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I’m planning to wire our home but need some help understanding the things i need. Here's what i have planned to do so far:

As we are having new flooring downstairs, I’m going to take the opportunity of cutting into the floor and laying the Ethernet cable into it. It will be enclosed within plastic tubing so it can be removed/replaced even after the flooring's down. So downstairs i want 1 double socket embedded in the wall near our TV, 1 for future TV/PVR link up and one for my wife’s lappy. And in to the dining room, also embedded in the wall a single socket for my desktop. Thats 3.

Upstairs I can run the cable under the wooden flooring to a wall embedded socket in my sons room. Thats 4

All 4 cables i want to run to an, embedded in wall, 4 port face plate in a cupboard where the router is located. Then short cat5e cables can run to the router or switch from the embedded 4 port face plate. Each cable from wall to switch or router will have different coloured boots to set them apart and remind me where they have come from.

so my questions are:

What cable do i need from PC/Lappy to wall socket? From wall socket to 4 port face plate? Then from 4 port face plate to router or Switch? Is it Crossover or Strait?

As my Wireless Router, Netgear DG834N, it has 4 ports already do I need a Switch? I also have a Keyspan USB Server that connects wired to the router, so I really have only 3 spare, but i doubt all 4 from PC's will be used at once.

What sort of CAT5e cable should i get? Looking on Amazon's Balkin store they sell the following:

Cat5e FastCAT UTP

Cat5e FastCAT STP

Cat5e Snagless STP

Cat5e Snagless Double Shielded STP

Cat5e Assembled Halogen Free STP

Any help or links to useful site would be great.

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1 You are going to use straight (not crossover) cables in all locations.

2. This is a preference thing. You note that you don't think you'll use all 4 cables at once, however will you want to go into this cupboard each time that 4th location wants to get online? If not, pick up a 4-port switch for a few bucks and call it a day.

3. Belkin tends to be very expensive (paying for the name, not the cable). I eBay'd a 500ft roll of cat6 for less than $75USD. As far as the type of cable, you basically have 3 types: Plenum Rated, UTP and STP. Everything else is usually some kind of gimmick.

$$$ - Plenum rated is for running in air-ducts (see http://www.phonicear.com/learnplenum.asp for more info). Unless you plan on running your wiring through air-ducts, stay away from this cable.

$$ - STP stands for Shielded Twisted Pair

$ - UTP stands for Unshielded Twisted Pair

UTP is the least expensive, Plenum is the most. When you buy UTP in rolls, you're usually buying PVC type cable, which is a little inflexible for making individual patch cables, but is perfect for making runs due to the fact that it doesn't kink or get caught up easy.

It comes down to this: Use STP if you'll be running cables near lighting (fluorescent bulbs especially) that could cause electro-magnetic interference and interfere with the data running down the cable if it isn't shielded. If you won't be (and it doesn't sound like you will), you can safely use UTP.

I've bought from http://www.cablestogo.com/categories.asp?cat_id=3500 before, so I'd recommend them, however there are a host of resellers of cable out there.

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Thanks rendrag for a great reply :) Cleared a few thing up like cable type and definatly going with a switch.

I was under the impression the cat5/e was Ethernet cable? whats the difference between cat5 and cat6?

EDIT: Google is my friend! Found this Q/A about the differences:

"[Q] What is the difference between CAT 6 and CAT 5e cable?

[A] Currently there is a great deal of confusion among Ethernet cable buyers concerning whether to purchase Cat5e, or to use Cat6. Most of this confusion comes from a misunderstanding by the buyer that buying Cat6 cable will give them an "all gigabit" network. This is not the case. Unless every single component in the network is gigabit rated, then you will never have a gigabit network, because your network will always run at the speed of your slowest device. Cat5e cable of good quality can run near or at gigabit speeds, it just cannot be "certified" for this use. By comparison, Cat6 is designed especially for gigabit use, and is certified to operate at said speed. It becomes a matter of whether or not you want to pay all that extra money, for little or no noticeable improvement in the performance of you network. In most cases, it makes more sense to go with Cat5e. It is for this reason that most of your new installations in the private sector are going with Cat5e. It is more economical, performs well, and is readily available in many colors. Many IT professionals when asked about why they specified Cat6 for a specific job, often responded stated that they "wanted the best they could get." This is the line of thought behind many purchases of cable. The average consumer often times is not aware that there is no real benefit to them to use Cat6, so they let someone talk them in to buying it."

rendrag, why would you recomend cat6 over cat5e? Future proofing?

