Question Can a 2.5G port support 5GbE?

Game_lifter95

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Hello IT wizards🧙🏻‍♂️

For context I currently have 1GbE (Gigibit Ethernet) proved by AT&T fiber. After randomly strolling through their website I noticed AT&T now offers up to 5GbE in my area!? So of course I want to upgrade to the max. Now for my question, I am also upgrading my Wi-Fi router to one that supports the new 6E standard and I’m stuck between two routers. One router has “Dual 2.5G ports” on the back and the other router has a single 10G port. If I upgrade my plan to 5GbE will I get the full 5Gs through a 2.5G port? Or do I need to go with the router that has a 10G port?
Also, I remember reading that 1G ports & 10G ports only support their respective through put speeds so does that mean I wouldn’t see my new 5GbE speeds using the 10G port as well? Someone please explain the specs of these ports to me cause it’s driving me crazy can’t find an explanation online and clearly I don’t know anything about Ethernet ports.
 
It depends on the port if it can run 10g and 5g. Many can run 1,2.5,5 & 10. Others can only run 10.

For ports that can run at multiple speeds they will negotiate the fastest they all support. The port must be a full 5g on the router you can not bind 2 2.5 together to get 5.

Obviously your pc must also have at least 1 5g port to use it.

Since you can't really put att box in true bridge mode and it actually is a OK router I would just use it as your main router. You can then plug a switch that has faster than 1g ports into all your equipment. A switch with multigigabit ports is a lot cheaper than a router that has more than 1 multigigabit. The routers that have even 2 faster ports are very expensive and you need at least 2 5g one for the router and one for your PC.

I don't know if att has put out their wifi6e box yet. If you want wifi6e, and actually have end devices that can use it, I would buy a cheaper wifi6e router and use it as a AP.

So far ATT has not convinced me that $180 a month for 5g is a good deal. Things like steam are already seeing bottlenecks with the 1gbit speed from att.
 
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Inthrutheoutdoor

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The weakest link theory applies here :)

If you service connection is 5Gb, and you run it through a 10Gb (or 100Gb or 1000Gb) router, then it goes to your pc with a 2.5G port, 2.5G is what you're gonna get...period !

unless you have some kind of magic wand that nobody knows about :)

And the WiFi part will have ZERO influence on the wired speeds.

So even if your new router says WiFi 6E on it, if your wireless device(s) only support 5.xxx, that's all your gonna get there too !
 

Game_lifter95

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It depends on the port if it can run 10g and 5g. Many can run 1,2.5,5 & 10. Others can only run 10.

For ports that can run at multiple speeds they will negotiate the fastest they all support. The port must be a full 5g on the router you can not bind 2 2.5 together to get 5.

Obviously your pc must also have at least 1 5g port to use it.

Since you can't really put att box in true bridge mode and it actually is a OK router I would just use it as your main router. You can then plug a switch that has faster than 1g ports into all your equipment. A switch with multigigabit ports is a lot cheaper than a router that has more than 1 multigigabit. The routers that have even 2 faster ports are very expensive and you need at least 2 5g one for the router and one for your PC.

I don't know if att has put out their wifi6e box yet. If you want wifi6e, and actually have end devices that can use it, I would buy a cheaper wifi6e router and use it as a AP.

So far ATT has not convinced me that $180 a month for 5g is a good deal. Things like steam are already seeing bottlenecks with the 1gbit speed from att.
The routers in question are mentioned below. I am aware that any devices I’m going to connect to 5GbE require a multi Gig network plug, and you need a device that’s 6E capable to see the full benefits (not my question) my question is can I run full 5GbE through a “2.5G” port, or do I need to opt for NetGear Orbi with the 10G port?
“it depends on the 2.5G port” doesn’t really help, can it allow 5G or not? Still super confused haha thanks for the reply thou :)
ASUS ZenWiFi Pro AXE11000 Tri-Band WiFi 6E Mesh System
&
NETGEAR Orbi Quad-Band WiFi 6E Mesh System
 

Game_lifter95

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It depends on the port if it can run 10g and 5g. Many can run 1,2.5,5 & 10. Others can only run 10.

