Home » cat5e » Page 2


New wiring

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.

Wiring the house

My trusty Linksys WRT54G started dying yesterday. I think I’ve had it 3-4 years, so it’s had a decent run.

I have some temporary wiring in place until I decide what I want to do, but I really think I want some wired Ethernet.For one thing, my phone wiring is really bad, and I think that’s affecting my DSL speed and reliability. Modern CAT5 wiring would solve that problem neatly. And if I ran a dedicated unfiltered line straight to the modem and filtered lines everywhere else, I could get by with just a single line filter, instead of a half dozen. That should improve reliability too.

And while I’m running CAT5, I might as well run two wires, so I’ll have convenient network jacks in several places in the house. And if I’m running wire, I might as well run CAT5e and get gigabit capability. That should give me faster and more reliable networking, both locally and online.

The project would take about $100 worth of cable and jacks, I estimate. I already have plenty of jacks, so I’d just have to buy a spool of CAT5e. That, and find the time to run it.

I may keep wireless around for ultimate convenience (a combo DSL modem/router/access point costs about $70, which isn’t much more than another WRT54G, and my modem is getting old too), but I like the idea of having my desktop PCs connected via gigabit. It’ll make sharing drives more practical, and potentially much more secure if I get fancy with network segmenting and firewalling.

I think I’m going to be asking the network wizard at work a lot of questions… Good thing he sits right next to me.

And now mostly I need a free weekend to do all this.