Home Network and ST Hub

Is there any difference in hooking up the hub directly to the router vs. through a switch? I am new to using network switches, so here is a picture of the rough plan. Just wondering is I can run the Hub through a switch also to free up more ports.

Any other suggestions would be greatly appreciated.



Yes, you can plug the SmartThings hub into one of the switch ports, it doesn’t need to plug directly into one of the ports on your router.

If it makes you any more comfortable, that is the situation in my own network (in fact, there are three switches between my SmartThings hub and the router).

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as long as u pull an IP from your router subnet and have internet access it’ll work … to put it plain jane

e.g. my router dhcp’s 192.168.x.x and your hub show up in the planform web interface with the same IP schema

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Is there value in spending the money on rackable components and a rack or are the standard desk top units just as good?

The answer to that depends upon a lot of “IF’s”…

IF you:

  • Will have a lot of components AND/OR
  • Will have a lot of cabling AND
  • Have the space for a rack (including front and rear access; swing out
    racks are available for smaller spaces)

THEN a rack may be worthwhile

IF you:

  • Need a combination of advanced features (e.g. managed switch, VLAN, SPAN ports, RMON, etc.)
    which you can only find in a rack style switch

THEN decision made (but whether you rack mount it is up to you - see earlier IF questions)

At home, I don’t currently use rack mounting and I just use the small, common, unmanaged switches.

I find that you can get most networking equipment in “desktop” models even with the features you mentioned.

For me, I turned a small closet in a network center with just a small four shelf bookcase. I have modem, router, a 24-port switch, 3 POE switches (powering 9 cameras and 3 wireless access points around the house) and 10 assorted pieces of equipment (including the ST hub and Hue bridge).

But you can probably get a rackmount kit for the switches you’re referring to, right? (Bolt on brackets or similar).

In my case, I ran a single ethernet cable from my router to each room that needs networking (sorry, you’ll have to use wi-fi in the bathrooms) and then just used desktop switches/hubs in the rooms that need more than a single drop (such as the living room with my streaming devices and gaming systems). Generally this is ok because my use case is such that I’m not really using all of those connected devices at the same time in the same room… If you go with a rack mounted version, you’ll need to run a wire for each drop you want to use or you’ll still be using something in each room.

Is there value in keeping the router and switches the same brand or does that not really effect anything?

I am doing home run wiring to every location. I just don’t want the clutter of the switches on book cases and desks. I’ll sacrifice a little versatility to have a clean install.

There are 27 locations to run wire, leaving 4 open ports on the Camera PoE switch and 1 open on the Whole House Audio switch.

I redrew my plans a few times now. I am planning on using one 8 Port PoE switches for the Cameras and three 8 ports switches for everything else. I have a few questions about this though.

  1. Is there anything else that I might want PoE for later besides cameras?
  2. Is there value in putting bigger switches in? It seems like 32 ports should be enough but…
  3. Should I eat a couple hundred extra dollars and do everything in CAT7? I figure the cameras and WHA touch pads wont really need CAT7, but is it a worthy future proof measure? CAT 7 is crazy expensive comparitively and I am anal enough that I have to have these categories in different colors (I anticipate needing to trouble shoot things later), so I will have to buy multiple spools.
  4. Any NAS suggestions.


I ran all Netgear equipment for a long time but about a year switched to multiple brands with no real issues (currently using Ubiquiti Edgerouter, Netgear 24 port gigabit switch, 2- Netgear AF POE swtiches, Zyxel AT POE switch, 2- Zyxel Wifi-AC WAP, EngeniousTech Wifi-AC WAP). There are still a few features I haven’t been able to get to work across brands (Link Aggregation specifically).

Is there anything else that I might want PoE for later besides cameras?- I would suggest wireless access points. I got tired of my wife complaining about Wifi dead spots, so now I have three access points around the house.

Is there value in putting bigger switches in? It seems like 32 ports should be enough but… If it meets your needs now, it can always be expanded or upgraded later

Should I eat a couple hundred extra dollars and do everything in CAT7?.. I wired my house a few years so i used CAT5E and have no issues achieving gigabit speeds. The most recent wiring I have done is all CAT6. If you are thinking about going with 10gig ethernet, then CAT7 might be worth it…

Any NAS suggestions. I am a huge fan of the Synology products. I have been running a Synology 1512+ for almost three years with zero issues.

I am sure I wont really need CAT7 now, I just want to put it in so it is there when it is needed.

Good call on the Synology system. They look like they have some good stuff, especially for me who doesn’t want to do a DIY FreeNAS build. Do you use Plex with it or do you just use the Synology stuff as is?

Any way to integrate with ST at all?

Thanks for the help.


The two main things I use my Synology for are Plex (I have a large video library) and recording my security cameras. For the cameras I record using regular old FTP as opposed to the Synology software (Surveillance Station). The Synology software requires licenses at about $50 a pop for every camera you add which gets unnecessarily expensive quickly.

I have not integrated my Synology with ST in anyway but I think I remember dicsussion around a Plex smartapp.

I just looked this model up. That’s a beast. I am looking at the 415Play. Even then it it overkill for me. Not sure if the average processor and 1gig of RAM will be great for Plex either. Do these connect to the router via ethernet rather than USB 3.0?

Any reason why you use Plex instead of the Synology solution?

Yes, these connect via ethernet so it will be much faster than a USB connection.

In terms of the processor, it depends on the type of media you will be playing. My video files have all been pre-transcoded (using Handbrake) to play on many devices (MP4 video and AAC audio), meaning that that Plex doesn’t have to do any realtime transcoding. This means Plex is barely using the processor. When I try to run media that requires transcoding (MKV, AVI, etc…) it brings the processor to its knees… This should be less of an issues for the 415Play since it has special transcoding hardware.

I like the user interface of Plex and the fact that there are clients for almost every device (iPhone, iPad, Kindle Fire, Fire TV/stick, PS4, Ouya). I get a consistent experience from device to device.