For ports that can run at multiple speeds they will negotiate the fastest they all support. The port must be a full 5g on the router you can not bind 2 2.5 together to get 5.

Obviously your pc must also have at least 1 5g port to use it.

Since you can't really put att box in true bridge mode and it actually is a OK router I would just use it as your main router. You can then plug a switch that has faster than 1g ports into all your equipment. A switch with multigigabit ports is a lot cheaper than a router that has more than 1 multigigabit. The routers that have even 2 faster ports are very expensive and you need at least 2 5g one for the router and one for your PC.

I don't know if att has put out their wifi6e box yet. If you want wifi6e, and actually have end devices that can use it, I would buy a cheaper wifi6e router and use it as a AP.

So far ATT has not convinced me that $180 a month for 5g is a good deal. Things like steam are already seeing bottlenecks with the 1gbit speed from att.
The weakest link theory applies here :)

If you service connection is 5Gb, and you run it through a 10Gb (or 100Gb or 1000Gb) router, then it goes to your pc with a 2.5G port, 2.5G is what you're gonna get...period !

unless you have some kind of magic wand that nobody knows about :)

And the WiFi part will have ZERO influence on the wired speeds.

So even if your new router says WiFi 6E on it, if your wireless device(s) only support 5.xxx, that's all your gonna get there too !
I must have been unclear in my question/intentions. My end goal is to not lose any throughout wirelessly, I plan to have a multi gig card for my desktops but for my Wi-Fi 6E devices I want to know if a 2.5G port can run 5GbE or do I have to go with the router that has a 10G port
 
Wifi should not be your primary concern I doubt you are going to get anywhere even close to those magic numbers they state. What I wonder and have not been able to find it how fast the wifi chip connects to the cpu/switch chip. In effect this is a ethernet cable but almost all this data is locked away in documents I suspect they only supply to router manufactures.

So the key difference between wifi6e and wifi6 is that it runs on 6ghz the data encoding is the same. Although there are issues with things like weather radar on 5g what you see from test results is that almost nobody is even getting 1gbit. Most are reporting numbers about 900mbps.
That is what makes me wonder if the connection between the wifi chip and the cpu is only 1gbit. It could just be all the standard wifi lies we see. I mean they claim 1200 or whatever and we only get 300.

There is almost no testing data on wifi6e routers and it is hard to say if you can compare these extremely expensive new wifi6e routers to similar wifi6 devices. The chips used are different. I really doubt you are going to see over 1gbit on any form of wifi.

So the only router I think that you can even consider if you want 5gbit is a asus axe16000.....and I think it costs over $700. It has only been on the market for about a month. This router is the only one I know of that has more than 1 port that can run over 2.5g. It has 2 10gbit ports.

What I don't know and is the same question on the netgear you list is does the port run 10g only or will it run at 5g also. The documentation does not say and there does not appear to be a speed setting in the screenshots I saw.
This equipment is so new nobody has taken them apart and documented the chips so you can't even do the trick of looking the specs up on the chips.

So if the 10g ports will not run at 5g then it is end of project. These routers are kinda rare in the first place. I have not seen any that have 5g ports much less 2 5g ports.

So I suppose you could make the 10g ports work by using a 10g board in your PC plugged into one of them and then use a switch 5 port switch to as a media converter between the att box and the 10g wan port. A switch like a netgear XS505M can run at all the different speeds on each port and it clearly states it in the documentation.

You could also like I stated use the att box as a router. Place one of these switches into the 5g lan port and then connect whatever you need to the other ports on the switch. If you wanted you could hook up that orbi system as a AP using the 10g port.

You can come back and tell us how fast this stuff really runs. I strongly suspect this is another round of lies. Most wifi6 devices do not run faster than the older 802.11ac (wifi5) because they only support 80mhz bands.
 
