Ethernet switch to add to AirPort Extreme

Aug 24, 2011
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I'm interested in adding an ethernet switch to my AirPort Extreme (5th generation) to have some additional wired ports available in the downstairs of our house. Currently the Extreme is in an upstairs room functioning as a typical wireless router. There are currently two wired connections: one to the desktop where the router is, the other cable is snaked through the floor to the downstairs where it connects to a Bose SoundTouch speaker so it gets a solid connection for streaming.

Here's what I'd like to do: purchase an unmanaged switch and connect it to the ethernet cable in the downstairs that is currently connected to the Bose speaker. Then be able to connect the speaker and any other devices to the switch.

My questions are: Will the Bose speaker continue to function as it currently does, or will putting a switch between it and the AirPort cause problems? Are unmanaged switches plug-and-play, or will there be some configuring to do? And finally, what are the advatanges/disadvantages to switches with more ports? Will an 8-port switch perform any differently than a 16-port switch? I don't know that I'd ever need 16 ports, but if there is no performance difference, I may go that route and not wish that I had later.
Mar 27, 2012
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Your Mac's Specs
2016 13" MBP, 16GB, 512G, 2011 13" MBP, 8GB, 256GB; 2012 Mini, 8GB, 128GB SSD, 500 GB HD, IPAD II
Small Ethernet Switch

Sorry I didn't see your inquiry earlier.

I have a home network that has an Apple Extreme as main router, Apple Express
to extend the WiFi to a distant area of the house, and 5 other switches on different hops within the house. I have a main 24 port switch, and 4 other 5 port switches installed where I have multiple wired devices. I had already wired much of the house, so I set a policy to only use WiFi with mobile devices, and use wires where wires existed.

Your question about how plug and play the switches are is key for most non-geeks.
Fortunately, they are pretty much PNP. Performance wise, I do not think the size of the switch makes any difference in a home. There is not enough simultaneous traffic in a home to tax any switch. You may be streaming from one computer to another which will consume capacity but still will perform. Internet traffic will not tax a home network. One caution though is to pay attention not to create too many "hops" in your main path. Everytime a transmission has to go from switch to switch, that is a "hop". so cascaded switches should be minimized. I have two hops in my most used wired connection, and cannot tell the difference from when I was wired directly to the router.

I hope this is helpful.

I have used these routers with zero troubles for a couple of years now.

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