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Old 05-03-2011, 06:48 PM   #1
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Wiring the home with Gigabit Ethernet...


I have a home office and I would like to connect it to my other computers. While wireless network is an option, and is what I current use, the speed is too slow even using high-end wireless routers since I transfer really large files.

I am trying to figure out if there is a way to easily add Ethernet wires throughout the home. So far, it seems it will be difficult and costly, since this is a home and not a commercial office building, there is no pre-built conduit to add wires.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Old 05-03-2011, 06:53 PM   #2
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Wiring the home with Gigabit Ethernet...


Depending on the types of house it may not be that difficult.Without knowing anything about the house I couldn't say what you will need.
Things that have an effect on the difficulty
How many stories?
Open basement or crawl space to feed from below.
Type of wall finishes affecting how difficult to repair holes that may be needed.

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Old 05-03-2011, 07:10 PM   #3
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Wiring the home with Gigabit Ethernet...


Wireless is actually pretty fast. Only when needing a backbone on the network between switches, or from computers, then you can get by with Cat-5e and just swap out the switches. Gig is not going to do anything outside the WAN for your LAN. Only will help if your provider has you set up for 50meg or faster service. Anything less, it is a waste of money. Majority of the devices for media (roku, PS3, XBox360, etc) are only going to have 100mb ports on them.

If wanting to pull wires to rooms, go min. 2 cables per plate for networking. Anywhere there is a computer, go min 4, tv, go at least 2, 6 would be better if you do not feel like placing a switch at that location. To pull, if you have crawlspace, attic, or basement, you pull through the plates after drilling a hole to pull the wiring, then install a LV plate for the wall plate to attach to. Wireless is becoming better every day, and will take over wired for devices within the next two years.

Last edited by gregzoll; 05-03-2011 at 07:13 PM.
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:13 PM   #4
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Wiring the home with Gigabit Ethernet...


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Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
Wireless is actually pretty fast. Only when needing a backbone on the network between switches, or from computers, then you can get by with Cat-5e and just swap out the switches. Gig is not going to do anything outside the WAN for your LAN. Only will help if your provider has you set up for 50meg or faster service. Anything less, it is a waste of money. Majority of the devices for media (roku, PS3, XBox360, etc) are only going to have 100mb ports on them.
Good point - allow me to clarify. I transfer easily 100GB (byte, not bits) of data from one computer to another within my network all the time, so Gigabit is kind of important to me. I currently use a wireless bridge, and that is just not working out well at all. (I ended up using USB external drives to do large transfers manually)...
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Old 05-03-2011, 07:24 PM   #5
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Wiring the home with Gigabit Ethernet...


One option of what I'm doing is I have a hybrid of the two. I have wireless N routers with DD-WRT (after market firmware for many different routers). I then have a couple computers and my internet access on one router then a couple others on another router. The two routers talk between each other at 230Mbps.

With that said I have run a couple wires within my walls, mainly from my HTPC down to the router in the basement because I stream HD video over my network and I don't want other things to bog it down. Interior walls really shouldn't be that bad if you have a basement...you should be able to measure over from a heat duct or something else to figure out where to drill up into your floor that will end up in a wall. Then cut a hole in the wall for your faceplate and run a wire up. If you don't have a basement or all your connectors are on outside walls then it gets rough. I ran surround sound through outside insulated walls and its time consuming but it can be done.

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Old 05-03-2011, 07:53 PM   #6
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Wiring the home with Gigabit Ethernet...


The wifi is not in reality going more than 54meg. Going N does nothing other than get you away from the bloated G band. N uses multiple channels to achieve the higher speed, thus saturation becomes worst with those type of routers. Using DD-WRT does nothing for a home network.

I do to, and have no problem with wireless. Computer to computer, had no problems with a 100mb network. Gig will never take off any farther than it has, until providers start offering out of the gate 100mb or better speeds. Until then, you are going to see 100mb as the norm, along with 54mb Wifi. Right now, I am updating my iphone through a netbook on a 54mb wifi connection to a computer wired to the switch to the router. Takes usually no more than 15 min's for 100 meg of data.

Even downloading 624 meg files to the netbook, take no more than 45 min's. It works for me.

My network is all 100 meg devices, with the only gig device is the switch, due to we have a Roku, 360, and blueray that stream media. We use U-Verse, and the boxes can connect no more than 100 meg through their ports, so in reality the gig switch is overkill, due to there is no need. When I designed my network, I looked at the facts, that cat-5e will handle gig speeds with no problem. All I ever have to do if ATT goes with gig devices, is swap out the nic on the computer.

When we had two desktops, the transfer of data between machines wired was just as good, as wife to wired computer on the router. If only wanting for computer to computer, your choice is gig, go for it. Really overkill for a home network. Our work LAN uses 100mb in the majority of offices, because once you go outside the network through the WAN, gig is overkill for most. The offices that have gig networks are those that move a lot of data through the LAN to other offices offsite. Once it gets to the communication center for who I work for, there are various switches that some are 100mb others are gig, so the fastest speed the data will ever go is 100 meg. Not every two networks are the same, and the only hinderance is your provider for the outside world.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:10 PM   #7
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Wiring the home with Gigabit Ethernet...


Is your house 1-story or 2? Basement? Accessible attic? First I would identify the "nerve center" - where your internet access comes in. Can you put a router there, and run "home runs" to each room you want networked? If you need to run wires to a 2nd floor, do you have a common wall where you can run wires to the attic, then drop them from there? There is certainly a way to do this, but without much more detail it is hard to say how difficult it may be.