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Game_lifter95

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Wifi should not be your primary concern I doubt you are going to get anywhere even close to those magic numbers they state. What I wonder and have not been able to find it how fast the wifi chip connects to the cpu/switch chip. In effect this is a ethernet cable but almost all this data is locked away in documents I suspect they only supply to router manufactures.

So the key difference between wifi6e and wifi6 is that it runs on 6ghz the data encoding is the same. Although there are issues with things like weather radar on 5g what you see from test results is that almost nobody is even getting 1gbit. Most are reporting numbers about 900mbps.
That is what makes me wonder if the connection between the wifi chip and the cpu is only 1gbit. It could just be all the standard wifi lies we see. I mean they claim 1200 or whatever and we only get 300.

There is almost no testing data on wifi6e routers and it is hard to say if you can compare these extremely expensive new wifi6e routers to similar wifi6 devices. The chips used are different. I really doubt you are going to see over 1gbit on any form of wifi.

So the only router I think that you can even consider if you want 5gbit is a asus axe16000.....and I think it costs over $700. It has only been on the market for about a month. This router is the only one I know of that has more than 1 port that can run over 2.5g. It has 2 10gbit ports.

What I don't know and is the same question on the netgear you list is does the port run 10g only or will it run at 5g also. The documentation does not say and there does not appear to be a speed setting in the screenshots I saw.
This equipment is so new nobody has taken them apart and documented the chips so you can't even do the trick of looking the specs up on the chips.

So if the 10g ports will not run at 5g then it is end of project. These routers are kinda rare in the first place. I have not seen any that have 5g ports much less 2 5g ports.

So I suppose you could make the 10g ports work by using a 10g board in your PC plugged into one of them and then use a switch 5 port switch to as a media converter between the att box and the 10g wan port. A switch like a netgear XS505M can run at all the different speeds on each port and it clearly states it in the documentation.

You could also like I stated use the att box as a router. Place one of these switches into the 5g lan port and then connect whatever you need to the other ports on the switch. If you wanted you could hook up that orbi system as a AP using the 10g port.

You can come back and tell us how fast this stuff really runs. I strongly suspect this is another round of lies. Most wifi6 devices do not run faster than the older 802.11ac (wifi5) because they only support 80mhz bands.
Again…I am not worried about getting the 5GbE to my Desktops. That’s not my question or my concern that is the easy part……….my question isn’t “should I do this or that, the routers I’ve listed are cable of pushing multi gig speeds and my ISP is able of pushing 5G so that is my goal for Wi-Fi I know what 6E is and what it’s cable of and as long as I can push the speeds using a proper port THAT is my question and reason for this post.

the Asus router I listed has a 2.5G port will that accept the 5GbE throughput from my modem? I am not using the AT&T router for obvious reasons I require a mesh set up for my home and it is not an option and third party routers are far superior.

I to have read for 10G ports that they typically only support 10G only same as 1G ports, but I’ve read that 2.5G ports, sometimes referred to as “multi gig ports” are capable of accepting varies speeds. Is this true?
 
Why would you think you could transfer 5gbit of data through a 2.5 port. If that magic worked you could just use a 1gbit port and transfer data at 5gbit.

Now you could connect the 5g port in the modem to a 2.5g port and the modem port will slow down to 2.5g. But again then you would be paying for 5g service and only able to use 2.5g.

There is no hard rule about 10g ports and what speeds they support. Some are 10gbit only other support other speeds. If you were to look at this switch for example the 10g ports on this device support all speeds except for the SFP slot that only runs 1g or 10g.


I can't find any documentation on the 10g ports in the routers if they also support 5g and I have found no router that has 5g ports. So maybe you can use these to get 5gbit connections but I don't know how to know for sure.

But lets say the port can run at 5g also. That might solve your wifi issue....again you will not likely get above 1gbit....but you now have no place to connect your desktops. How do you think you can connect to router at 5g if there are no ports to connect to.
 

