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  1. #1
    Ess_Three's Avatar
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    Broadband: Wireless or Cat5

    Folks,

    I have aquired a whizzy new Desktop PC and am wondering which is the best way to connect to my Broadband Router.

    I have various 54G PCI cards kicking about, or 54G USB dongles...which have always worked in the past.

    The Laptops are Wireless, so they look after themselves.

    The Router is a Belkin 45G with 4 spare Cat5 ports...so I could cable it to the PC. The PCI/USB adaptors are all Belkin and it's BT broadband I'm on.


    Is running a whizzy PC via Cat5 cable going to be noticably faster than using a Wireless card/dongle?

    Knowledgable types please pass comment!
    Thanks...

    Glen.


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  3. #2
    I cant spell !

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    Your honestly not going to notice any diferrance if your just surfing the net with either wireless or a wired connection. The occasional drop out on wireless possibly.
    But if your moving large files around then a wired network is better.
    Luckily when my house was built I had 2 wired (cat 6) connections put into every room.
    I tend to use my laptop the most and wireless when on the web and if its plugged into the tv to watch a movie I always use the wired connection.

    All depends on how close the router is to your new pc !

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  4. #3
    alijames's Avatar
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    Hi,

    As Rich said, no noticeable speed improvement, unless you are moving large files from one pc to another within the house. However, if you can, you should always use a wired connection, as no interference from other people's wifi, no-one can sniff the traffic.

    I have a number of PCs around the house, plus a network storage box with 18GB of MP3s and a network printer. All on cat5e connections, plus I use the WiFi for the laptop and iPhone. I certainly notice the difference copying MP3s around over wifi or wired.

    richs2891 : cat 6 in a house!?! Jeez.

    Cheers,
    Alistair

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  5. #4
    jojo's Avatar
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    Wired for Desktop for sure, as sometimes when a router decides to crash, the wired connection will continue to work from my experience.



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  6. #5
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    wifi fella, 54g is perfectly adequate for what you need, I'm not gonna go into all the technical ****e, but take from an IT guy whose worked on wireless systems for number of years, 54g is never 54g anyway, more like 20-30 if lucky even if next to router & 100mbps cable or even gbps is never that anyway, its all marketing spill, lots of variables involved not just the pc connection as I've told many a client.

    wireless is gonna be absolutely fine for you & less messy & tbh cracking a wep, wpa etc codes is not exactly widespread, if your worried then use wpa code on the router, this is alot harder to crack & tbh doubt it'll happen even with wep

    If the router crashes then it needs a soft reset of power anyway so wifi & cable will be down, but they're fairly reliable these days from someone that gets new wifi tech almost as soon as released

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    Thanks for the replies lads.
    I've always used Wireless...but may run a cable if I can be bothered.

    The Router is up high in a cupboard in one bedroom, so the cable only has to pass into the foft, over to the other bedroom, and down inside the wall to an outlet...so if I'm running other cables at the same time, I may well run a Cat 5 too.


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  8. #7
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    I have to use wired due to thickness of walls etc

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    I use Cat5 for everything other than a laptop, mainly because I do some HD streaming and a fair amount of online gaming, therefore i'm after rock solid stability. It is also easier to trouble shoot connectivity problems as there's no wireless issues to be concerned about. I work for a Broadband ISP and you wouldn't believe the amount of support tickets that turn out to be peoples wireless LAN problems.
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  10. #9
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    Good advice...I think I'll cable is.
    Laptops wireless...Desktop cabled.


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  11. #10
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    hi ESS_three

    I am going to try these http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/sto...ory_oid=-34584 They use your mains power cables to run your network. you would simply cat5 back to the plug your router is getting power from then cat5 from the plug your PC is plugged into.

    Anyone using them?

    Toby

  12. #11
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    i would have sworn by cables a few months back, i used to have cat5 cable runs in my old house for streaming video from pc. just recently moved into a new house and have gone wireless, more due to lazyness than anything and i don't notice any difference apart from it being far easier.

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    Always use cable if you can, and if you cant, find a way to ..... Wireless is okay, but if you hold both technologies up against each other, like anything they have pro's and cons, but I prefer the stability of cable, and it is much more reliable.

    As for those power units, I have never used them myself, but back in the days I used to do desktop support, we looked in to installing it at a clients house. Things may have changed, but I recall the limiting factor being how many circuits ran through the house, and that you had to be on the same circuit.

    Early models were really worthless, but apparently later models worked better, although I would still run CAT5, as most cables are CAT5e, which will run at a gig.

    My $0.02

  14. #13
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    Cat5e does not support 1000baseT, you need Cat6 for that (reliably)

    Wireless is now as fast as a 10/100 wired Cat5 connection so if you can do wireless then go for it.

    I have siemon cat6 all around my house in nearly every room, because its more than just PC cabling, you can send lots of different signals over structured wiring.

    If you use a coolport or other splitter device, you can use cat5/5 for a phone as well as a pc, at the same time.
    Network connectivity only uses 2 pairs, there are 4 in a cat5/6 cable.

    Cable will always be better in more ways than wireless. Much more secure also.
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    Quote Originally Posted by A4Quattro View Post
    Cat5e does not support 1000baseT, you need Cat6 for that
    Not true I'm afraid! Even Cat5 should be able to run 1000BaseT over small distances if installed well, but may not reach the maximum distance set by EIA-568 of 100m without errors. Cat5e should easily run 1000BaseT up to 100m.

    As Network Installations Manager for a certain well known University, I still recommend cat5e over cat6 and we have many Gigabit links over cat5e copper easily in the 100m range running fine, most of which go through several patch panels on their route.

