Question How to choose Ethernet cable to run a new line.

axlrose

Distinguished
Jun 11, 2008
1,680
0
19,810
5
So I'm looking to try to run a few new lines through my house. I'm not sure how to select a box of cable (likely from Amazon prime). Brands? Attributes required? Attributes desired? Attributes to avoid?

Thanks for getting me started.
 
If you have 10g ports in your equipment or feel you soon will buy cat6a. Otherwise run cat5e. Hard to predict the future so don't get caught up in that, things like 100g ports are starting to become available already and there is not a cable standard for them.

Amazon is full of fake cable. You will actually find more fake cable than certified cable. Ethernet cable MUST be pure copper and have wire guage 22-24. There are massive amounts of CCA cable and that flat or thin cable. The fraud is huge vendor try to say their cable is eia/tia certified but also say it is CCA. The wire immediately disqualifies it. It is unlikely if they used a meter that tests cable it would pass the certification tests but they say it does anyway.

Read very very carefully and if you have any doubt try a different vendor. You might find cat6 cable cheaper than cat5e and can go with it. It provides no real benefit over cat5e since both can run at 1g but if you can get it cheaper and it is not fake cable might as well use it.
 
Reactions: axlrose

axlrose

Distinguished
Jun 11, 2008
1,680
0
19,810
5
Looking for three long runs. I'll look at what 1000ft costs at monoprice. Was actually thinking 500 would probably do the trick. I'm not familiar with monoprice. I think I've heard it mentioned before, but never shopped there. Do I get into brands and whatnot on their site too, or is it fairly straight forward if I just go there and look for cat6a solid core unshielded?

Thanks guys.
 
I would use the first and save the money. The second has a foil shield. Shield cable must be properly grounded to provide any benefit. You would only use shielded cable if you tested and detected a source of interference. It is very very rare, mostly it is a scare tactic by cable manufacture to sell you more expensive cable than you really need.
 
Reactions: axlrose

axlrose

Distinguished
Jun 11, 2008
1,680
0
19,810
5
Oh, I'm sure it won't be no big deal, especially the one I'm running in the basement, but we did one of these a month or two ago from the basement router to the main floor office because I needed a hardline for my gaming pc. We ran the lines and capped them etc. Going through a closet and some attic space.
 

axlrose

Distinguished
Jun 11, 2008
1,680
0
19,810
5
Other than the cable, just wall plates and keystones?

Any suggestions on what you have found worked well from monoprice? I think the keystones and wall plates we used before were just from the local box store. They are outlet size and the push down with a tool keystones. I see there are toolless keystones? Are there wall plates that work better, are smaller etc.?

Thanks.
 
The Monoprice stuff is almost all good. They work directly with their own Chinese manufacturer(s) to maintain decent quality for a low price. The only issue I've had is that the retaining clip on their RJ45 plugs often don't exactly mate with the Ethernet port on devices.

You will probably want the bulk cable anyway. Pre-made Ethernet cables are almost always stranded (lots of thin copper wires in a bundle). They're designed to be repeatedly coiled and uncoiled without "remembering" their shape. Their drawback is that they suffer more signal loss and may not work out to the full 100 meter Ethernet spec.

Solid cable is a single copper wire (avoid CCA - copper-clad aluminum - saves cost and weight but introduces all sorts of other problems). If you bend it, it stays bent. It's meant for permanent installation inside walls, as repeatedly bending it or running over it with chair wheels can cause the wire to break.

And just because you'll probably run across the term, plenum cable is designed for use in ventilation spaces (called a plenum when it's above a drop-ceiling). The outer sheathing is a fire-retardant plastic which won't introduce noxious fumes into the ventilation system if there's a fire. For cabling inside the walls of a house, you don't need plenum cable.

Personally I find the toolless keystones harder to use. You have to place all 8 conductors into the correct slots before locking them down. I only have 10 fingers so this can sometimes be a problem. With a punch tool, I can punch down each conductor one at a time, and use all my fingers to get the next conductor into the right slot. A real punch tool makes life a lot easier, but they can be expensive ($50+). The tooled keystones usually come with a mini tool which you can use to press the wires in to their slots (you still need to cut them yourself). Monoprice usually has YouTube videos showing how to use these keystones, which should answer all your questions.

AFAIK, the wall plates (and keystone faces) are standard. I've mixed plates and keystones from Monoprice and Home Depot without problem.

Be sure to follow the wiring diagram on the keystones precisely. A common rookie mistake is to order the wires 12345678. The correct sequence is actually 12356478 (dates back to the wired telephone days, where the middle pair was line one, the outer pair was line two, so you didn't have to keep track of which was left or right). The wiring diagram on the keystone will take care of this for you. When I've accidentally wired as 12345678, it usually works out to about 20-30 feet, then the Ethernet transmission rate starts to slow down dramatically due to all the data dropouts from noise. A cable tester is only $10 and lets you avoid this mistake (as well as making it easier to track down bad wires or crimp jobs).