Game_lifter95

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Ohh and to answer your question very directly a 2.5g port can not run at 5g. Now the port on the att router can run at 2.5 or 5g but then you would be wasting your money if you paid for 5g internet service.
Ok perfect that’s what I was wondering, so I would have to get the NetGear router with the 10G port then to not get bottle necked if I upgrade my ISP.
 

Game_lifter95

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Why would you think you could transfer 5gbit of data through a 2.5 port. If that magic worked you could just use a 1gbit port and transfer data at 5gbit.

Now you could connect the 5g port in the modem to a 2.5g port and the modem port will slow down to 2.5g. But again then you would be paying for 5g service and only able to use 2.5g.

There is no hard rule about 10g ports and what speeds they support. Some are 10gbit only other support other speeds. If you were to look at this switch for example the 10g ports on this device support all speeds except for the SFP slot that only runs 1g or 10g.


I can't find any documentation on the 10g ports in the routers if they also support 5g and I have found no router that has 5g ports. So maybe you can use these to get 5gbit connections but I don't know how to know for sure.

But lets say the port can run at 5g also. That might solve your wifi issue....again you will not likely get above 1gbit....but you now have no place to connect your desktops. How do you think you can connect to router at 5g if there are no ports to connect to.
So my plan would be to buy a multi gig switch so the pathway would go from my modem>Switch>Router&desktop
 
That would work because the switch would convert if from 5g to 10g and reverse. You are going to have to leave the att box in router mode....it kinda always is since att does not support true bridge anyway.

In that case I would see if you can run the orbi router as a bridge and not a router. I am not sure how the mesh crap works on that box and if it matters if the internet port is bridged.

You could just leave it as router mode but you might have issue sharing from your desktop that is plugged into the switch and on the internet side of the orbi system. Your wifi device can get to your desktops it is the other way around that will cause you a issue. For example you want to place a printer on the att lan network so everything can get to it.
 

Game_lifter95

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That would work because the switch would convert if from 5g to 10g and reverse. You are going to have to leave the att box in router mode....it kinda always is since att does not support true bridge anyway.

In that case I would see if you can run the orbi router as a bridge and not a router. I am not sure how the mesh crap works on that box and if it matters if the internet port is bridged.

You could just leave it as router mode but you might have issue sharing from your desktop that is plugged into the switch and on the internet side of the orbi system. Your wifi device can get to your desktops it is the other way around that will cause you a issue. For example you want to place a printer on the att lan network so everything can get to it.
So currently ATTs modems act as a modem/Router combo unit but I went into the config and disable the internal router satellites (to ensure there’s no interference with the router I plan to buy) and then I will attach any devices to the multi gig switch so everything has access to the internet (even thou only my desktop and router really need the 5GbE) and everything should be good to go. Is this over kill, yes, but I want a future proof system so when 10G becomes available all I have to do to upgrade is call my ISP I’ll have all the hardware, I’m also using CAT7 wires on everything so wiring is handled too
 

Game_lifter95

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That would work because the switch would convert if from 5g to 10g and reverse. You are going to have to leave the att box in router mode....it kinda always is since att does not support true bridge anyway.

In that case I would see if you can run the orbi router as a bridge and not a router. I am not sure how the mesh crap works on that box and if it matters if the internet port is bridged.

You could just leave it as router mode but you might have issue sharing from your desktop that is plugged into the switch and on the internet side of the orbi system. Your wifi device can get to your desktops it is the other way around that will cause you a issue. For example you want to place a printer on the att lan network so everything can get to it.
I just wish I could know 110% if that NetGear Orbi router can also support 5GbE through its 10G port cause if it doesn’t then I’ll have to return everything. Another question for you, do you know the max bandwidth Wifi 6e can handle? I’ve seen speed tests online of people getting 1.4Gbps on their 6e devices BUT I don’t know what data plan their ISP was running like if they had a 1G plan or 2.5G plan etc.
 
Anyone that is testing with speedtest you should not trust. The way it should be tested is you put a device on each side of the router and run something like IPERF.

