The back of the network has to hold
4 power supplies (modem, router, printer, phone)
a power strip / surge protector,
3 phone connections (fax , dsl modem, and phone), and
2 ethernet connections (modem->router, router->desktop).
Particularly problematic are the power supplies, which tend to be bulky. Cables will wrap around the power supplies and around each other, and before long the entire setup becomes difficult to maintain.
A previous solution to the problem was my innovative LANCaddy, made out of two disposable aluminum baking trays. This setup has worked great for the last 6 months, but the shelf space used by the caddy is now needed for new gadgets. So I’m going vertical, and putting my LAN on the wall. Meet the LANCaddy II.
The core of the setup is a bathroom organizer shelf from IKEA. Any kind of multi-shelf organizer will do, considering it meets the following criteria: it must be wide enough to hold the power strip, and it must have at least one shelf that is tall enough to hold the router (which is probably the tallest component).
Get the router into the shelving first (without antenna). You’ll need to play around with the shelving you get to figure out the best place to put it. I found that putting the shelving upside down was actually the best way to make everything fit.
After the router is in the right place, attach the antenna. Then screw the shelving into the wall.
Next attach the power strip/surge protector to the shelf that it will be stored in. Duct tape secures the power strip to the shelving.
Next mount a phone cord that has a splitter at the end on the wall next to the shelf. There should be a hole that you can use to attach it to the wall with a nail or screw. Attach any dsl filters you need here.
After that put the modem on the shelf and start hooking up the components to their data and power connections. One tip: retractable Ethernet and phone cords will remove a lot of the potential for tangles.
Another tip: consider mounting the shelving upside down if that works better for the gear and space that you have. The shelf that I used did!
If you mount the vertical caddy in front of a piece of furniture (a filing cabinet or bureau drawer), then the wires will go down the back of the cabinet and be out of sight. Voila!