More Cat6 cable

examiga1990

Active Member
I’m running cat 6 cables round my house. At the moment I`m on a standard ISP 80/20 FTTC connection. I have as my Gateway modem/router a ZYXEL XMG3927-B50A this goes into a Netgear 8 Port Gigabit Unmanaged switch then via an outside run of cat5e cable to a TP-Link Archer AX50. Then from the same Netgear switch a cat6 outside cable to another TP-Link Archer AX50 (these 2 TP-Link Archer AX50 are set up in AP mode)

I have several things connected to these routers signal seems good all round house either off the cable or from the 3 routers Wi-Fi (different CHs) I wanted to run some more cat6 cable to either 1 or 2 more locations from a spare port on one of the TP Link routers. If I needed the 2nd cable run could I just connect up another Netgear switch from the router and run from there.

I was not sure what the quality/speed loss would be having all these cable runs and switches/routers (all 1GB speeds switch/routers). When I can get it I will move up to Full Fibre (FTTP) at the moment I`m getting about 72 to 74+ Mbps speeds. I just did a speed test at 5.30pm today and got via wifi on my laptop a speed of 69.9 Mbps from one of the Routers connected up via cat6. So for normal standard FTTC speeds it’s not too bad. So will I be OK to add more cable if I wanted?

I
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
The only real "rule" in building ethernet infrastructure is that you must not make an loops in the topology. If you do, your network will very quickly "gridlock" with endlessly circling broadcast traffic and nothing (much) else will get through. As long as you avoid that, then you can pretty much build it any way you like - star shaped, daisy chained or combinations of the two.

Of course, each lobe in the infrastructure is a resource with finite capacity and once that capacity is exceeded you can get congestion when the link is busy. For example, the more you daisy chain switches off each other, the more cumulative traffic there is competing for the interlinks. Planning for this sort of thing is how professional network designers make their money. But for a SOHO use can, which is relatively lightly loaded with relatively few switches, it makes almost no difference unless you spend all day copying huge amounts of data about the place.

Ethernet works at fixed Link Rates (ever erroneously called "speed,") it does not get any faster/slower because of the "cat" of the cables (or the lobe length.) So, for example, 10/100/1000 ethernet will be exactly the same "speed" whether the cable is cat5e or cat6 (or higher.) If it isn't, chances are that the cable has been poorly installed or (most likely) poorly terminated rather than is "slowing down" because the "cat" of the cable isn't high enough.
 

examiga1990

Active Member
The only real "rule" in building ethernet infrastructure is that you must not make an loops in the topology. If you do, your network will very quickly "gridlock" with endlessly circling broadcast traffic and nothing (much) else will get through. As long as you avoid that, then you can pretty much build it any way you like - star shaped, daisy chained or combinations of the two.

Of course, each lobe in the infrastructure is a resource with finite capacity and once that capacity is exceeded you can get congestion when the link is busy. For example, the more you daisy chain switches off each other, the more cumulative traffic there is competing for the interlinks. Planning for this sort of thing is how professional network designers make their money. But for a SOHO use can, which is relatively lightly loaded with relatively few switches, it makes almost no difference unless you spend all day copying huge amounts of data about the place.

Ethernet works at fixed Link Rates (ever erroneously called "speed,") it does not get any faster/slower because of the "cat" of the cables (or the lobe length.) So, for example, 10/100/1000 ethernet will be exactly the same "speed" whether the cable is cat5e or cat6 (or higher.) If it isn't, chances are that the cable has been poorly installed or (most likely) poorly terminated rather than is "slowing down" because the "cat" of the cable isn't high enough.
Thanks for the input at least put my mind at ease. As I was not to sure about throwing more switches in would it cock it all up! Apart from the odd film down load. The Home Network is just domestic stuff TV streaming, PS5 and PS4 online games. NAS for Home streaming. At the moment what I have works all over the place (via the 3 router setup) and not had any problems with it. Just my lad moaning about lag in online games (via wifi) so I said I will put cable in for him.

Next good few days with fine weather I will make a start :)

Thank You
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Just my lad moaning about lag in online games (via wifi) so I said I will put cable in for him.

The other thing to watch about online games is making sure that you don't have any double NAT going on which can happen with using multiple routers, especially if they are still in a "router" mode. Some games will tell you the NAT status and it's worth checking that. While it shouldn't ordinarily affect lag noticeably it can often join games where the NAT status of other people is the same and result in a sub-optimal game experience.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Just my lad moaning about lag in online games (via wifi) so I said I will put cable in for him.

