Worth installing a wired network?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Grasbak, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. Grasbak macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #1
    I have to have some significant electical work done at my house, and was wondering if it is worth added in a wired network throughout the house.

    I am presuming that a wired network is more stable and secure than wireless.

    So a couple of questions:

    1. What sort of ethernet would you put in - is gigabit the fastest?

    2. Will ethernet become obsolete at some point?

    3. There are 8 rooms in the house, ideally all would have an access point - what hardware would you reccomend?

    4. or is the above a waste of time? would a wireless 'n' network be as stable and secure as the above at a fraction of the cost?!

    Anything else I should be considering?

    Thanks
     
  2. R.Youden macrumors 68020

    R.Youden

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2005
    #2
    I think it depends on how you have your computers setup.

    If you do a lot of transferring files, pictures etc from one machine to the other then gigabit ethernet is the way to go. If, however, all you do is access the internet then you will be more suited to wireless. Also it depends on if you have all desktop machines that have a set location on a desk. If you have any laptops that you move around then go wireless.

    If you are a serious network users go wired, if not, stick to wireless.
     
  3. miniConvert macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #3
    It sounds like you have the rare opportunity to install a wired network with minimal fuss, so if I were you I'd do it!

    Ideally you want a socket in each room, with cable running back to a central point in the house. All these cables then get plugged into a Switch. Then you can hook the Switch up to your Router for dishing out IP addresses and providing connectivity to the Internet.

    What speed of ethernet you choose is up to you. 100mbps will be cheaper, but looking long-term gigabit would be great if you have the resources.

    Then, of course, there's nothing stopping you from adding wireless access points for laptops and other devices to use. The joy of having a wired network is that you can install access points where they are needed, creating a network with no blackspots and great throughput.
     
  4. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #4
    Absolutely a wired network is more secure and stable than wireless. And the cost of gigabit over 100Mbps these days is so minimal that there's no reason NOT to do it.

    I use a gigabit network at my place because I work a lot with large files over the network. I recently upgraded it from 100Mbps and it makes a big difference! I don't store anything locally on my machines -- all of my documents, iTunes library, videos, work stuff, everything is on a central server, so I depend on my network a great deal. Wireless is good for surfing the internet or occasionally working with small files over the network, but if you have an opportunity to install Cat5e or Cat6 cable in your house without too much hassle, definitely do it.
     
  5. slicedbread macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    #5
    if you can afford it, I say go for it! wired is so much faster than wireless, and definitely more secure than wireless as well.

    if you do only have/use laptops then it may not be worth it, but if you have more than 1 desktop then having them wired together lets you create remote storage that is still as fast as a local hard drive.
     
  6. Grasbak thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    Thanks for all the advice.

    I only have the computer in my signature at the moment. But am trying to think to the future. If we are having work done, now is the time to put the network in.

    I will be getting the electician round soon so will assess the costs!

    From what you have all said it is worth going with gigabit (i dont know too much about all this). My only concern would be it becomes outdated. There seems little point in putting it in if in a couple of years its out of date!
     
  7. Cult Follower macrumors 6502a

    Cult Follower

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    Location:
    North Dakota
    #7
    I'd say go for it, but that's just me.
     
  8. SMM macrumors 65816

    SMM

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2006
    Location:
    Tiger Mountain - WA State
    #8
    Right on all accounts. I would not consider anything less than Cat 5e.

    A 1000' roll of quality cable is right about .10/ft and is spec'd at 350 MH. A 1000' roll of Cat 6 will run you about .15/ft and is spec'd at 550 MH. As I recall, the wall jacks are about double the price. If you run the wire yourself, pull a few feet out from the wall, and coil it back in after you have made the connections. You will need a punchdown tool and wiring diagram. Pay attention to how much wire pair to expose and how to cross them. Where your wires terminate can be a couple 4 port wall plates, which saves having to install a patch panel. If you have to build RJ-45 connectors, you will need a special tool (die). They run ~$100.00

    Adding the wireless access point is also a great idea. Gives you lots of options with a small investment.
     
  9. alFR macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    #9
    I'd do it and go gigabit. I'd put more than 1 socket in some rooms though, e.g. if you have an office definitely put more in there in case you ever want to network a printer, buy a network attached storage device, etc. etc.

    What I want to do when I'm in the same situation is have a central "server room" (i.e. under the stairs) with the switch and any other stuff like a NAS, my router etc. in it and then just run the Cat6 cable out to every room.

    As you're in the UK, a reasonably-priced (and in my experience reliable) mail-order source for the kit you'll need is Solwise. An eight-port gigabit switch is £58 from them: the 16 and 24-port ones get a fair bit more expensive though. You can buy Cat5e/Cat6 cable loads of other places on the web as well, I think Maplin etc. might keep drums of it too. Buying a drum and making the cables up yourself is definitely the way to go. Remember to label each one at both ends before you run it through the walls! :)
     
  10. Grasbak thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2006
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    Thats great info guys - thanks a lot.

    I may come back for more advice! :)
     
  11. rogersmj macrumors 68020

    rogersmj

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2006
    Location:
    Indianapolis, IN
    #11
    I wouldn't. That just makes more work for you in the walls. Run one line to each room, and then if you need more than one computer in that room you buy a switch for $20.
     
  12. alFR macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2006
    #12
    Well, I suppose it depends on how your walls are made (so how much work it is) and how big your rooms are. The disadvantage of using a switch in the room rather than extra sockets is that you'd potentially need to have ethernet cables running to different locations in the room from the switch, depending on your layout, which might not be convenient or wife-friendly. :) A switch will take up a power point too, which aren't in that plentiful supply in rooms in some UK homes.
     
  13. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #13
    Good point but there is hassle of doing all that extra wiring in a UK home that is built with proper walls.
     
  14. Sherman Homan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2006
    #14
    Definitely go for it, you have mentioned a concern about gig ethernet becoming obsolete, I think you have a good twenty years or so! I suppose fiber optic cable could be a theoretical challenge, but that is way too expensive for mainstream acceptance now.
     

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