Running Ethernet through my house

G5Unit

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Apr 3, 2005
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We are getting new carpet installed in my house and we are planning on running a home network through the house. I was thinking about running ethernet cables under the side of the carpet. The would come out at the bottom of the wall in about 6 or 7 rooms, 2 - 3 downstairs, 4 or so upstairs. They would all meet under my stairs in a workgroup hub that would also be connected to a wireless router and a 12mb connection.

My question is basically this:

-What cable do I get? Cat 5, Cat 5e, or Cat 6?
-I have a wireless router(DGL-4300) is that good enough for just basic wireless?
-Which workgroup hub do I get? I want to have internet n every room and also share music and files to every room.

My Budget is about 200-250 dollars. Unless I need to go higher.


I was a Lowes and they had a flat ethernet cable which i thought would work well. Any thoughts?


Thanks in advance!
 

mactastic

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Apr 24, 2003
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G5Unit said:
We are getting new carpet installed in my house and we are planning on running a home network through the house. I was thinking about running ethernet cables under the side of the carpet. The would come out at the bottom of the wall in about 6 or 7 rooms, 2 - 3 downstairs, 4 or so upstairs. They would all meet under my stairs in a workgroup hub that would also be connected to a wireless router and a 12mb connection.

My question is basically this:

-What cable do I get? Cat 5, Cat 5e, or Cat 6?
-I have a wireless router(DGL-4300) is that good enough for just basic wireless?
-Which workgroup hub do I get? I want to have internet n every room and also share music and files to every room.

My Budget is about 200-250 dollars. Unless I need to go higher.


I was a Lowes and they had a flat ethernet cable which i thought would work well. Any thoughts?


Thanks in advance!
Get Cat 5e at least.
Don't know specifically about that router, but generally any wireless router is good enough for "basic wireless". Besides, you can always upgrade that portion later. I'd be more concerned about effective wireless coverage of the entire house.
Not sure about a workgroup hub. If your wireless router has an ethernet out (for a LAN) then you can split that as many times as you want.

Now, as for putting cable under your carpet. I don't know that I would recommend doing this, since you'll have no way to get in and do any repair work, and if they don't stay put you run the risk of having them wind up in areas that either have furniture on top of them or are in traffic areas. You'd have to pull up your expensive carpet in order to get to them.

How come you can't just do a wireless network throughout? Much easier as a retrofit, and cheaper if your computers already have wireless cards.

Why isn't wireless enough?
 

G5Unit

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mactastic said:
Get Cat 5e at least.
Don't know specifically about that router, but generally any wireless router is good enough for "basic wireless". Besides, you can always upgrade that portion later. I'd be more concerned about effective wireless coverage of the entire house.
Not sure about a workgroup hub. If your wireless router has an ethernet out (for a LAN) then you can split that as many times as you want.

Now, as for putting cable under your carpet. I don't know that I would recommend doing this, since you'll have no way to get in and do any repair work, and if they don't stay put you run the risk of having them wind up in areas that either have furniture on top of them or are in traffic areas. You'd have to pull up your expensive carpet in order to get to them.

How come you can't just do a wireless network throughout? Much easier as a retrofit, and cheaper if your computers already have wireless cards.

Why isn't wireless enough?


Well I don't know what's wrong with our house but anything more then a door will mak the signal drop very low. We always loose connection and I've been trying to fix it for 3 years, and have gone through 3 routers and I'm kinda sick of it. I guess if I just put the cable under some crown moulding it would work.
 

iBS23

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Mar 30, 2005
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I'd go with the Cat 6. When I worked for SBC back in the early 90s we were already pulling Cat 5 in some locations. Cat 6 will give you some future upgrade flexibility.

As for that flat ethernet cable, I'd avoid it as I suspect that signal loss is fairly high (= lower actual speeds). As for running it under the carpet, I wouldn't recommend that either as a general rule. I've know people who have done it, but as the other poster said, it can create problems. If you've got a basement and/or an attic, running the cable in the walls isn't that tough. Crown molding is also an option.
 

G5Unit

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iBS23 said:
I'd go with the Cat 6. When I worked for SBC back in the early 90s we were already pulling Cat 5 in some locations. Cat 6 will give you some future upgrade flexibility.

As for that flat ethernet cable, I'd avoid it as I suspect that signal loss is fairly high (= lower actual speeds). As for running it under the carpet, I wouldn't recommend that either as a general rule. I've know people who have done it, but as the other poster said, it can create problems. If you've got a basement and/or an attic, running the cable in the walls isn't that tough. Crown molding is also an option.