Wifi speeds require you to learn how they tell the lies. So first they add together all the radio speeds but a single device can use only 1 radio. This means wifi6e at most can be 4800 data encoding rate. Next they are adding transmit and receive speeds together they would call a gigabit cable 2 gbit except ethernet can actually do that because it is full duplex. Wifi pretty much is 1/2 these encoding rate running normal types of traffic so you are now at 2400. Then they are assuming you can get perfect 4 mimo streams overlapping. It is very very rare to have 4 antenna/feeds on end device. Your most common portable devices only have 2. So you are now down to say 1200. Then to get the fastest encoding wifi6 uses QAM1024. This only works very close....like in the same room where you could use ethernet. At more normal distances and signal levels you will drop back to 256qam or less.

So unless you are setting up abnormal test cases to get maximum speed it is unlikely you will get even 1gbit. Still this is better than wifi5 where you get maybe 500-600 maximum and much more commonly 300-400mbps in normal conditions.
 
note If you use the orbi repeater/mesh you make this even slower. You either have to dedicate the 6g radio to the backhaul between the device or you are limited to slower speeds on the other radios. You can also run it without the dedicated backhaul and now you have overlapped 2 signals that interfere with each other. Even the better repeater systems will cut your speed by 1/2 or more.
 

Game_lifter95

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Anyone that is testing with speedtest you should not trust. The way it should be tested is you put a device on each side of the router and run something like IPERF.

Wifi speeds require you to learn how they tell the lies. So first they add together all the radio speeds but a single device can use only 1 radio. This means wifi6e at most can be 4800 data encoding rate. Next they are adding transmit and receive speeds together they would call a gigabit cable 2 gbit except ethernet can actually do that because it is full duplex. Wifi pretty much is 1/2 these encoding rate running normal types of traffic so you are now at 2400. Then they are assuming you can get perfect 4 mimo streams overlapping. It is very very rare to have 4 antenna/feeds on end device. Your most common portable devices only have 2. So you are now down to say 1200. Then to get the fastest encoding wifi6 uses QAM1024. This only works very close....like in the same room where you could use ethernet. At more normal distances and signal levels you will drop back to 256qam or less.

So unless you are setting up abnormal test cases to get maximum speed it is unlikely you will get even 1gbit. Still this is better than wifi5 where you get maybe 500-600 maximum and much more commonly 300-400mbps in normal conditions.
Very interesting, so for more context I plan to run a mesh system with a dedicated cable running between the router and the satellite to ensure I get max speeds on both the router and the satellite (instead of relying on the default wireless connection between them) That should ensure max speeds via Wi-Fi correct?
 

Game_lifter95

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note If you use the orbi repeater/mesh you make this even slower. You either have to dedicate the 6g radio to the backhaul between the device or you are limited to slower speeds on the other radios. You can also run it without the dedicated backhaul and now you have overlapped 2 signals that interfere with each other. Even the better repeater systems will cut your speed by 1/2 or more.
Yes that is the main reason why I plan to run a wired back haul between the router & satellite. My house isn’t large enough to use two satellites from the Orbi mesh system (it comes with router + 2 satellites) but it is two stories and each device will be on a different floor. So I will run a CAT7 cable back haul from the router on the top floor in my game room to the satellite in the main floor in my living room. So I should see no drop in performance with this method correct?
 
Yes that is the very best option. Buy cat6a instead of cat7. Cat7 was never fully certified and does not run better...then again you are only running 2.5gbit between the remote stations anyway so you technically could use normal cat6 but lately cat6a does not cost much more and is fully certified for 10gbit.
Make sure you get quality cable. Make sure it is pure copper (no cca) and have wire size 22-24 (none of that flat or thin cable).
 

