals if it is located inside a metal cabinet. The heat build up is also going to cause issues.

What you need to do is by using either the coaxial cables or an Ethernet cable connect the modem to your router in a better location.
 

Pygmalion

New Around Here
Actually, the T2 logo box is both modem and router (one side phone cable, other side LAN). However it is locked by the Internet provider so I still need special device to manage connections (DHCP manager).

Total 10 UTP cables from different parts of the apartment all terminate in the box. There are also UTP cables for interfon and UTP cables for security cameras (not used).

In fact the setup is working rather well (90% of apartment is covered by WiFi), but the router has (I believe) software issues, so I have problems all the time.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
Starting with the simplest option first... The T2 box is also a router so presumably it also provides DHCP. If you let the T2 do all the routing, DHCP, etc. all you would need to add would be a simple multi-port switch to connect your Ethernet cables to. You could then place a separate wireless access point in any convenient location that has an Ethernet connection.

"There are also UTP cables for interfon...". Sorry, I don't know what interfon is but I guess it's not relevant here.
 

Pygmalion

New Around Here
The T2 box is unfortunately locked by the provider in a mode that gives just LAN output, no DHCP.

interfon=intercon, not really relevant, just to explain (numerous) wires in the bottom of the cabinet.
 

ColinTaylor

Part of the Furniture
The T2 box is unfortunately locked by the provider in a mode that gives just LAN output, no DHCP.
Can you give us a make and model number for this device so we can understand it a bit better. We don't want to suggest something that isn't compatible with it.

interfon=intercon, not really relevant, just to explain (numerous) wires in the bottom of the cabinet.
I'm none the wiser. It that like an intercom?
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
A cabinet like that is a terrible place for a wireless router. The will shorten the life of the router and/or its power supply and the metal enclosure reduces the Wi-Fi signal.

I would buy a 16 port Gigabit switch for inside the cabinet. Connect your LAN cables to it.
Mount a small shelf on the wall near the box for the router to sit on. Or get a router with wall-mount holes and stick it on the wall.
Drill a hole in the cabinet door for two Ethernet cables, one from the T2 modem to the router WAN port, the other from a router LAN port back to the switch.
 

Trip

Very Senior Member
Let's keep it simple. I'm not sure the OP needs to bother with drilling holes or mounting shelves.

Simply replace the DSR-250N with a Ubiquiti EdgeRouter-X (roughly the width and length of a deck of playing cards, only half again as high), plus a fanless, lower-power 8 or 16 port PoE switch, either managed, or unmanaged to keep it simple. Something shallow in height with one long row of ports, like a 8 or 16-port Netgear GS series. Then plug your LAN cables into the switch, and run your wifi elsewhere in the apartment via PoE using a proper purpose-built AP.
 
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Pygmalion

New Around Here
ColinTaylor: It is a SmartCom SVM104.

thiggins: what about just putting antennas out? BTW, the cabinet does have metal doors and a frame, but back side is plastic.

Trip: does there exist any even more compact router?
 

thiggins

Mr. Easy
Staff member
thiggins: what about just putting antennas out? BTW, the cabinet does have metal doors and a frame, but back side is plastic.
Adding cables between the router and antennas will reduce signal, but you could try it.
So the signal won't be attenuated as much going through the back of the box if it's plastic. But it will where there is metal.
 

Trip

Very Senior Member
Trip: does there exist any even more compact router?
Sure. If you don't mind 100Mb/s fast ethernet NICs (which should be plenty for routing a DSL connection), you could do something like a GL.iNET GL-MT300M-V2, which is only 2.98 x 2.98 x .98 inches, and runs OpenWRT, which is great for SQM QoS (practically a necessity for DSL I would think). I would still disable wifi on a unit like that, though, and run it elsewhere in the apartment via a discrete access point in a better location, per my initial reply.
 

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