[SOLVED] Cat 6 wiring question

cydewaze

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I'm in the process of running some cat 6 cable from my main router to my basement in hopes of getting a better connection to my Xbox that's in the basement. Right now, my ISP-provided router lives in an addition to the house, which is separated from the main house by an old exterior brick/block wall and a cement slab floor, which means the Wi-Fi signal to the Xbox is quite weak. The house has a ton of existing cat 5 cable, but it's super old and decrepit. The best I can get with anything running off that cable is around 10mpbs, despite having 936mbps at the ISP router. And the ping is horrific.

I think that I can use straight-thru wiring (rather than crossover) for the following setup. Am I correct?

Fiber in ---> ISP router ---> 5-port switch ---> TP Link router (in access point mode) ---> Xbox

The TP link router is there to get Wi-Fi to the rest of the house, but since it's currently connected to the switch by the old cat 5 cable, the speed still isn't great.
 
Unless the cable is extremely old it is likely cat5e and not cat5. Even cat5 will get 100mbps. See what is printed on the cable.

I would first try bypassing the switch and plug the cables into the router. If the switch is also really old it might only have 10/100 ports.

Most cable problems are the ends and not the wire itself. If any of it is cross over you want to change that to be straight through. All modern equipment supports mdi/mdix so you no longer need crossover cables. Sometimes though if you use a crossover cable on a gigabit port it will drop to 100mbps or even 10mbps.

If you go to replace the wire either use Cat5e or cat6a. You do not actually need cat6a unless you plan on running 10gbit ports. The cost of cat6 and cat6a are almost the same lately and there really is no other cable types that make any difference.
The key thing is buy quality cable. Because the cost of copper metal is so high you find lots of fake cable being sold. You need pure copper cable (no cca) and it needs to have wire size 22-24 (none of that flat or thin cables.

I would still try to reterminate all the current wires before you go to the trouble of running new.
 
Unless the cable is extremely old it is likely cat5e and not cat5. Even cat5 will get 100mbps. See what is printed on the cable.

I would first try bypassing the switch and plug the cables into the router. If the switch is also really old it might only have 10/100 ports.

Most cable problems are the ends and not the wire itself. If any of it is cross over you want to change that to be straight through. All modern equipment supports mdi/mdix so you no longer need crossover cables. Sometimes though if you use a crossover cable on a gigabit port it will drop to 100mbps or even 10mbps.

If you go to replace the wire either use Cat5e or cat6a. You do not actually need cat6a unless you plan on running 10gbit ports. The cost of cat6 and cat6a are almost the same lately and there really is no other cable types that make any difference.
The key thing is buy quality cable. Because the cost of copper metal is so high you find lots of fake cable being sold. You need pure copper cable (no cca) and it needs to have wire size 22-24 (none of that flat or thin cables.

I would still try to reterminate all the current wires before you go to the trouble of running new.
 

cydewaze

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A Cat 5e cable will work fine here. They're rated for up to 2.5Gbps over a distance of 100m.

Otherwise the switch and the router should be swapped.
I already have 250' of plenum rated cat 6, which I got in sale. It's probably fine for this purpose. The switch is stuck to the wall in the garage, which is where all the old cables come together. If I swap the router and the switch, then both routers (and both Wi-Fi networks) will be on the outside of the brick/block wall, which I'm trying to avoid.


Unless the cable is extremely old it is likely cat5e and not cat5. Even cat5 will get 100mbps. See what is printed on the cable.

I would first try bypassing the switch and plug the cables into the router. If the switch is also really old it might only have 10/100 ports.
Most of the cables were run between 1991 and 1995, if the permits for the addition are correct. They all say either "cat 5" or "cat v" on them. Some of them have been nibbled on by mice over the years. The switch is new and was added by me a few months ago. I hijacked some of the old wiring to get ethernet into the basement and upstairs in our music studio, and those two latter runs come off of that switch. It's a TP-link TL-SG105 switch that supports gigabit.