Yeh we have an attic but no basement. I thinking I should go with Cat 6 even though i don't think I'll see much difference. What is really the dowside of running a cable alongside the bottom of the wall under the carpet?
 

beatsme

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Oct 6, 2005
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iBS23 said:
As for running it under the carpet, I wouldn't recommend that either as a general rule.
yea that's basically a no-no. Ethernet cables are a bit fragile (comparatively) and don't like being stepped on. You might think about getting some kind of conduit material and just running it on top of the carpet.
 

adk

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Nov 11, 2005
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G5Unit said:
Yeh we have an attic but no basement. I thinking I should go with Cat 6 even though i don't think I'll see much difference. What is really the dowside of running a cable alongside the bottom of the wall under the carpet?
Get the best cable you can get. You don't want something buried under your carpet to become obsolete. Running flat cable under the carpet seems like a decent idea. Just maybe make up a test patch first to make sure you can't notice it. My only question is how are you going to get the cable up and down stairs?

The carpet idea is definitely better than my dad's idea for surround sound when it first came out: Drilling holes in the main floor and running the cable through the basement.
 

G5Unit

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I might put an inch wide hole in the ground right by my stairs. There is a crawl space underneath the stairs and the modem and wired router are going to be in the space. Yet the Wireless router is going to be up on to of the stairs.

I'm considering buying the cab;es from either Lowes or MonoPrice.com. Now definatly Cat 6. Now I don't know, Crown Moudling or Run the cables through the attic?
 

rdowns

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Jul 11, 2003
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I've seen base molding hollowed out to run cables through it. Of course I saw this a week after new base molding was installed throughout the condo. :rolleyes:
 

mactastic

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Apr 24, 2003
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G5Unit said:
Well I don't know what's wrong with our house but anything more then a door will mak the signal drop very low. We always loose connection and I've been trying to fix it for 3 years, and have gone through 3 routers and I'm kinda sick of it. I guess if I just put the cable under some crown moulding it would work.
The crown molding is a much better place than under the carpet. Much less chance for stress on the cable.

As for the loss of signal, perhaps you could go with a WDS. Spread several wireless routers around and see if that helps. I know my old house with the lath-and-plaster walls was hard on a signal, but I added an Airport Express to the network, and that solved the problem. Beyond that, you can even run a single ethernet cable to an AEX if you need signal in a remote part of the house.
 

hulugu

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G5Unit said:
Yeh we have an attic but no basement. I thinking I should go with Cat 6 even though i don't think I'll see much difference. What is really the dowside of running a cable alongside the bottom of the wall under the carpet?
Run it through the attic, you'll have fewer problems with bent cables and if you're willing to take the time you can install ethernet jacks in the walls (they have them at Lowe's) which will make everything much cleaner and allow you to position the ethernet in just the right place.
 

G5Unit

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hulugu said:
Run it through the attic, you'll have fewer problems with bent cables and if you're willing to take the time you can install ethernet jacks in the walls (they have them at Lowe's) which will make everything much cleaner and allow you to position the ethernet in just the right place.

Yeh that's what I'm going with. Again if someone could tell me the price and time it would take to do this?

Me being the person I am, I NEED to color code everything.
 

jsw

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Mar 16, 2004
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A couple of suggestions, coming from someone who's just run 500' of cable over the past few days:

First, I chose 5e simply because I wasn't sure I'd be able to be precise enough with the connection of the wall outlets to get the CAT 6 benefit. I'm not convinced that the Lowe's/Home Depot versions of cable are all that different from 5e to 6. I could be wrong there. 6 is expensive compared to 5e.

Second, kinks are bad, so be careful when running lines. Just don't yank too hard on them.

Third, have some way of coding the ends so you'll know which cable is which when you're connecting them at the router end. Even a permanent marker will work.

Fourth, if you can, run pairs of cables to rooms. It'll cut down on the need to buy switches/routers and it'll give you a fail-safe if one of the lines gets cut/damaged.

Just suggestions.

And if you have relatively easy attic access as well as a power outlet (or a means to install one) up there, wireless signals, at least in my older home, seem to travel better through ceilings than walls. Your mileage my vary, but a wireless router or two in the attic might provide a lot of coverage.

Price? ~$10 per outlet pair (outlets, box, cover, etc.), plus cable costs (usually $0.10/foot or less). Not too bad.

Time? Depends on attic access, ease or running lines down the walls, etc. It'll take longer than you plan, no matter how long you plan for. ;)
 

iBS23

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Mar 30, 2005
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G5Unit said:
Yeh that's what I'm going with. Again if someone could tell me the price and time it would take to do this?

Price will depend on how long the runs will be. My recollection is that you can get 1000 ft from around $120. The boxes and jacks will be a few bucks each.