Wi-Fi, even when it's working well, is fundamentally fickle and unreliable so one would always expect a cable to be "better" (more consistent, usually faster and more reliable - as there's almost zero re-transmission of corrupt packets.)

Plus, Wi-Fi is basically an "only one thing at a time can transmit" (in each cell) technology (though later standards such as N/AC/AX are introduce a few "tricks" to help with that.) Thusly throughput for any given client can vary over time as the competition for Wi-Fi "air time" varies. Throw in some random interference and that muddies the water even more.

Of course, the more we can get onto cables, the more we "free up" Wi-Fi air time competition (it's anything but "fair") for the remaining Wi-Fi devices giving them a faster usage experience.

For each cabled client, it gets it's own cable to the nearest switch pretty much all to itself (apart from broadcast traffic which by definition goes to all stations.) It's only then the interlinks between the switches, the ISP link and so on where the traffic to/from multiple clients gets aggregated and competition for bandwidth then occurs. But as discussed previously, in the SOHO use case, it's unlikely to be a big problem.

BTW - if you are installing new cable runs, AVF mantra is to "always install two (or more)" on any given route. It is highly unlikely that UTP will fail in service, but if it does and you only have a single cable run, you are off the air until you rip and replace. If you have an alternate in situ, you stand a chance of getting something back up and running more quickly (depending on what causes the failure - a spade through a trunk is probably going to take out both for example, but frost damage may only affect one.) Cable is cheap compared to the hassle of installing it: The additional materials cost is not that great compared to the labour you are having to expend to install it. It's surprising how often one finds a use for "just one more" later on.

Also, don't skimp on cheap Copper Clad Aluminium (CCA) cable. CCA is junk and is not permitted by any of the "cat" standards. There are a few snake oil salesmen out there who try to pass off CCA as "catX equivalent " and "catX tested" and other BS or use non-existent made up cats such as cat5a or cat6e (neither of which are real.) Just be cautious if you find some "bargain" cable that seems too cheap then check carefully that it's not CCA.
 
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examiga1990

Active Member
The other thing to watch about online games is making sure that you don't have any double NAT going on which can happen with using multiple routers, especially if they are still in a "router" mode. Some games will tell you the NAT status and it's worth checking that. While it shouldn't ordinarily affect lag noticeably it can often join games where the NAT status of other people is the same and result in a sub-optimal game experience.
No I think it used to be when it was Lan to Lan throughout but changed the 2nd and 3d router to AP mode and connected via WAN
 

examiga1990

Active Member
Wi-Fi, even when it's working well, is fundamentally fickle and unreliable so one would always expect a cable to be "better" (more consistent, usually faster and more reliable - as there's almost zero re-transmission of corrupt packets.)

Plus, Wi-Fi is basically an "only one thing at a time can transmit" (in each cell) technology (though later standards such as N/AC/AX are introduce a few "tricks" to help with that.) Thusly throughput for any given client can vary over time as the competition for Wi-Fi "air time" varies. Throw in some random interference and that muddies the water even more.

Of course, the more we can get onto cables, the more we "free up" Wi-Fi air time competition (it's anything but "fair") for the remaining Wi-Fi devices giving them a faster usage experience.

For each cabled client, it gets it's own cable to the nearest switch pretty much all to itself (apart from broadcast traffic which by definition goes to all stations.) It's only then the interlinks between the switches, the ISP link and so on where the traffic to/from multiple clients gets aggregated and competition for bandwidth then occurs. But as discussed previously, in the SOHO use case, it's unlikely to be a big problem.

BTW - if you are installing new cable runs, AVF mantra is to "always install two (or more)" on any given route. It is highly unlikely that UTP will fail in service, but if it does and you only have a single cable run, you are off the air until you rip and replace. If you have an alternate in situ, you stand a chance of getting something back up and running more quickly (depending on what causes the failure - a spade through a trunk is probably going to take out both for example, but frost damage may only affect one.) Cable is cheap compared to the hassle of installing it: The additional materials cost is not that great compared to the labour you are having to expend to install it. It's surprising how often one finds a use for "just one more" later on.