Most cable problems are the ends and not the wire itself. If any of it is cross over you want to change that to be straight through. All modern equipment supports mdi/mdix so you no longer need crossover cables. Sometimes though if you use a crossover cable on a gigabit port it will drop to 100mbps or even 10mbps.
Great info, thanks. I hadn't thought about re-terminating the old ends. I can probably use a cable tester to see if there are any that have been cut/chewed through inside the walls, but most of the cable is in open ceiling in the basement. Running new cable is super simple because it's all out in the open.

If you go to replace the wire either use Cat5e or cat6a. You do not actually need cat6a unless you plan on running 10gbit ports. The cost of cat6 and cat6a are almost the same lately and there really is no other cable types that make any difference.
The key thing is buy quality cable. Because the cost of copper metal is so high you find lots of fake cable being sold. You need pure copper cable (no cca) and it needs to have wire size 22-24 (none of that flat or thin cables.
I currently have 250' of all copper (not cca) cat 6 cable (24awg) that I bought at Microcenter. I think it's probably legit.
 
Not sure if microcenter sells much crap cable the do sell that flat cable. The main source of fake cable is amazon and ebay. Both take direct shipments from china so you get a lot of questionable cables.

Cat6 is fine if you already have it. It might even run 10g if the runs are short enough. It just tends to not be the most cost effective choice. Normal cat6 provides little to no advantage over cat5e and cat6a is about the same price. Cat6a used to be a lot more expensive but partially because the cost of the copper metal has increased so much the added manufacturing costs for cat6a over cat6 has become a much smaller percentage.
 
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cydewaze

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So, for an odd follow-up, I got all my new cable pulled and hooked up. I was still a little perplexed because I didn't notice a speed increase, until I took away the second router.

This is what I ended up with:

Fiber in ---> ISP router ---> 5-port switch ---> TP Link router (in access point mode) ---> Xbox = 94mbps at the Xbox

Fiber in ---> ISP router ---> 5-port switch ---> [ethernet coupler]---> Xbox = 756mbps at the Xbox

So, I moved the router to another spot in the house, but it seems to max out below 100mbps no matter what I do. I'm OK with this, as the only things I connect to it now are phones and my music studio laptop. None of those things need much speed. But my Xbox has a solid connection now, and that's what I was after.
 

cydewaze

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Does the tplink have gigabit lan ports.

It could also be that the tplink has some issue with the cables that the xbox doesn't I would check the termination of the cable again.
It's an AC1750 which is advertised as a "Gigabit Wireless Internet Router", so it seems like it should be up to the job.

And the cables are the brand new ones I just terminated, and that check out with my cable tester. It seems unlikely that the router would have an issue with both my new cables and have the exact same issue with the existing cabling (I've moved this router to another room, so it's on a completely different cable run - same results).

I'm wondering if there's a setting on the router somewhere that's the issue, but since the Roku TV isn't having an issue with the current speed, it's probably not worth investigating.
 
Even if you wanted I have not seen the ability to set the port to a certain speed, some third party firmware allows it with command lines.

Does the tplink show you the speed the port is running at...ie 100mbps.

The problem with the cable testers that us normal users can afford they only check if a battery can light a led and if say pin 1 is connected to pin1. They can't tell if they can actually pass data and they have no way to tell if you wired the pairs wrong. A cable that you did
orange,green,brown,blue, orange/white,green/white,brown/white,blue/white on both ends would test fine but not function in some cases.

You are correct it will not affect roku tv since they likely only have 100mbps ports to begin with. Your xbox only will be affected when it is downloading games otherwise it does not really even need 100mbps to do other things.
 

cydewaze

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Does the tplink show you the speed the port is running at...ie 100mbps.
Nope! The admin section is surprisingly basic. You get status (i.e. yes, it's working), operation mode (router or AP), network (LAN and DHCP settings), Wi-Fi settings, Guest network (currently disabled), USB settings, and system tools (time, firmware, backup, admin pw, and system log). My Verizon router CP is significantly more comprehensive.
 

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