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=8138
 
Reactions: axlrose

axlrose

Distinguished
Jun 11, 2008
1,680
0
19,810
5
Okay, so looking at this right now.

Cable - https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=301&cp_id=30103&cs_id=3010303&p_id=18606&seq=1&format=2

Three drop spots - https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=302&cp_id=30204&cs_id=3020402&p_id=6727&seq=1&format=2

Switch into the wall - https://www.monoprice.com/product?c_id=302&cp_id=30204&cs_id=3020402&p_id=6733&seq=1&format=2

Cat6a Keystones - ??? They have toolless that look okay. These are their punchdown keystones, but the have terrible reviews and they apparently break a lot. https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24506
 

axlrose

Distinguished
Jun 11, 2008
1,680
0
19,810
5
The Monoprice stuff is almost all good. They work directly with their own Chinese manufacturer(s) to maintain decent quality for a low price. The only issue I've had is that the retaining clip on their RJ45 plugs often don't exactly mate with the Ethernet port on devices.

You will probably want the bulk cable anyway. Pre-made Ethernet cables are almost always stranded (lots of thin copper wires in a bundle). They're designed to be repeatedly coiled and uncoiled without "remembering" their shape. Their drawback is that they suffer more signal loss and may not work out to the full 100 meter Ethernet spec.

Solid cable is a single copper wire (avoid CCA - copper-clad aluminum - saves cost and weight but introduces all sorts of other problems). If you bend it, it stays bent. It's meant for permanent installation inside walls, as repeatedly bending it or running over it with chair wheels can cause the wire to break.

And just because you'll probably run across the term, plenum cable is designed for use in ventilation spaces (called a plenum when it's above a drop-ceiling). The outer sheathing is a fire-retardant plastic which won't introduce noxious fumes into the ventilation system if there's a fire. For cabling inside the walls of a house, you don't need plenum cable.

Personally I find the toolless keystones harder to use. You have to place all 8 conductors into the correct slots before locking them down. I only have 10 fingers so this can sometimes be a problem. With a punch tool, I can punch down each conductor one at a time, and use all my fingers to get the next conductor into the right slot. A real punch tool makes life a lot easier, but they can be expensive ($50+). The tooled keystones usually come with a mini tool which you can use to press the wires in to their slots (you still need to cut them yourself). Monoprice usually has YouTube videos showing how to use these keystones, which should answer all your questions.

AFAIK, the wall plates (and keystone faces) are standard. I've mixed plates and keystones from Monoprice and Home Depot without problem.

Be sure to follow the wiring diagram on the keystones precisely. A common rookie mistake is to order the wires 12345678. The correct sequence is actually 12356478 (dates back to the wired telephone days, where the middle pair was line one, the outer pair was line two, so you didn't have to keep track of which was left or right). The wiring diagram on the keystone will take care of this for you. When I've accidentally wired as 12345678, it usually works out to about 20-30 feet, then the Ethernet transmission rate starts to slow down dramatically due to all the data dropouts from noise. A cable tester is only $10 and lets you avoid this mistake (as well as making it easier to track down bad wires or crimp jobs).

https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=8138
Thanks for this! It makes total sense now that you say it. Solid vs stranded. Also, going back to look at punchdown cat6a options. Not seeing much on monoprice.
 
Don't buy cat6a keystones buy cat5e unless you actually have 10gbit equipment. The keystone are trivial to swap out at a later date when you get 10g equipment. The price on cat6a will likely come down by the time consumer grade equipment can really use 10g effectively.

If you actually have 10g equipment then pay someone to install the jacks since you must have lots of money to afford equipment that can really use 10g. It does not pay to be cheap on the jacks when you are really using 10g, pay a pro that has a meter and can test that the jacks actually can pass 10g. It is very easy to not correctly punch down 1 wire and it look fine but not actually be able to pass data correctly.
 

palladin9479

Distinguished
Moderator
Jul 26, 2008
3,239
0
20,860
45
I'd concur with the other posters that you don't need Cat-6a unless your planning on upgrading to 10g equipment in the future. Cat-5e works perfectly fine for 1g inside a typical home setup, it's whats running inside my entire home. As others have said use good quality certified bulk cable and crimp / punch down it yourself, good learning experience too. The premade / thin stuff is all for patching between an outlet and the device because its signal quality drops after about 10 meters.
 

axlrose

Distinguished
Jun 11, 2008
1,680
0
19,810
5
Cat 6a already on the way. Not planning to go anywhere for at least a decade and I don't want to run these again. Still don't have any cat 6a keystones though. The monoprice options look bad. Any suggestions for where else to buy them?
 
I bought the monoprice ones and none of mine broke like those reviews say. in general you want the same rating as the wire you put in. The main thing on plugs is checking the range of wire gauge they support. a 23awg will not fit into a 28awg plug for crimping. cat6a utp UL Listed. For 10G you want all your twisted pairs next to each other. all the stuff I bought on monoprice punches down like that. I don't have any RJ45 10G stuff so I have no clue if it worked or not.
 

Similar threads


ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS

Latest posts