So I've been the self taught IT guy in my household for quite some time. I have a household with incredibly high traffic. 4-6 people connected simultaneously. Gaming, home theater network, video streaming, skype and other voice chat use, printer sharing, network file sharing and even outward game streaming.

We've been having an excessive amount of trouble with systems falling out of sync from the network and being unable to communicate with the rest of the network, LAN transfer rates completely destroying online speeds and vice versa. I need to do a redesign for my houses network most definitely.

I've been doing research and it seems the best course of action is to try to keep internal network traffic somewhat isolated from outbound network traffic.

This is the network that I've mapped out for my 3 story house.

What I want this to accomplish is that local traffic can jump between the floors and go directly to other locally connected systems. Then any traffic that needs to go into the internet goes directly through its switch to the router which only needs to handle internet traffic.

Will this layout work with an STP network?

Hypothetically will it reduce congestion in the network?

Are there any things I'm missing in this concept that will prevent this overall idea from being do-able?

I'm looking into using Cisco SG200-08 switches and have not yet determined what router to use.

Would it be better to use a small business wireless router or a wired router with hot spots? (one on top and bottom floor?)

And lastly, a non essential question to be answered: Are there any small tweaks that I can add to this design to have better features/functionality in regards to small business, server or home theater setups?

2 Answers 2


STP is a protocol which switches use to prevent routing loops by sending each other BPDUs. This is accomplished by blocking ports to other switches which are not the best path back to the root switch. In your drawing, the switch built into the router should be the root switch, and each switch has a direct connection to it. That is fine, but all the traffic will go through the (root) switch in the router; none will go from switch to switch unless the switch link to the root switch is down since that would create STP loops with horrible results.

You seem to want to do traffic engineering with switches, but that is really the wrong way to go about it. Routers are the tools to use for traffic engineering.

  • Does that then mean that I need a router for internal traffic and one for external and connect each switch to both routers? What should I look up in order to accomplish this form of traffic engineering? Jan 21, 2016 at 23:35
  • Look, I can't imagine that you have so much traffic that you would experience local network congestion with your design, even if all the traffic flows through the root switch. The switch contained in a router/switch combination is a real switch, and it doesn't send anything to the router which is not destined to the router. Your bottleneck will be the WAN connection, but you can only get a bigger WAN connection for that.
    – Ron Maupin
    Jan 22, 2016 at 0:09

Although the answer about is good, I'll try to add to it. Your main problem seem to be the bottlenecks between switches. And yes, you made loops between them, but STP will only help you in disabling these loops, but in each exact moment only one uplink on each switch will be active (and should be active).

If you are using unmanaged switches, loops can really be the main issue and the main reason of unstable work here, I'd try to disable them. Or at least add the switches models to the description, so we can get exact information.

On the other hand, these are the options:

  • use one switch for all clients. this will require to redesign and redeploy home LAN, but with a proper switch all the local client will receive full bandwidth between them.
  • use switches with uplinks more performing. If your ports are 100 Mbit/sec, then use 1 Gb/sec uplinks. And so on: 10 Gb/sec uplinks for 1 Gb/sec ports. Although this is less expensive, you will still get bottlenecks, and these still will be uplinks, but you can calculate the bandwidth needed and hope to never cross this treshold.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.