SOHO Network - Conversion to Gigabit Network


Feb 10, 2014
Dear Experts at TH,

I have a SOHO with around 12 desktops at my office space. They are all configured with CAT 5e cable and connected to a DLink switch (Non-Gigabit). My internet is a 60 Mbps connection. Lately, I've been finding that the internal network is slow and I am trying to reduce paperwork at office by maintaining scanned copies. Copying files to a server system is becoming painful and taking lot of time. I am hoping to take full benefit of a Gigabit network. My questions are:

1) Most of my desktops have Realtek GBE Family Controller network work cards. Based on my research online and some searching around, I found these cards support 1 Gbps speed. In the properties, I found this in the Speed & Duplex settings. So, if I replace my existing switch with a Gigabit switch, everything should fall in place and I should get Gigabit speeds. Is this right ?

2) Based on what I've read, CAT 5e should be fine for achieving Gigabit speeds ? I wouldn't require CAT 6. It may a deal breaker for me if I have to get entire internal rewiring done to CAT 6 cables. It may end up being very expensive.

3) If this actually works, the copying speeds, read write speeds, file access speeds, everything should significantly increase as compared to my existing 100 mbps network ? Handling of large files should also take lesser time comparatively.

4) Please let me know if I have missed something or if I can improve in any other way. I have limited knowledge and all this was based on whatever I could read up online.

Best Regards

Pat Flynn

Aug 8, 2013
If all of the computers are connected to a gigabit switch, then the router out the the internet (separate from the switch), then the internal network will all operate at 1Gbps. Your file transfers internally will be quicker, as long as it doesn't have to route to another network via your router. The is all conditional of your router being limited to 100Mbps. If you router is 1Gbps, then all local traffic will be 1Gbps after the switch upgrade.

P.S.- Cat5E works fine for 1Gbps.

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