    The cat6 myth is usually spread by the suppliers/installers who charge more, and so earn more from cat6 installs than cat5e. Also cat6 is larger diameter, is more difficult to work with, and has larger minimum bend radius than cat5e.

    Quote Originally Posted by A4Quattro View Post
    If you use a coolport or other splitter device, you can use cat5/5 for a phone as well as a pc, at the same time.
    Network connectivity only uses 2 pairs, there are 4 in a cat5/6 cable.
    The coolport or splitter adaptors which use the spare cores cause no end of problems for us when local IT staff use them. Mostly they don't allow much over 10MBit without lots of errors on the network kit.

    Cheers,
    Last edited by alijames; 29th April 2009 at 21:10.
    Alistair

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  16. #15
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    As said above, I know it works, because I have seen it in action.
    CAT 6 is costly, and only required in certain circumstances.

  17. #16
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    I know it works, a kitkat wrapper will work if you use it over a short distance.

    If you know so much about network cabling then you'll also know that cat6 has a larger bending radius because it has a pair segregation.

    Structured cabling needs to adhere to certain test procedures, known in the trade as a scope test. Cat5e would NOT pass a Cat6 scope test, due to the crosstalk between pairs, which is less tolerant on a Cat6 test.
    Indeed, the warranty on the cable (normally 25 years) will not be valid without a test certificate for each and every cable.

    When I have project managed a structured cabling install, and gigabit links have been specified, I would always spec Cat6 cable, not because we make more money, but because we try and provide the service that we sell.
    Installing Cat6 is not significantly more expensive than Cat5, the cable itself is more expensive but you get what you pay for. Maybe you have had some bad experiences in the past.

    Telling a client that Cat5e is suitable for gigabit is negligent in my opinion because that would be the very edge of the usage envelope for which the cable was designed.
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  18. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by A4Quattro View Post
    I know it works, a kitkat wrapper will work if you use it over a short distance.
    LOL! I'll have to remember that one (surely it would have to be 2 pairs or wrappers though )

    Quote Originally Posted by A4Quattro View Post
    If you know so much about network cabling then you'll also know that cat6 has a larger bending radius because it has a pair segregation.

    Structured cabling needs to adhere to certain test procedures, known in the trade as a scope test. Cat5e would NOT pass a Cat6 scope test, due to the crosstalk between pairs, which is less tolerant on a Cat6 test.
    Indeed, the warranty on the cable (normally 25 years) will not be valid without a test certificate for each and every cable.
    Absolutely agree with that, but there is no upgrade path from 1000BaseT on either cat5e or cat6, and can you see the structured cabling in most buildings still being there or in use in 25 years time? I'm sure everything will be wireless and fibre by then.

    Quote Originally Posted by A4Quattro View Post
    When I have project managed a structured cabling install, and gigabit links have been specified, I would always spec Cat6 cable, not because we make more money, but because we try and provide the service that we sell.
    Installing Cat6 is not significantly more expensive than Cat5, the cable itself is more expensive but you get what you pay for. Maybe you have had some bad experiences in the past.

    Telling a client that Cat5e is suitable for gigabit is negligent in my opinion because that would be the very edge of the usage envelope for which the cable was designed.
    I usually recommend cat5e to the desk, and multiple cat5e or preferably cat6 for uplinks, as they can always aggregate multiple copper links, with multiple copper ports on switching being much cheaper than going to the major expense of fibre for 10GBit capability. I honestly don't think that is negligent on my part, but I am looking from the side of the client rather than the supplier.

    A friend of mine is the install business has been quoted as saying 'never trust an even cabling spec!!' Let's see if cat7 takes off...

    On the bad experience front, we have had one classic from a year or so ago, when a departmental administrator (non-techie) was advised to go for cat6 cabling as VOIP will only work over cat6!!

    Anyway, we have wandered a bit off topic here (mainly my fault), and I'm sure any of cat5, 5e or 6 would be fine over the short distances within a house.

    Finally, the Homeplug ethernet-over-mains type devices have really come along the last few years, and are pretty good for domestic use. Would not use them in a commercial premises though...

    Cheers,
    Alistair

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  19. #18
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    Everything about those home plugs shouts DANGER to me.
    I'm sure they're fine, but any interaction between SELV cable and the mains is worrying, I have had shocks from panels before when the cab is not earthed to the building earth, and those things just look like an accident waiting to happen.
    Chris

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  20. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by alijames View Post

    On the bad experience front, we have had one classic from a year or so ago, when a departmental administrator (non-techie) was advised to go for cat6 cabling as VOIP will only work over cat6!!
    now THAT is gold...
    Chris

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  21. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by A4Quattro View Post
    Everything about those home plugs shouts DANGER to me.
    I'm sure they're fine, but any interaction between SELV cable and the mains is worrying, I have had shocks from panels before when the cab is not earthed to the building earth, and those things just look like an accident waiting to happen.

    Closest to a homeplug I could find...

    Cheers,
    Alistair

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  22. #21
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    Me too, cant beat streaming 1080p films from your server to media PC plugged into your plamsa



    Quote Originally Posted by Funky_Junky View Post
    I use Cat5 for everything other than a laptop, mainly because I do some HD streaming and a fair amount of online gaming, therefore i'm after rock solid stability. It is also easier to trouble shoot connectivity problems as there's no wireless issues to be concerned about. I work for a Broadband ISP and you wouldn't believe the amount of support tickets that turn out to be peoples wireless LAN problems.
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