What kind of cable to use if I need to run a line for internet?

axlrose

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So I think I'm going to have to figure out how to run a few lines of cable through my finished house, which has no ethernet wiring. I was looking up cat 6 only to find there is a cat 7 only to find there is a cat 8. Anyone have a little help here?

Thanks.
 
Cat 6 is good for 1 Gig speeds up to 100 meters, and 10 Gig up to 55 meters. You probably won't need more than that, unless you're a server host, or have lots of users.

Cat 5 (or 5e) is adequate for most home users, but will depend on what sort of broadband you're getting (i.e. better than 100 Meg).
 
Pretty standard ploy to by the marketing guys at the cable vendors to get people to spend more money than they have too. Not sure when people will stop falling for the bigger number is better trick.

As mentioned cat5e can do gigabit. Cat6 cable is pretty much a useless cable and has been since it was invented. It was designed to run 1gbit over 2 pair rather than 4 pair.

The cable designed to run 10gbit is called cat6a.

Every other kind of cable is mostly marketing hype. Cat7 cable is only certified by 2 of the 3 organizations that certify cable. It like too is a dead cable because it provide almost no benefit over the much cheaper cat6a.

There is a new standard being worked on to carry 100gbit over copper. There seem to be technical challenges to accomplishing this so not much progress. Who know what it will be called when it comes out.

As of today you choices are cat5e for 1gbit or cat6a if you want 10gbit. You could use normal cat6 if you can find it cheaper than cat5e.

One huge warning. The "CAT" stuff means absolutely nothing. What matters is the certifications which things like EIA/TIA mean.

You need to buy pure copper wire with wire gauge 22-24. There is a huge amount of CCA (copper clad aluminum) on the market that says it is CAT5e or cat6 or what ever. This can never be a certified cable because the standard says it MUST be pure copper. Copper metal has gotten very expensive so be read the fine print when you see cable that is much less expensive than other cable.
 

kanewolf

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Quality of terminations is just as important as the type of cable. An RJ45 with an inch of untwisted wire sticking out of it can hurt your performance. The goal is to untwist as little as possible at each termination. You can get a <$100 tester which will tell you if you have all 8 wires connected and if they are straight through. Getting more detailed testing requires much more expensive test equipment. But if you follow the 568B color code and make good quality terminations (RJ45 or punchdown) you can usually get by with an inexpensive tester.
 

axlrose

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So much info here! Thank you! So cat5e is no doubt good enough for the slow internet I currently have. I just began paying extra last month to move from 'up to 25Mbps' to 'up to 50Mbps' because we added echo dots to the house. Not being wired at all, I am using a mix of range extenders, powerline adapters and access points to get by most of the time. The new room that is now the office and the room with our smart tv have no hardlines. The only hardline is the one coming into the house into the basement. I need to try to find a way to run a line from the basement router up through the finished basement (maybe through an access point for the bathroom plumbing?) and into the attic, where I am hoping I might be able to simply run it to above the two rooms in question and just drop it back down the wall again for a hardline from the router. I'm leaning toward getting some 6a, just for the purpose of not getting the whole project replaced down the road if our speeds do increase. Thoughts on using 6a? And either way, any suggestions on trusted vendors or brands for the 5e or 6a so that I have no CCA and good terminations etc? Are terminations something easy to do or does it make more sense to get a longer than needed cable that is already terminated and just leave the slack in the attic space etc.?

Thanks for all of the help. Getting .5Mpbs download speeds in my office on my gaming pc is a bit frustrating. :)
 

failboat

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If you're running in the walls cat6a CMR UTP UL listed 23awg on monoprice is about $180 for 1000ft shipped. Buy their keystones and a patch panel with the same rating. Buy cat5e patch cables in bulk from them.

If your only running a couple runs a patch panel isn't worth it. If you crimp your own make sure the RJ45 you buy are rated for the wire gauge. patch cables and wall cables usually don't have the same RJ45 gauge.
 

axlrose

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Just had to look up what a patch panel is. Don't think I'll need one of those as the wifi is okay for most everything other than my gaming pc and the smart tv. Those I want to run a line to if I can figure out a way to run the cables. Patch cables are for running from the new wall plate to the device? If so, while I'm making the two internal wall runs, I might as well make a few patch cables right? Also, no way I'll need 1000ft, but that's what I was seeing in a quick search too. Is that a common spool of cable amount? Can you buy 500ft instead? Quick, non-measured guestimate is that I probably need about 200ft for the two runs. And keystones...are those the jacks at the end (the RJ45)? Can you tell me more about the RJ45 gauge not matching up (or would that not be an issue if I crimp my own cables and patch cables)?
 

failboat

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CMR doesn't make a good patch cable, it's very rigid. If you buy from monoprice just get as many as you need. They are $1 each. The patch panel is for the network room where your router and modem are. You can connect each run into the patch panel. This secures the in wall cable. I'd recommend securing it on both sides. Then use patch cables to connect to what ever you want.

On monoprice I only see 1,000ft spools. I would be careful where you buy from. Amazon has a lot of fraud on quality. monoprice is a great place to buy inexpensive quality cables of any kind. Places like home depot rip you off.
 

failboat

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RJ45 tips are rated for a range of gauges. Some patch cables are 28+ and the same RJ45 won't work on a 23awg wire, it won't fit inside it. You could buy the 100ft 24awg patch cable on there and make a bunch from it. I think the 23-24awg use the same tip.

Making patch cables is time consuming. Personally I'd rather buy them for $1-2 on there.
 

axlrose

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Last two questions. You have been so much help.

1. Can I get patch cables in cat6a? I just figured it would be silly to run it in cat6a for the better speeds and then clog it up with a less than cat6a patch cable, but for so little money, yes I'm buying patch cables.

2. Does monoprice have customer service where I can ask them some questions when ordering or are they more of just a supplier for people that do this for a living and actually know what they are doing?

Thanks, Thanks and Thanks.
 
I never make cable anymore unless I need a very special length. Lots of companies sell them.

Since patch cables are easy to replace and they might get damaged it tend to not be cost effective to buy cat6a when you are not actually running 10gbit. If you hook 1gbits to cat6a the ports still only send/receive data at 1gbit. Kinda like taking your economy car to the race track. The track might be built so cars can do 200mph but your car can not use it.

The wire you run in the wall since it would be hard to replace when you get 10g ports on your equipment is one of those how long do you intend to stay in your house questions.

I would use cat5e patch cables there is still a large price difference but I suspect as 10g gets common the price will drop on cat6a.
 

axlrose

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Leaning toward getting the spool of cat6a, but a friend that is going to help me out says he has a bunch of cat5e already from working on his own house and that is awfully tempting...
 

failboat

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It depends on how easy is it to get in. Once you have 1 wire in if you have spots that you can access then you can use the old wire to pull through new wire. just tape the ends together and pull.

I do think 10G switches and NICs will drop into a reasonable price range in the next 5 yrs. It's only going to help you on the LAN side of things. Like if you have a NAS. Everything comes with SSDs so hitting 10G will be easy. Internet isn't passing 1G in many places anytime soon.
 
All comes down to predicting the future. When do you think you will have a application that really need 10g. It is actually tricky to even get 1gbit between machines unless you design the disk and file systems correctly. The bottleneck is moving off the network and into the OS and end station hardware
 

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