using a coupler to extend the length of CAT5 cables for ethernet connections

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by halfmonkey, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. halfmonkey macrumors regular

    May 17, 2011
    My house is currently set up where in the master closet, I have my main hub of where all CAT5 cables goes and generally where you would set up your routers and such. From this main hub in the closet, I then feed all of the connecting wires from the rooms into the router from this main location.

    I'm thinking about moving my router as I'm planning on purchasing a new one soon. I'm planning on putting it in the family room since we spend most of our time downstairs in the kitchen, family room, and den and most of our devices are connected in the family room. There are some devices that are hard wired in other locations and this is where my question is.

    If I place my new router in the family room and then I have a CAT5 wire from the router back to the main hub in the master closet, how bad would it be to then use a coupler that ran from the family room connection to the device quite far from the family room?

    I'm asking this because I thought I read some time ago that it's bad to connect CAT5 wires together using a coupler and the longer the wire run, the more the signal will degrade and therefore speed will decrease. Is this true?
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    As long as the total wire run is "short", that is, way under the limit will will be OK with a coupler. I'd guess you are well under 100 meters.

    Worst case is it does not work and you have to pul a new cable. but I've used couplers on short (100 foot) runs and they work fine.
  3. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    I know its not an answer to your question but saw that you were using a hub. You might want to replace the hub with a switch to prevent packet collisions and for generally better network performance. Since you said main hub it would be best to replace all of the hubs with switches.
  4. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    i'm guessing he's using the definition as a central point, and not the networking definition, it's pretty hard to find network hubs these days, everything is a switch.
    and unless you've been doing networking for quite a few years, you may not even know the difference .
    (the definition page i link hasn't been updated in over 11 years.)

    to halfmonkey.

    since you already have all you network cables run there, and have power, get a network switch, put it in your "central point", and run one wire to the new router, you can then have all the existing wires that come back to the closet go into the new switch.

    similar to how if you needed to plug in 5 things, you would run one extension cord to a power strip, instead of running 5 long extension cords.

    I'm guessing you're planning on moving your modem too?
  5. halfmonkey thread starter macrumors regular

    May 17, 2011
    I have not thought about moving the modem as I could or I don't have to and it'll work. When we bought the house, I added some extra wall outlets to the family room in case I ever came across this scenario so if I don't move the modem, I have an extra cable that can run from the modem to the router.

    I will have one of the ports on the "tower" airport extreme going to the PS3 (soon to be PS4) and then I'll have two other ports. So what I can do as suggested above, is use one of those ports and run it back to the main hub in the master closet to connect to an 8 port switch and then from there connect the other devices in the other rooms. I can certainly do this instead of using couplers. If I go this route do the question of extending the length of the cable and degrading the signal still come into play when using a switch or is that only with a coupler?

    On a side note, I don't have a hub un the sense of what a true networking person may be thinking. I don't even know what that would be. It's simply a location in my master closet where all of the networking, telephone, and cable wires go to. From there, I can manage the connections. That's basically it in a nutshell.
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    "using a coupler to extend the length of CAT5 cables for ethernet connections"

    I did this with one of my ethernet cables, no problems at all.
    Works fine.

    Give it a try. If the coupler doesn't work, just get a longer [single] cable.
  7. FreakinEurekan macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2011
    Eureka Springs, Arkansas
    Absolutely no problem as long as the coupler is engineered for CAT5 usage. Any decent-sized office networking will have virtually every network connection going through a "coupler" in the form of network room patch panels - often two or three of them, if there is a sub-panel somewhere apart from the main networking room.
  8. Che Castro macrumors 603

    May 21, 2009
    You can get a 100ft ethernet cable from monoprice for under $20 I think

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