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Ethernet - again !

shermans
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Ethernet - again !

I want to connect my small office, which is  an annexe about 12 meters away from the house, to my broadband router (BT HomeHub 5). I have used HomePlugs and also WiFi.  Both methods work but I see them only as temporary fixes, and I would prefer to install an ethernet cable through ducting already laid underneath the drive for this sort of purpose.  However, the route of the ethernet cable through the house from the router would entail a cable run of 35 meters.

I have tried to research the best way to do this, and it seems that Cat 6 cable is recommended.  Then there is the question of whether it should be shielded or not.  And finally, I am worrying that the 35 meter length might degrade the speed, even though it is well within the 100 meter maximum for ethernet cable.  Would either HomePlugs or WiFi actually be equally as fast ?

I have sourced an affordable shielded ethernet cable, and can crimp my own RJ45s as I have a tool and plugs.  Am I worrying unnecessarily about all these factors, as I will not be the only one using a computer in the house ?  I would appreciate comments from anyone with more experience than me.

13 REPLIES
bmc
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Re: Ethernet - again !

I believe the general feeling is wired is always preferable over WiFi if it's possible to wire.

 

Have you considered wall plugs for the Ethernet run? I'm told they're easier to wire in than plugs (I'll find out soon when a wall socket turns up after two failed attempts at wiring a plug!!!). It would give some flexibility in the office in that you would be able to easily change the cable lengths used in the office if required at a later date.

 

I bought a cable pre-fitted with plugs on the grounds I would then only have to crimp at one end after cutting off the plug to run the cable.

 

Brian 

shermans
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Re: Ethernet - again !

I am not sure what you mean by wall plugs.  Are you referring to the ethernet outlet keystone and faceplate ?  If so, I had thought of that but read somewhere again that there is a speed drop at outlet when the short cable is plugged into it, but I really don't know if this is true. 

bmc
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Re: Ethernet - again !

Yes, I did mean wall sockets - I have plugs on the brain!!! Can't help with speed drop offs but surely they would be minor and near un-noticeable (but don't quote me on that).

 

I've just failed miserably in wiring a wall socket after two failed attempts at wiring plugs so clearly I know little on the subject!!!

 

Brian

PeeGee
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Re: Ethernet - again !

It is a long time since I looked at "short" cable problems, but if I recall correctly, it is very short cable - well under 50cm - and (I think) due to reflections at the joints. Personally, I have not noticed speed differences between 50cm and 10m cables at Gb speeds - I use what is conveniently placed when testing!

Phil

Plusnet Fibre (Sep 2014), Essentials (Feb 2013); ADSL (Apr 2009); Customer since Jan 2004 (on 28kb dial-up)
Using a TP-Link TD-W9980 modem-router.
shermans
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Re: Ethernet - again !

I was referring to 35 meters, not 35 cms actually.  I am concerned that 35 meters may be slower than HomePlugs  or WiFi, and if I add a short cable with a socket, it might make it even worse.

Superuser
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Re: Ethernet - again !

You will have no problems with 35m of good quality shielded cat6. I agree with @bmc use wall sockets and standard patch cables. As long as you make good IDC connections  it will make little or no difference to speed.

shermans
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Re: Ethernet - again !

I have sourced good quality shielded cable which I have now ordered.  What intrigues me however is that the wall sockets appear to be all plastic.  The plugs on the ethernet cable are metal and presumably the shielding is attached to the metal.  But if the socket it goes into is plastic, how does the shield work ?  Similarly of course, the router socket is all plastic, with no sign of any metal.  I am just puzzled, that's all.

RealAleMadrid
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Re: Ethernet - again !

That's why shielded Ethernet cables are a bit of a waste of money as there is nowhere to connect the shield in the socket. You would probably have no trouble using UTP cabling (unshielded twisted pair).

Baldrick1
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Re: Ethernet - again !

I use long lengths of cheap Cat5E cable with wall sockets and my router advises that I am connected at 1GHz. Previously I had tried Home plugs and wireless repeaters, both were very inferior in performance. I therefore 'bit the bullet' and got from one end of our house to the other by routing cables through cupboards, wardrobes through the loft etc, in order to hide the cable without worrying about the length.

 

 

paul_blitz
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Re: Ethernet - again !

I have an outdoor "office" (ok, so it's really just a shed, but "office" sounds much nicer). Historically, the ADSL router was out there, and a CAT 5 fed the signal to upstairs (where the kids used to need wired ethernet connections), where there was a wifi point to cover downstairs. Never had a single problem with the cat 5 connection between shed (sorry, "office") and house.

 

When I upgraded to fibre, I rebuilt the network, putting the router in the house, fed from the master socket. I then used mains ethernet to feed to upstairs, where it connects to the ethernet that goes out to the office. I am not too happy with the mains ethernet, it regularly dies for a few minutes (or until I repower them!). (so now need to look at making holes to feed a wire to upstairs!)

So, don't worry about the Cat5/6, it should workl fine. Don't bother with considering mains ethernet!

 

 

 

 

 

 

shermans
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Re: Ethernet - again !

Sounds very similar to my situation.  I have used mains ethernet as a temporary solution until the cable is installed (I am retired which means I have no time to do anything; life was far more relaxed when I went to work !).  But I have noticed short drop-outs which I put down to the broadband service, not the mains plugs which I suppose was obvious.

I have exactly the same problem with running the new cable through the house / loft.  It is not easy to conceal it.  I have two existing ethernet circuits running round the house, but they were laid in the walls and under the floor during renovations many years ago.  This time I have to be more subtle about hiding the new cable.  With the existing cables, I terminate with a normal WiFi router with dchp disabled, to give localised WiFi coverage - the house is two old cottages knocked into one with very thick walls.  It is like a train, going from one room into the next.  It makes getting WiFi coverage impossible without ethernet.  I have found that slave WiFi routers give more reliable signal than a WiFi mains plug.  So connecting the outside office this way will be more of the same.

Thanks for your encouragement.

mikelahey
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Re: Ethernet - again !

Usually the shield would be bonded to the mains electrical earth at the patch panel end.
I wouldn't recommend attempting this yourself. This kind of work should be carried out by a registered electrician.
Solmark
Dabbler
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Registered: 21-07-2017

Re: Ethernet - again !

Like others in this thread, I've found ethernet power options work but do drop frequently, I guess it depends on the quality of your home electrical wiring.

 

So now I am considering doing something similar to the OP and extending Cat5/6 cables around my house. I will let you know how I get on Smiley