1. Welcome to the new MacRumors forums. See our announcement and read our FAQ

CAT5e home networking

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by gangst, Jun 23, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502a


    Currently we are building a games room seperate from our house. I am sorting out the networking and home cinema side of things.

    Our house is currently networked via a wireless router which serves our needs pretty well. However, I want to install wired networking for my games room, this is because I think that CAT5e will provide better performance and reliability over the distance.

    However, as I have never dealt with CAT5e cabling before I thought I would run this through on here. My plan is to run the CAT5e from the house to the games room, and to have a a wall plate both in the house and in the games room with the female connectors. In the house I can then connect my wireless router via CAT5e cable to the wall plate, allowing internet connection and wireless network to be integrated. In the games room connect PS3 and slingbox to the wall plate (I'm going to put twocables in) in the games room. Will this work? I cannot see any reason as to why it shouldn't but I am no expert! Is there anything I have missed or overlooked?!

    I have purchased 100m of CAT5e cable, wall plates and CAT5e jacks so I can install this. I have never done it before but here seems to be a good amount of guides on the net, so shall refer to some of them.

    Thanks for any input.
  2. macrumors 6502

    I assume you're doing this right but just to clarify, each port on the wallplate needs to be connected to a separate port on the router unless you throw a switch in between.

    That said, you might want to consider that option. Run 1 cat5 cable from the wallplate to your main router, but connect the switch to the wallplate. That way, if you add another component (say you bring in a computer from another room), you can just plug it in. A less neat solution but it's more expandable.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    hmmm, I did wonder if I needed switches. I am likely to need more than 2 ports eventually, so a switch would be quite a good idea.

  4. JNB
    macrumors 604


    It's always easier to run multiple lines once than one line several times; pull more lines than you think you need now, you'll want them down the road. Me, I'd do four minimum, likely eight, all off a dedicated switch on the house side. Why not a single line house to game room switched on the game room side? Redundancy. If that single line has a failure, then the entire game room is lost. Switching on the house side gives fail-over capacity on the game room side.

    Also, since you say this is separate from the main house, there are some significant issues to consider. First, make sure the cable run is protected from both weather and interference. That generally means its own conduit. Do NOT run power across the same line. Second, the ground between both structures is likely to be different, they need to be sharing a common ground for the purposes of the data.
  5. macrumors 6502a

    luckily, I am running the cabling through a loft overhang which joins the house and games room via a car port so i am ok with regards to weather etc. However, i believe power also runs through that alcove as well, yet the space is quite big, so i do not know whether there will be interference or not.

    A the moment I plan on running two CAT5e lines, this mights be upped to four as it sounds like a safe bet. I am using this CAT5e cable http://www.pcwb.com/catalogue/item/BELBUL13 as it is pretty reasonable, my only regret now is that it is unshielded.
  6. JNB
    macrumors 604


    You don't need shielded, UTP is fine, and used throughout the industry extensively. You'll be fine. Power shouldn't be a problem the way you described it; you pretty much have to tie-wrap the Romex to the data bundle to create a problem. Just don't use a fluorescent fixture as cable support. ;)
  7. macrumors 6502a

    thanks for your advice, very helpful, much appreciated.
  8. macrumors G4

    The best way by far is to run PVC conduit. Today in make sense to run cat5e cable but in ten years you'll be ripping t all out and pulling fiber or "whatever". I did this once already. I put a network in the house. I installed lots of coax cable only to have to replace it with cat5 when that became the new "standard". Fortunatly I thought to run the cable inside 3/4 inch PVC. If you are running this cable outdoors then for sure use conduit. The cable is not designed for outdoor use. UV light and weather, rodents and what not will take their toll on the cable. If you place it insie conduit it will last forever.
  9. macrumors 6502a

    Ok, I have been thinking about this, and have a rough plan

    Will this work:

    * 4 CAT5e cables from house to games room, allowing for expandability

    * On the house side, purchase Airport Extreme for wireless N, so netowrking between wireless and wired computers will be faster than a G router. Purchase seperate ADSL2+ modem (Billion 7420) and connect to Airport.

    * This is the part I am unsure on. Purchase a Gigabit switch. Connect all 4 CAT5e cables to switch, then one gigabit ethernet cable from switch to Airport router. Will this work? Will it allow all 4 LAN ports in the games room to have their own IP address and work simultaneously.

    I am a bit unsure now regarding the use of a switch. I did purchase a Belkin N1 Vision today as I planned to connect all 4 CAT5e cables from the wallplates to the router but then thought it was a crap idea and the router would choke. Also I have seen some really bad reviews of that router now.

