I'm reviving this thread to update on my experience, and for an additional question... (if you don't care about my blurb, just go to the question on the last paragraph
First thing, using the switch was indeed a breeze. I just hooked up the router to it, and all other devices are wired to the switch. Nothing else needed to be done. Even the extra router hooked to it (the one in Bridge Mode) works fine just after plugging it in. I have though made a few changes to my network (see my update chart
). First, the iMac is now wired (this one was the easiest to do, the hardest part was waiting for the mail order for the cable
). Second, I have installed wall plates in the upstairs bedroom and living room near the switch with network attachments and a wire that runs through the wall (bedroom wall was just above the living room wall, so no real biggy here, although I did have a couple of hurdles in the way - perhaps could be detailed in a separate post as there are funny bits, although they weren't funny at the time!). So now the bedroom Mini is wired as well.
But I think the biggest endeavor for me was the setup of the NAS computer, using freeNAS. This went much better than expected. I know I could have used old parts for this NAS, as it really doesn't require much power. But there were two down sides to that: an old box would probably not have a Gigabit network. Also, it probably would not have SATA. Since I wanted all to be Gigabit-ready, and I already had SATA hard drives, I went ahead and bought new parts. Just minimal RAM though, and the most basic motherboard/CPU/case and PSU I could find to minimize the cost, with of course Gigabit network and multiple Sata connectors (4 to 6). Well it's up and running now, with four hard drives (total of 3,5Tb) and even an external drive hooked to it (for things that don't need speed). Works like a charm, and most of all, I get 50-60MB/sec speeds.
Now for my question: the current weakest link in the WRT54G router (the one in bridge mode in my chart). It only supports 10/100 network. I am not using it's wireless feature, so I'm thinking of replacing it with another gigabit switch. Can I just plug in a switch on another switch as easily as when I plugged the first switch in? (i.e., just plug it in and voilà?).
"The mind is like a parachute: it doesn't work unless it's open"... Frank Zappa