Also, don't skimp on cheap Copper Clad Aluminium (CCA) cable. CCA is junk and is not permitted by any of the "cat" standards. There are a few snake oil salesmen out there who try to pass off CCA as "catX equivalent " and "catX tested" and other BS or use non-existent made up cats such as cat5a or cat6e (neither of which are real.) Just be cautious if you find some "bargain" cable that seems too cheap then check carefully that it's not CCA.

Yes I could understand if going through house walls inside and use extra cable as backup. But I’m going outside so easy to replace if needed. I might just cable tie most of it to (tv) cable already up so I don’t risk damaging any of my cable. I have a few options for cable runs but will maybe opt for the outside for most of the cable runs
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
Yes I could understand if going through house walls inside and use extra cable as backup. But I’m going outside so easy to replace if needed. I might just cable tie most of it to (tv) cable already up so I don’t risk damaging any of my cable. I have a few options for cable runs but will maybe opt for the outside for most of the cable runs

I am the opposite I don't like cables on the outside of my house so avoid whether possible. Don't forget you should use external grade CAT cable for outside so the sun (it's summer today :D ) does not damage it. Also ideally you should avoid cable ties with CAT cable to not squash them. Usually, internally velcro wraps are used.
 

examiga1990

Active Member
I am the opposite I don't like cables on the outside of my house so avoid whether possible. Don't forget you should use external grade CAT cable for outside so the sun (it's summer today :D ) does not damage it. Also ideally you should avoid cable ties with CAT cable to not squash them. Usually, internally velcro wraps are used.

No I think easier to do also if a problem easy to see and repair/replace. I was always told outside best as much as possible. Its North Facing wall so no sun problems. The odd clip to take the weight but cable ties as much as possible. If it was old type house wooden floorboards maybe that would be best route but sadly not for me cable low down as much as possible outside. Im ok with that
 

ChuckMountain

Distinguished Member
No I think easier to do also if a problem easy to see and repair/replace. I was always told outside best as much as possible. Its North Facing wall so no sun problems. The odd clip to take the weight but cable ties as much as possible. If it was old type house wooden floorboards maybe that would be best route but sadly not for me cable low down as much as possible outside. Im ok with that

I meant I don't like cables on the outside of my house I just think it looks ugly.

Cables still can degrade on the outside with just exposure to the elements, hence recommended to use external grade ethernet cable.

You also need to be careful when breaching your cavity wall as you are now breaching the cavity and there are various risks including damp. Holes should be drilled at an angle downwards from the inside\out to stop any moisture ingress as well as cable loops.

If you do use cable ties make sure they are not too tight, they affect the cables in the same way as tight bend radius can do.
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
Even if it were not in direct sunlight, I think I would prefer to use "external" grade cable outdoors unless I was running it through trunking or ducting. Even then, I'd still prefer "external" grad. External grade cable has things like UV protection in the formulation of the plastic sheathing and if often formulated to cope with greater temperature extremes than cables intending for "indoor" use where the temperatures are more moderate and consistent.

Plastic is thermodynamic and eventually can become brittle, crack, then moisture gets in and in cold temps. freezes then bust the cable apart. External grade cables are designed to withstand the temperature lows better to yield a longer life.

(I used to ski, and once I saw a guy in a set of very old ski boots he obviously loved that literally fell apart as he was standing in the lift queue one morning. Lucky for him it happened there rather than at full tilt heading down a piste or at the top of the mountain leaving him stranded!)
 

mickevh

Distinguished Member
No I think easier to do also if a problem easy to see and repair/replace. I was always told outside best as much as possible. Its North Facing wall so no sun problems. The odd clip to take the weight but cable ties as much as possible. If it was old type house wooden floorboards maybe that would be best route but sadly not for me cable low down as much as possible outside. Im ok with that

As Chuck says, for the higher "cat" cables we are not supposed to use "zip" ties. But if you do, just don't ratchet them right down and crush the cable. Leave them a bit "loose" (like a belt loop) so you're essentially using them as "hangers" more so than "clips."
 

examiga1990

Active Member
As Chuck says, for the higher "cat" cables we are not supposed to use "zip" ties. But if you do, just don't ratchet them right down and crush the cable. Leave them a bit "loose" (like a belt loop) so you're essentially using them as "hangers" more so than "clips."
Yes that what I was going to do (its welsh stone wall so clipping it is a right pain) thank god got cable there from sky/tv intstall to tie too. I`ve been in the cable tv/sat tv trade/install since mid 1980s so I`m sure I can get it right.
 

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