    Thanks guys
  10. macrumors G5


    Yes it'll work.

    - Will never be too many cables.
    - A new ADSL modem probably won't speed things up.
    - Airport Extreme N works great. The current version has gigabit ethernet so you may not even need the gigabit ethernet switch, but it's useful to have a gigabit switch around the house.
    - Switch is plug and play (unless you buy an expensive managed switch). As long as the switch is hooked up with a router you'll be fine. No need to set anything on the switch. The Router (Airport Extreme) is the thing that gives you LOCAL IP. It won't give you multiple Internet IP though, unless you paid for multiple IPs and set up the router properly.
  11. macrumors 68020

    You could do that.

    Or you could use the 3 lan jacks in the airport and connect them directly to the wall plate and then use the three jacks at the game room end to hook up your equipment.

    Or you could hook up one of the LAN jacks to one of the cables running to the game room and then put the switch in the game room, connected to the wall jack and the devices there.

    Or any combination.

    Think of the switch as a splitter.
  12. macrumors 6502a

    ok thanks, i planned to try not to overwhelm the airport extreme by using all 3 gigabit ports and just using the one and a switch.

    Will this be more successful and offer better performance?

    Also, if I connect the cat5 cables to the switch then to the airport, will the airport be able to delegate seperate ip addresses for each CAT5 cable seeing as they will all be going in to the switch then into the airport?

  13. macrumors 68020

    The performance will not be any better by using a switch and it will not overwhelm the airport--that's what it's designed to do.

    Yes, you will get separate IP addresses for each device attached regardless of how you set up the switch (so long as it's correctly set up).
  14. macrumors 68020


    Were i am i can get Cat 6 for about the same as cat 5 consider it for future capabilities as the cable is much better.
  15. JNB
    macrumors 604


    Considering Cat6 is a right pain to terminate correctly and meet spec, I wouldn't waste my fingertips nor sanity. For home use and terminal equipment & connections, 5e is more than sufficient. "Better" here is more marketing than anything, as the capacity of Cat5 still outstrips other bottlenecks in a computer-to-computer data transfer.

    Cat7 may never see the light of day commercially (even though it's been around since 1997 or thereabouts), as it's effectively impossible to terminate it to spec by hand.
  16. macrumors 68030


    It would be easier to run 1 CAT5e cable to the games room and then use a switch there, if thats your plan. You would probably have better throughput than running all 4 cables to the games room, especially between devices in that room, and it won't affect internet speed at all.
  17. macrumors 68000

    I was about to write exactly that, reading through this thread. Just do what crazyeddie said. Save cable. Easy. Recommend.
  18. macrumors 65816


    When building a new ranch style house, what would be the best way to run Cat5 cable to every room in the house including one outlet in the basement? The entire network will be Ethernet.
  19. macrumors 68000

    With a ranch style, it would probably similar to how its described here-- just run a cable to each room and have them all join up at a switch, which will tie into your cable modem or airport or whatever router you choose. If you had multiple stories, it may be better to have several switches to avoid long runs of cable. It probably will depend on your specific layout, but it should not be too difficult. As long as you plan ahead, it should go well.
  20. macrumors regular

    I have a netgear router upstairs but its range is limited so I wish to run one of its ethernet connection downstairs into a female plate. Do i need to use a patch or crossover cable?

    Thanks alot.
  21. macrumors G5


    Regular cable. Modern routers and switches can do crossover themselves.
  22. macrumors regular

    Yeah I'd just run one line to the game room and put in a gigabit switch and plug in your devices there. This way if you ever wanted to use the other 2 ports on the airport extreme you can. If you ever plan on running more cable to the rest of the house you might want to just put in a patch panel by the router so you can swap which drops are hot when you need them.
  23. macrumors 6502

    There is a 3/4" cable produced that includes two Cat 5e twisted pair and two coax cables inside. You could run that across and it would give you some redundancy, plus the ability to put a video connection (cable or dish) into the game room as well. I would put a connection box on the wall on both sides and use a patch cable to connect into the router on the house end.

    I would recommend using a small wired router in the game room to split the signal to however many devices you have there - it would connect to the wall port with a patch cable as well. The router would greatly simplify things. You can get a 1 gigabit Linksys from Amazon with 5 ports for $50. If you only needed 10/100 Base-T, then you could get it for about $15 - $20. That will give you four or five ports in the game room, probably with all the speed you need. With a wired connection, you are probably going to get close to the maximum speed - and how fast can your computer actually push data across that pipe?

    If you wire in the second Cat 5e, you could use it for a telephone.

Share This Page