Networking question for Roon activity

I’m not real versed in networking, basically plug and play knowledge, so I need some advice.

I have an ASUS GT-AC5300 8 port wireless router and it has provided enough connections for a while. Had all the sound system components plus the Nuc/Rock using the Ethernet ports with wireless to my PC in the bedroom, the Elac Z3 in the kitchen, the printer, cell phones and of course the IPAD controller.

I had 4 Ethernet cables ran last week, one to the bedroom for the PC/DAC endpoint, one to the Kitchen for the Elac Z3, plus 2 extras. With that addition I’ve run out of ports on the Asus Router and have picked up an 8 port Linksys switch.

So now I’m wondering which way to do the connections and if it really makes any difference.

One option is to use the last port on the router for the switch and use it for the extra cable runs that aren’t currently being used.

The second option is to connect the modem to the switch, with all Roon Ethernet connected devices on the switch, then connect the switch to the router for wireless and anything else requiring Ethernet connections. The though being that the Asus router would not have much Ethernet activity with just components connected for firmware updates so it would mainly be for wireless.

I would appreciate any advice. Thanks.

The way I do it.

Generally speaking, you can’t do this. The modem has to go into a WAN port on the router.

If it’s handy to connect some devices directly to the router, then do so.

As a rule, I use as few router ports as necessary. Some routers have really crappy ports.

Ok, that is good to know and why I asked before I screwed anything up. Thanks.

Another benefit of using a switch is that all devices on a particular switch can communicate with each other without going back to the router, if that makes a difference to your setup…

If you have multiple switches, some people say to hang each switch off a different router port.

Routing-wise that’s usually not practical. I daisy chain my switches.

FWIW. :slightly_smiling_face:

I would go asus > switch > the ethernet.

I’m trying to decide which devices to have on the router and which ones to have on the switch. At least one of the ports on the router has gaming priority and gets dibs on the bandwidth so I may connect the switch to that one and connect all the Roon devices, NUC and endpoints, on the switch.

Would Roon communicate with the endpoints on the switch without going back to the router?

My understanding is that all devices on a particular switch will ‘see’ each other without a return trip to the router.

A switch is device-centric rather than software-centric, so to speak.

This is correct. Also, do notice that if you install another router and have it configured in router mode, devices connected to that new router won’t have access to the Roon Core. Basically a router creates a new network, and all Roon endpoints need to be in the same network of the core.

I have an analogy for all this things, hope it helps to understand:

Imagine, your Ethernet cables are streets. Your endpoints on the network are houses and shops. To move from your house to a shop you simply follow the street.

Now you have multiple streets. These streets all end up in a junction. This junction is your switch.

Basically as long as you stay in town you only have to follow the streets. Sometimes you have to use another street. In this case you turn right at the junction. In other words your data packets move from one cable to another. This happens on the switch.

The router is a little bit more complicated: it has two roles. On the one side, it is a switch or a junction to keep the analogy. On the other side it is the boundary of your town. Imagine it is the station. If you want to leave your town, you go to the station and take the train to somewhere. (for the racers, it is the entry to the highway)

Basically if your Roon Core sends data to your endpoint, it stays in town, no need to go to the station. But if your Roon Core has to fetch data from Tidal, Qobuz, or metadata from Roon, in this case the packets have to leave your town, so they go the station and travel to another town, where they fetch the information you require.

Normally you have one router to the outside world, and you can have multiple switches on the inside. Depends on the size of your local network.