Wireless sucks. Just while typing this my son told me he wants to reset our router to figure out why his wireless devices are dropping connections. For your lan, and especially for transferring such huge files I would figure out a wired solution.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:15 PM   #8
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Wiring the home with Gigabit Ethernet...


The wireless dropping, depends on what you are using it for, how far from it, also some Wifi routers are just pure crap. The best router I have had luck with, is the Uverse gateway, second is the Linksys 54g models. Netgear wifi routers along with D-Link are the worst, unless you get into their SoHo/Business class, then they get better, same with real Cisco gear, not he rebadged Linksys stuff.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:33 PM   #9
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Wiring the home with Gigabit Ethernet...


Well, here is some info:
- 2 stories
- no basement
- wood construction that is pretty much like any other house.
- desired outcome: office (2nd floor) --> family room (1st floor) at gigabit speed
- office is NOT directly on top of family room... It has to cross stairs.
- access to attic available but not too easily.

Transfering 100GB (Gigabyte) regularly on a 100Mb (megabit) is painful enough, which is why every desktop I have at home is equipped with 1000Mbps NIC, but would like to extend that network speed from my home office to the family room....
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:36 PM   #10
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Wiring the home with Gigabit Ethernet...


What kind of hard drives do you have? Your will have a lot of trouble peaking a gig connection unless you have VERY fast hard drives. At work, we have servers with raid arrays with 15-30 spindles each, and they can't even push 400 meg. A desktop or laptop drive will be MUCH slower.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:39 PM   #11
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Wiring the home with Gigabit Ethernet...


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Originally Posted by secutanudu View Post
What kind of hard drives do you have? Your will have a lot of trouble peaking a gig connection unless you have VERY fast hard drives. At work, we have servers with raid arrays with 15-30 spindles each, and they can't even push 400 meg. A desktop or laptop drive will be MUCH slower.
For example, RAID 0 on both desktops.

In my office from one computer to another, I can reach aboout 65MB/sec or 520mbps average speed (about 50% of throughput of gigabit).
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:46 PM   #12
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Wiring the home with Gigabit Ethernet...


Find a central point (unused closet, laundry room, utility room), use that to pull tv, phone, ethernet, audio into that point. A Leviton cabinet works if you want their gear, but in my case, I got a 3' a/v rack with two shelves & a patch panel that I use for my networking center in my basement. The U-verse gateway & 8-port switch is on a shelf, with all ethernet going to the patch panel. I use white patch 2' patch cords for the u-verse boxes for the tv's, red 2' patch for ethernet. Have not decided what color I am going with for the 360, blue-ray. Roku is Wireless, since it can't get any faster than 6 meg speeds from netflix, and we rarely use it that much.

Problem with a mixed network, is that your speeds are only going to go as fast as the slowest devices on the network, unless you segregate with a managed switch, to separate your LAN into various networks, and that will also allow you to handle mixed network. In reality, a backbone should be Fiber between the router & first layer switch, then gig then on for each back bone, but in a home, 100 meg is good enough to the router, since everything will move along the switch between devices if transferring data. When heading out to the real world, as stated before, data will only go as fast as your provider allows (again slowest device determines data speed).

Start by laying out a plan, that means if you have the blue print of the house available, use it to determine how many pulls of ethernet, coax, a/v for entertainment area. Then count number of devices, times that by 3, and that will give you total runs. Entertainment centers can end up with min. 6 runs, but I would just go with 2, and go with a small 5 port switch if needing for more than 3 devices. I myself have around 11 devices wired right now, with room to add a switch and go with 13 more if need be.
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:53 PM   #13
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Wiring the home with Gigabit Ethernet...


Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post
The wifi is not in reality going more than 54meg. Going N does nothing other than get you away from the bloated G band. N uses multiple channels to achieve the higher speed, thus saturation becomes worst with those type of routers. Using DD-WRT does nothing for a home network.
Please learn more about DD-WRT before making untrue statements. I get transfer rates of 80 - 90 Mbps between my DD-WRT flashed routers and it's a great solution for home users just like mdawson3k that can't find a good way to run a wire but still wants the speed of a wire.

More info on getting the max speed out of N-Band: http://www.dd-wrt.com/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=60374

General info on DD-WRT: http://www.dd-wrt.com/site/index
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Old 05-03-2011, 08:59 PM   #14
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Wiring the home with Gigabit Ethernet...


I used DD-WRT on a linksys router, and in reality made no changes. I actually got better speeds with using a computer running Smoothwall & pfsense at various times. The problem with dd-wrt, it will only run as fast as the chipset in the manufacturer router will allow it. Majority of the routers that dd-wrt runs on, have a WAN to LAN speed issue, that they never will achieve any faster than 30 meg. Internally makes no difference, because it depends on the topology of the network.

If you really want a better router, go with a box running pfsense.
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Old 05-03-2011, 09:07 PM   #15
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Wiring the home with Gigabit Ethernet...


Hmm no basement and 2 story makes this hard, but do you have crown molding or intention of installing some? You could use wiremold to run the wiring and try to stick to corners, then cover up with crown molding. Normally I would suggest to have a patch panel somewhere but easier said then done if you don't have ability to fish the wires where you need.

You can get the wiring, jacks and plates for cheap at monoprice.com.

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