Cat5e vs Cat6 for new home

Adcadet

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I'm moving! New job, new city. Yay!

Anyway, I'll be setting up a gigabit network. I'll need to look more at the home to decide if I'll run the cables myself or pay somebody to go through walls for me. I understand that cat6 allows for 10 gigabit ethernet for future compatibility (I hope to be in this home for decades), and might allow longer run lengths. Any reason not to use cat6 over 5e?
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Just expense. Though installers WILL try to get away with using the cheap stuff if they think they can get away with it.
Where are you moving, anyway?
 

Handruin

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CAT 6 will allow for 10Gb but be aware of the length of the cable limits due to noise. You may have between 108' to 180'. If you really want 10Gb future proof you might want to look for CAT 6a cable which supports 500MHz. As Merc said, cost is the downside.

I bough CAT6 cable myself when I wired my house and paid an electrician to pull the wire into each room. I did 4 runs to each room and in rooms like the livingroom I made sure to cable in two locations in case we decided to rearrange furniture. This worked out well because in times when the entertainment center is connected on one wall, we've connected laptops on the opposite wall for doing large file transfers at the same time without having to lay a cable across the floor. It's not often but nice to have.

When I wired in keystones I did four different colors and added RG6 quad shield cable into a single six-port wall plate with one blank filler.

I've found over the years that I was happy I went with multiple runs to each room and suggest you consider doing the same if you plan to go through the efforts.

I should clarify that the only thing I paid the electrician for is to pull the cable. I wired up all the keystones and patch panel. If you want to do that yourself you could possibly save money when negotiating with the electrician. You'll want in-wall rated cable that's solid copper, not stranded. I bought a 1000' spool from monoprice.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Also, there are standards for doing just about everything that involves wiring over Cat5 or better cable. You can wire HDMI over Cat5, for example. Another reason to do extra runs of cabling is to make sure you have essentially universal cabling for whatever else you might want to wire.
 

ddrueding

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In either case the cable is not the majority of the cost. Patch panels and keystones can cost that much, and the labor (if contracted out) will likely be more than that by a good margin.
 

Handruin

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If you buy the toolless keystones they're $1.19/each when in bulk (24). The patch panel is about $20 for 24 ports. Wall plates are around $1 each. That's no where close to the $400+ for CAT 7a cabling...which on top of that you'd now need proper keystones and patch panel to support the higher speed which costs more by moving up to CAT7a.

I realize there is a place for that kind of cabling. I feel for home use even a moderate to advanced PC geek can be satisfied with cat6a for quite some time.
 

timwhit

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Congrats! I don't think I've ever been to Eau Claire. My wife's cousin went to school at University of Wisconsin Eau Claire.

Now that you're moving to Wisconsin you'll have to increase cheese curd and Spotted Cow intake considerably.
 

Handruin

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I traveled some 2700 miles to meet someone from here for the first and only time so far.
 

Mercutio

Fatwah on Western Digital
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Nits lurks semi-actively. I don't think she logs in, but when we talk on the phone sometimes she tells me her opinions about goings-on here.

I'd meet more of you people if I ever traveled and/or there were a single justifiable reason for anyone to pass through the terrible place where I happen to live. I suspect that the closest most will get is flying into or out of ORD (which is also a terrible place, but at least most of you will never know the pain of driving in and out of it).
 

ddrueding

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There were times pre-kid (mostly pre-wife) that I considered a quick round of the country to visit the regulars just because. I'm still game, but responsibilities would make it difficult.
 

Adcadet

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I thought it was a little odd at the interview when they asked about my experience treating bratwurst-related injuries, favorite way to eat cheese curds, and alluded to the requirement to get a Packers tattoo within 30 days of starting.

If you guys are ever nearby, let me know!
 

Handruin

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When I researched installing networking wires into the home one suggestion that I read in several places was to pull more than one wire into each room if you're going to go through the hassle. Their reasons made sense to me in that if you're paying someone or doing it yourself, it's not much more money or work to tie two to four cables of the same length together. There are possibilities that you might have a bad cable (damaged) so if you pull several, you can leave the bad one alone and use the remaining. I can also use one port in each room for phone if I ever need to repurpose it. I made sure to use four different colored keystones to help identify each port and I matched the same color with the 1' patch cable in the basement on the patch panel. I also purchased the spool of 1000' so if I didn't run multiple pulls, then that cable would otherwise be collecting dust in the basement. I may have gone a little overboard but I'd still recommend running a minimum of two to each room if you can. If you don't already have RG6 quad shield for TV, it might be worth running that at the same time also.

I also had plans to try link aggregation. I specifically bought a layer 2 switch that offered vlan and aggregation so that I could learn and play. I haven't yet done either of those so that shows how well my intentions worked out. I have used all the four ports in my living room and 3 out of 4 in my office. In some of the other rooms I've used none, but at least the option is there if I ever need to move things around.

Somewhere in the forum I may have listed out all the parts I ordered to do this project. I'll see if I can find it and link the post in case you want to use it as a reference when ordering/planning.
 
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