Need help with home networking (wireless/VoIP)

I’m building a new home with an unfinished basement.

I have 5 Data lines and 5 phone lines running to a single spot in the basement (next to the fuse box). There are also 6 coax lines at the same spot.

I’m looking for a way to get my whole house wired and wireless for cable internet and cable VoIP from this single spot.

I’m thinking I’ll need one short coax line (basically just through the wall) running from the outside cable box to the basement to hook up a cable modem and then from there to a wired router and then I can plug in wireless access points as needed to the other end of the data lines throughout the house (or wired connections for desktops). Is there a router that can handle 5 or 6 lines or am I going to need a router AND some sort of switch?

How about VoIP? I’m not as familiar the hardware here as I’ve never had this kind of service. Is there a single piece of hardware I can link to my router and then connect all of the phone lines to it?

Most hoe routers only support 4 wired connections, so if you purchase a home router, then you will also need a switch or hub.

As far as wireless, depending on the construction/size of your house, the wireless signal might not travel very well from the basement to an upper floor, therefore you might need a Wireless Access Point for the upper floor(s)

Finally, they do sell network & cable “panels” for home use. They can include modules that handle network routing and phone routing as well as cable distribution.

Yes, there are routers that have more than 4 ports. one of these may work for you.

I had viatalk before they went under. I had one piece of equipment that I plugged into one of the ports on my router. I only had two phone plug-ins on mine, but you can see what equipment is offered by your VOIP company.

It sounds like you have the right idea. I am assuming your ISP is a cable company, such as Comacst or Cox. If so, the setup will be something like this:

The coax cable will come in from the outside cable box. If you have only one line coming in, you will need splitter to make a data line and a TV line. In a new house, you should have multiple lines coming in. One line plugs into the back of your cable modem. Cable modem to router. The VOIP box will plug into one of your ports, as well as all of your wired computers. Phones plug into the Voip box.

A few things to keep in mind. Cat5 cable (Ethernet cable) is rated for a 100 meter length. Any more than that and there may be signal degradation. Your wireless network will be centered on your router. It sounds like it will be up against an outside wall. You may be sending half your signal to your neighbor. So make sure you secure it. You signal strength will also be lower on the top levels of your house, as well as on the opposite side. You may want to consider running a wire to a wireless access point closer to the center of you house, depending on the size and layout of your house.

Theselinks may help.

Yeah, I don’t plan to put a wireless router in the basement. My plan is to put a non-wireless router (plus switch/hub if necessary) in the basement and then a wireless access point centered in the main floor.

I’ll have to look into a panel.

I’ve never had VoIP through a cable provider, but I do have it through the internet. I have an ATA (analog telephone adaptor) that plugs into my router (you can get a wireless dongle for it too). A lot of service providers will lend you one if you don’t already have one. You connect a regular telephone to it. You can also connect it to the phone lines and have telephone service at every other jack in the house, but you have to make sure the lines aren’t connected to the landline company’s outside box. The cable company may provide you with a router that has a built-in ATA. Once you have a regular analog signal, all you have to do is plug it into one of the jacks and all the rest will have connectivity. They also make digital phones so you don’t have to have an ATA, but I’d recommend the ATA.

All of the adapters I’ve seen like you’re talking about have connections for only 2 phone lines. I want to be able to connect all of my phone lines (5) in the same spot in the basement.

You might find this link to be helpful for the VOIP part:

The device you’re looking for is an Analog Terminal Adapter (ATA). They are also commonly known as VOIP Gateways. A quick google search reveals links to many such devices, including some with more than 6 ports. Hope this helps.

Like I said, plug the ATA into one of the telephone jacks and then all the other jacks will have telephone service. Just make sure it’s not connected to the outside telephone box that the telephone company provides.

How could it then be connected? The wires are not connected now. I need some way of connecting ALL of my phone lines into one VoIP system and ALL of my data lines into one cable broadband system and have all the hardware in the basement where all the wires are currently dangling.

Ah, that looks like a good possiblity. Thanks!

I have almost the set-up you’re describing. The major difference is that I have my ATA connected to the base unit of a wireless phone and also to my PSTN line. My wireless phone came with four additional handsets which we have spread throughout the house. The cable modem (also wireless but mostly ethernet cabled with only one wireless laptop connected), the ATA and one desktop computer are at one central point. We have only one PSTN line in at that same point and most people that ring me will use the PSTN line. When any of either the base unit or any handset rings out they use the cheap VoIP service (eight cents per call except to mobile phones anywhere in the world).

One option for getting more than 4 computers on a router is one of these, for example:

The VoIP boxes that I work with are manufactured by Linksys, and have an “internet” port and an “ethernet” port. This means it gets installed before the router, freeing up a port on said router.

If you want all your phone lines active on the VoIP box, you can do kind of like USCDiver said… take your phone lines and connect all the blues together, and all the white/blues together. (there are, of course, pretty ways to do this, like the phone companies do, but I can’t think of the name of the panel used.) To this, add a short cord, attached the same way, with an RJ-11 connector at the other end. (this is a standard phone plug)
Plug this into the VoIP box, it gets fed through the house.

Just found the module to which I was refering…
These are a few examples.


How do you connect all the jacks together? Just splice them together. All you really have to do is twist the similarly colored wires together, but like was said, there are panels to make it prettier. But it’s really no different than a regular telephone hookup, except the ATA is plugged into one jack and there are no wires running to the box outside. There’s no need to get an ATA with several ports, and sometimes (in the case of mine) the different ports are for different services anyway.

The reason for this is that the ATA needs certain protocols coming straight to it. If you know how to forward those protocols from your router, you can just plug the ATA into the router. (That’s how I prefer to do it.) My Sipura can also act as a router, but without as much functionality as my Linksys. It can work as either a router, a bridge, or a client.

So what if I got something like this Leviton Basic Home Networking Plus Panel and put it next to my fuse box in the basement. I could have cable internet signal from outside running to cable modem, and then to the cat5 connection inside this panel and from there connect all my data cables (this would essentially replace the router, would that work or do I need to go cable modem to router to panel?). Wireless access points could be connected upstairs as needed.

I could then have my VoIP box connected however (pre or post router or out of one of the data connectors in the panel) and then into the voice part of the panel then out to the phone jacks within the house.

I could also have only one other cable line running into the panel and then out to the 6 coax lines in the house.

I’m thinking this is probably the best overall solution. Any thoughts?

This unit can’t replace a router. internet “splitting” needs something to control what information goes to what line. This is what the router does.
Phone, on the other hand, is a “dumb” connection – the same signal goes to all lines, and you just pick one of the phones and it works. (I’m sure someone else can explain this so much more eloquently than I)

So, in essence, if you had a panel like this, you’d have each network line run to one of the plugs, and a short network cable from each LAN port of your router to one of said plugs in the panel.


I just noticed my flub; replace USCDiver with snailboy, and this statement will surely make a great deal more sense…

Sorry about any confusion, folks.


It’s not only that; the router will also provide DHCP service to assign unique local ip addresses to each device connected, and will present a single interface to the cable modem. Using only a hub, splitter, or panel will not be sufficient; you need a router.

I may be mistaken, but it looks like that’s just a patch panel. If so, it won’t even act as a hub. You connect cables to the front, and it has cables coming out the back for each port. It only functions to make things neater.