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Spectrum Gigabit and Home Wiring

Old Muley

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 6, 2009
756
183
Titletown USA
Our home is currently wired with Cat5e throughout and has been fine for the 45Mbps service we have from AT&T. We are now switching to Spectrum's Gigabit (well, 940Mbps) service and I'm wondering if our Cat5e will be sufficient. We have multiple AppleTV's, including 2 of the 4K versions, several computers (iMac & pc) that are hardwired via ethernet, and two Apple AirPort Extreme wireless routers.

So far I've heard conflicting information. Some of the things I've read say we should be fine with Cat5e, while my son's techie friend insists we need Cat6a or even Cat7. I'm prepared to rewire the house if necessary, but don't want to do so if we won't really see a difference.
 

chscag

Contributor
Feb 17, 2008
3,899
1,387
Fort Worth, Texas
Cat5e can sustain speeds of 1000Mbps. LINK for info However, it might be a good idea to switch if you ever decide you need greater speeds. Also, keep in mind that speeds drop considerably in proportion to the length of the cabling.

Why not use WiFi in your home instead? If your home is large and spread out, perhaps one of the newer Mesh systems would be better rather than mess with cabling.
 
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Nermal

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 7, 2002
18,924
1,394
New Zealand
You'll be fine with 5e. I wouldn't replace it unless you actually start having issues (as noted, length = loss, but chances are you won't run into any limits in a domestic environment).
 
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belvdr

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2005
5,657
1,024
No longer logging into MR
CAT 5e is fine. With the lengths found in a home, I doubt you'll see any issues. Additionally, I disagree with the recommendation of going WiFi instead. You're much better off going wired whenever possible.
 
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Old Muley

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 6, 2009
756
183
Titletown USA
Thanks for the advice. I think I'll stick with the CAT 5e and see how it goes. There were two locations in my house I wasn't looking forward to re-wiring, so if I don't have to change anything, the better.
 

ZMacintosh

macrumors 65816
Nov 13, 2008
1,244
343
I would find good access points that can get good rates (ubiquiti has pretty good APs for this), in wall units, ceiling mounts, etc. I have a few in-wall units and APs mounted plus a few extra drops and am on gigabit with cat5e. so far so good. maybe in a few years I will re-run some data lines. but no complaints yet.
 

Old Muley

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 6, 2009
756
183
Titletown USA
The Spectrum gigabit install happened today and so far it's pretty impressive. I've gotten 1004Mbps down and 45Mbps up with the modem connected to my iMac via CAT 5e, which is amazing. Of course all my internet switches were 10/100, so they have to be replaced. The only downside is that my 6th generation AirPort Extreme doesn't play nice with the Spectrum Technicolor 4400 modem. The technician who did the install said it might now work, and after the better part of an afternoon messing with it I'm bound to agree. I simply could not get the AE to connect to the internet in spite of numerous attempts. We will probably just put the AE out to pasture and go with a Netgear Nighthawk.
 
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