Game_lifter95

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Yes that is the very best option. Buy cat6a instead of cat7. Cat7 was never fully certified and does not run better...then again you are only running 2.5gbit between the remote stations anyway so you technically could use normal cat6 but lately cat6a does not cost much more and is fully certified for 10gbit.
Make sure you get quality cable. Make sure it is pure copper (no cca) and have wire size 22-24 (none of that flat or thin cable).
Ok awesome, I’m using my phone so I can’t attach a photo but would this wire suffice? I found this on Amazon ha

Monoprice Cat6A Ethernet Patch Cable - Network Internet Cord - RJ45, 550Mhz, STP, Pure Bare Copper Wire, 10G, 26AWG, 5ft, White
 
For short patch cables its ok. You do not want to run that in the walls or to other rooms. 26AWG is allowed for short patch but you need to use at least 24 for longer runs.

For in wall cable you need to buy in bulk and then use keystones in the walls. Cat6a keystones are hard to find sometime but since you are not really going to run 10g you can use normal cat6 ones. They very likely will run at 10g but are really only rated to run 5g.
 

Game_lifter95

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For short patch cables its ok. You do not want to run that in the walls or to other rooms. 26AWG is allowed for short patch but you need to use at least 24 for longer runs.

For in wall cable you need to buy in bulk and then use keystones in the walls. Cat6a keystones are hard to find sometime but since you are not really going to run 10g you can use normal cat6 ones. They very likely will run at 10g but are really only rated to run 5g.
I’m currently renting so I’m just going to run a line externally along the trim of the walls would 50-75ft be alright? Or would that disrupt signal
 
Actual certified cable can go 100 meters. I would still go bulk cable and crimp the ends on. What you can also do is get wall mounted rj45 boxes that take keystones. You can use double stick tape to mount them to the baseboard and remove them without damage.

Otherwise try to get cable as close as you can to the proper length. They will all function even if you bought all 100 meter cables the extra wire just increases your risk of damaging it and having to rerun it. Long cables tend to get expensive because of the price of the copper metal.

Do not be tempted by that flat or the thin cable they sell. Those have wires in the 30-33 range (larger number means thinner). The ethernet standard requires 22-24. The thin wires break more easy and have a lot of trouble going distance and have even more issues if you try to run POE over them.
 

Game_lifter95

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Actual certified cable can go 100 meters. I would still go bulk cable and crimp the ends on. What you can also do is get wall mounted rj45 boxes that take keystones. You can use double stick tape to mount them to the baseboard and remove them without damage.

Otherwise try to get cable as close as you can to the proper length. They will all function even if you bought all 100 meter cables the extra wire just increases your risk of damaging it and having to rerun it. Long cables tend to get expensive because of the price of the copper metal.

Do not be tempted by that flat or the thin cable they sell. Those have wires in the 30-33 range (larger number means thinner). The ethernet standard requires 22-24. The thin wires break more easy and have a lot of trouble going distance and have even more issues if you try to run POE over them.
For this project I will probably stick with the cable I attached above, it’s know $30 for a 50ft run which should cover from upstairs to downstairs it’s 26 diameter and I don’t plan on running any POE devices so no worries. I really appreciate your insight I’ll post Wi-Fi results once everything is running!
 
That is very strange it seems most the patch cords they sell are awg26 for cat6a. All the bulk cable is awg 23.
Maybe the standard is slightly different for cat6a but so far the documents seem to be behind paywalls. I know cat6a cable many times has shielding which will make the cable thicker so maybe they use the smaller wire to avoid very thick cable. You technically do not have to have the pairs with shields on them to be cat6a.

The things though that makes cat6a work is the 550mhz stuff more than anything else and a lot of the cable you see marked cat6 can run at 550mhz.

I suspect the cable you are looking at will work, I would be much more suspect if you were going the full 100 meters. Note normal cat6 cable will go 50 meters at 10gbit. I am not sure if this was added to the standard when they added 2.5 and 5g recommendations. Everyone knows though it works fine to 50 meters and likely more.....it just has not been a official standard.

This all comes down to what actually works and what meets the standard. This is how all those companies get away with selling that flat cable. It works fine for short distance that most home users are using. If it didn't actually work they would get so many bad reviews they couldn't sell it. Few people have the almost $1000 meters that it takes to certify cables.
 

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