As for time, i'd plan a full day to get it done. If you've got a few spools of cable, you'll be able to make a few runs at the same time which will save you some time. You'll probably also want to rent/buy a fish tape (or fish wire -- depending on your location) as it will make the job a bit easier.
 

iBS23

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Mar 30, 2005
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jsw said:
First, I chose 5e simply because I wasn't sure I'd be able to be precise enough with the connection of the wall outlets to get the CAT 6 benefit. I'm not convinced that the Lowe's/Home Depot versions of cable are all that different from 5e to 6. I could be wrong there. 6 is expensive compared to 5e.

Second, kinks are bad, so be careful when running lines. Just don't yank too hard on them.

Third, have some way of coding the ends so you'll know which cable is which when you're connecting them at the router end. Even a permanent marker will work.
Good suggestions overall. Kinks will kill your cable, so be careful. As for the 6 vs. 5e question, the biggest issue is whether you'll want to upgrade in the future. If you never plan on jumping to Gigabit ethernet, then 5e will be fine. If you are spending the money on Gigabit, and/or want to consider running a video server in the future, go with the 6.

One last suggestion, especially if you go with the 5e: buy some pull string so that you can run it with the individual runs. That way, if you damage the cable or if you upgrade in the future you have an easier time replacing the cable.
 

MacFan782040

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Dec 1, 2003
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As the other poster said, try running double cables (2 jacks) to each room. This way, if you ever get a network printer, XBox, another computer, wireless router, fax, ect ect ect, you can connect it.

Trust me.
 

jsw

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Mar 16, 2004
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iBS23 said:
As for the 6 vs. 5e question, the biggest issue is whether you'll want to upgrade in the future.
Well, to be honest, I took a day off work to run the cable, ran to Home Depot, and they were out of 6, so I bought 5e. I don't plan on being in this house for all that long, so it shouldn't be a big deal, but I would have bought the 6 if they had it. :eek:

I guess I'd recommend the 6 cable too, if the price difference isn't too extreme, even if you choose 5e outlets for the time being.
 

w_parietti22

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MacFan782040 said:
As the other poster said, try running double cables (2 jacks) to each room. This way, if you ever get a network printer, XBox, another computer, wireless router, fax, ect ect ect, you can connect it.

Trust me.
Agreed. It will come in handy and you'll be glad you did it.
 

hulugu

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G5Unit said:
I found these 2 switches:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833122141

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.asp?Item=N82E16833122111

Which is better? I will most likely have it in the attic or crawl space.


Sorry double post.
The second router has a bigger buffer memory, but otherwise I don't see the difference between the two.

Running a similar system through an office took a few people about a day, with extra time taken to carefully run the cables, mark the ends and then make sure all the connections worked. We used something like this, which was helpful to make the router properly with room numbers.
 

Counterfit

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Aug 20, 2003
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Since I just finished working with field techs who were dealing with Cat5(e?) for telephone systems, I'll add this: LEAVE SOME SLACK! You'll appreciate this if you have to re-terminate the jacks in the wall.
 

mikes63737

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Jul 26, 2005
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hulugu said:
The second router has a bigger buffer memory, but otherwise I don't see the difference between the two.

Running a similar system through an office took a few people about a day, with extra time taken to carefully run the cables, mark the ends and then make sure all the connections worked. We used something like this, which was helpful to make the router properly with room numbers.
I definately recommend getting a cable tester. You will be VERY glad you did.
 

ReanimationLP

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Jan 8, 2005
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Be sure to get yourself a good tester, a GOOD crimper, some good wire strippers, and a LOT of ends. Trust me, you'll need em. Sometimes network wires just dont wanna cooperate. Run at least two lines to each room, 3 for lets say the living room. I recommend getting a switch with 16-24 ports, of course, you can daisy-chain 8 port hubs together by just taking a normal cable between the two. Ditto for the router. Leave slack, dont be pulling the cables nor stretching them, as this will ruin them. :( Be sure to plan this out well, draw some blueprints, measure a lot, etc. Measure, then for each length, add about 3 feet. This gives you plenty of slack, and lots of room incase you f*** up crimping it. :)
 

G5Unit

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ReanimationLP said:
Be sure to get yourself a good tester, a GOOD crimper, some good wire strippers, and a LOT of ends. Trust me, you'll need em. Sometimes network wires just dont wanna cooperate. Run at least two lines to each room, 3 for lets say the living room. I recommend getting a switch with 16-24 ports, of course, you can daisy-chain 8 port hubs together by just taking a normal cable between the two. Ditto for the router. Leave slack, dont be pulling the cables nor stretching them, as this will ruin them. :( Be sure to plan this out well, draw some blueprints, measure a lot, etc. Measure, then for each length, add about 3 feet. This gives you plenty of slack, and lots of room incase you f*** up crimping it. :)

Oh, I'm not cutting, I'm just buying 50 foot cables (about 10 of them), then a few 6 foot ones for the rooms. Can someone post a list of EVERYTHING I need in order to do this project? Thanks!