Unlike other types of shop, internet cafe needs one more wiring other than electrical wiring which is network cable wiring. A good planning is needed to suite the location of every device in the internet cafe. Unlike electric wiring which only needs 3 to 6 cables in each electric wire casing to the switches, plug or sockets, network cable is exclusive one cable for each device. This is about Category 5 (Cat5/Cat5e) cable. Cat 5 is required for basic 10/100 functionality, you would want Cat 5e for gigabit (1000BaseT) operation and Cat 6 or higher gives you a measure of future proofing.
If you do not want to work hard, there are many contractors who like to offer their services at a fair price and quality workmanship, but doing the job yourself is not as hard as you think. And it’s fun! (at least for me )
There is an old article I wrote about connecting all hardware in internet cafe. I wrote it in 2005, so it may have some outdated information.
In this article I will show you how I planned to connect the entire computer to one switch and to the router/modem and finally to the internet as the image below.
How do we connect a computer to a switch? A computer can be connected to a switch by a network cable. Common network cable used is Cat5. Each end of the cable has a plug, called RJ45 connector or plug. You can make the network cables yourself if you want to cut down the cost of setting up your own internet cafe. It is not so difficult. You only need Cat5 cable, RJ45 connectors, crimping tools and a lot of patience. Of course you must know how to arrange the wires by their colors.
And this is the latest ‘my’ internet cafe plan.
One end of each cable from 14 computers will run through the ceiling via electrical ‘casing n capping’. For computers at the center, there is a permanent structure built for electrical and network wiring purpose. The casing is mounted on the structure then all the cables run through the casing to above the ceiling.
All rj45 plugs/cables from 14 computers run down from the ceiling through the casing and then are plugged into the switch’s port. The others 6 computers connected to the switch by the cables run through casing mounted at the wall.
Other then 20 computers for the clients, devices needed to be connected to the switch are modem with built-in router, computer at the counter, and perhaps a server ( I planned to put an Ubuntu server in the LAN for NAS (network-attach storage), squid cache server, proxy server and might be an intranet web server – refer to Part 1). The switch I need is a 24 ports switch because I have 22 computers and 1 modem/router. So have only 1 extra port. Usually, there are 4 ports at the router/modem but one is used to connect to the switch. So overall I have 4 extra ports, which might be useful soon.