1st: I would like to thank you for your time. 2nd: I was asked by a charity organization to help building a system and network for the charity center where they help the most needed groups in the society as much as they can. We need to keep the budget as low as possible. We need help choosing cheap network devices (Routers-Switches-APs) but good enough not to impedes the work.

Here is the network we need to build: enter image description here

Notes: 1- The Router will be connected to ADSL so the users can access the internet and to allow remote monitor for the surveillance cameras. 2- The PCs numbers in the pictures are the actual real numbers of PCs in each subnet. (maybe very few cellphones connected to some APs and a few printers). 3- Merging vlans is possible if necessary. 4- Can unmanaged switches be used to reduce coast? would it possible to use cheap non-Cisco switches and access points that doesn't understand Vlans?. Switches and APs from TP-Link as an example. 5- I know that the SW_0 is considered a single point failure, but we have to work with a very low budget. 6- I'm an IT technician not a network engineer (studing to be), so I don't have much experience and knowledge with cisco networks. I'm kinda a CCNA level network engineer.

Help us to make to make things better for the most needed people out here.

Thank you again : )

Have a nice day everyone.

  • Unfortunately, product or resource recommendations are explicitly off-topic here, as are consumer-grade devices. You could try to ask about hardware recommendations on Hardware Recommendations, and software recommendations on Software Recommendations. – Ron Maupin Dec 13 '16 at 14:05
  • Oh ok.. sorry, I didn't know. – Ramez Dous Dec 13 '16 at 20:57

I can't provide brand recommendations, but I would recommend used enterprise-grade hardware. Ebay is a great resource. Managed layer-2 and even layer-3 switches, for instance, can be had for pennies on the original retail dollar, especially if you're willing to work with cosmetically imperfect equipment. I'm not very familiar with TP-Link, but I do know you can buy quality used network hardware for less than new TP gear, and I would enthusiastically recommend doing so.

Managed switches are necessary to implement VLANs. Switch0 could utilize a pair of aggregated links to its downlink partners (i.e. SW1) when possible to provide an extra inexpensive and easy-to-configure layer of redundancy and extra bandwidth as well. Switch0 could actually be a pair of switches too. This would give the core itself some extra redundancy.

  • Thank you for the information provided. But still searching for specific hardware to use. Do I need all switches to be managed? Do you think I will need a Layer3 switch or a Router and L2 Switch? – Ramez Dous Dec 13 '16 at 20:59
  • To support VLANs you will need managed switches. All switches operate at L2+. Layer 3 switches are not necessary for supporting VLANs. I can't give you any specific hardware recommendations here, but HP and Cisco managed switches, for example, should work well for you if I understand your requirements correctly. – Ted Quanstrom Dec 13 '16 at 21:39
  • Thanks again for you comment. My question is, If I have a managed switch in the middle on the network "SW_0 in the picture", and connected it to other unmanged switch to reduce the coast. Will these switches be able to receive and transmit packets with the SW_0 or they will drop the packets because of the tag header added by the managed switch? or should I just set the port to access instead of trunk mode?. – Ramez Dous Dec 14 '16 at 2:14

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