Gatermann and I spent most of the day pulling CAT5e through the house. It’s long overdue. The guy who wired the phones in the house broke every single rule I could find about running voice/data cable, and it wasn’t good stuff to begin with. Plus, I was really tired of the lack of reliability of 802.11g in this house. Why I can see all of my neighbors’ networks but not my own is beyond me.Running a single CAT5e line from where the phone network comes in over to the center of the house made a huge difference. The phones sound clearer, the DSL is much faster (consistently 630K now–it used to dip to 300K frequently) and running lines is much easier when you’re away from the circuit breaker box and not surrounded by power cables everywhere.
At present I only have two rooms networked, but it’ll be easy enough to add to that as needed now.
Wireless is convenient, but 100-meg is very nice. It’s reliable and fast. Gigabit is even nicer. Now it would actually be practical to upgrade to gigabit. At gigabit, network resources run nearly as fast as local ones.
I wish I’d done this years ago.
2 thoughts on “New wiring”
I really had hoped wireless was going to solve all my
networking problems. Really, it only solved one
problem — me climbing around in the attic running
cables. Wireless allowed me to add a machine in the
kitchen and one on the living room without running
cables and cutting holes in walls, but the
performance has been lackluster. I upgraded my
wireless router from b/g to n but to be honest I never
upgraded any of my cards … I just ended up running
wires to my more critical boxes. The kids’ computer
in the dining room is still wireless which is good
enough for surfing the web, but my PVR and main
workstations are now running physical cable. I never
lose signal or drop connection, things are faster, and
once I got off my ass and ran the cables it went
much quicker than I thought it would.
Wireless is okay for checking e-mail and surfing the
web on laptops, but my "critical infrastructure" (if you
can refer to machines at home as such), it’s all cat5
(or better) for me.
It took us about 6 hours, counting breaks. It would have gone faster, or we could have done more rooms, if I’d bought all new jacks and wallplates instead of using old ones a coworker recycled from an old office building 8 years ago. Some of them are touchy at 100 meg, so I’ll have to replace them when I go gigabit. Still better than wireless though.
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