Would i need anything different if i use cat6 over cat5? different wall sockets, RJ45's?

Edited by codeblue
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rendrag, why would you recomend cat6 over cat5e? Future proofing?

Because I happened upon a great deal is the only reason I picked up cat6, otherwise I would have just used cat5e. It is a small measure of future-proofing, but not a great amount.

Would i need anything different if i use cat6 over cat5? different wall sockets, RJ45's?

Exactly: to be certified cat6, you need different wall jacks and rj45 connectors. I happened to run all my cables into a wall-mount box where I have a 12-port patch-panel, and from there i have patch cords that run into a switch (see my network setup here)

That said, I didn't use cat6 certified jacks or rj45s. That stuff is all just cat5e, however like you saw in your googling, it wouldn't really make a difference.

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The Cat 6 wire does make a difference over Cat 5e. Since the standard is higher even low quality Cat 6 tends to be better then high quality Cat 5e. Not to mention everything is moving to Gigabit, 100Mbit on new equipment is almost extinct.

My personal recommendations are that you purchase 1000FT of Cat 6 (you'll be amazed how quickly you go through it) install everything that's permanent using Cat 6. There's no point of saving (literally) only a few dollars when it's something that you're not going to want to change again.

Anyone who has a little patience can wire their home as they want. Try to keep your cable/dsl modem next to your router/switch and put everything somewhere out of the way like under stairs or in a closet and run raw Cat 6 cable between there and each of your rooms. It's a good idea to bring a run of cable into each room of your house where you think it may be possible to one day have something that will require the network. Even if there's nothing there now, if you think one day there may be, the may is good enough reason bring an outlet there. Also, you may want to consider bringing more then a single network jack to each location. Some of the rooms in my house have only one jack and I wish I had two, some have two and I wish I had three or four. Two per room is usually a great start.

To keep everything neat, what you usually do is install an outlet with keystone jacks for the network connections in each room, then you run all the wires to the central location and there, you put all of your wires into a patch panel. This way, you only need to send the network to the outlets that need it without needing to buy a large and expensive switch.

So to sum up, what you'll need is the following.

1000 FT (recommended) Category 6 cable

1 Wallplate per room

2 Keystone jacks per network outlet (each end of the cable)

(Optional) 1 Wire stripper

Personally, I do all of my network related purchases through ComputerCableStore, as I have yet to find a supplier (Neither in Canada or the USA) that's cheaper and still maintains great quality.

1000FT Category 6 : http://www.computercablestore.com/1000FT_C...P_PID43069.aspx

1 Jack Wallplates : http://www.computercablestore.com/One_Port..._Pl_PID192.aspx

2 Jack Wallplates : http://www.computercablestore.com/Two_Port..._Pl_PID194.aspx

3 Jack Wallplates : http://www.computercablestore.com/Three_Po...ll__PID196.aspx

4 Jack Wallplates : http://www.computercablestore.com/Four_Por...l_P_PID198.aspx

Toolless Keystone jacks : http://www.computercablestore.com/Toolless...a_PID41171.aspx

Patch Panel : http://www.computercablestore.com/2u_Blank..._P_PID1288.aspx

Bracket to Wallmount Patch Panel : http://www.computercablestore.com/2u_Hingi...ra_PID1518.aspx

As for the pre-made patch cables between the wall and the computers and/or router, take your pick in length and colour : http://www.computercablestore.com/CAT6_Boo..._catID1579.aspx

Edited by jcarle
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I fully agree with everything said before, so I won't bother repeating any of it.

Some people use inexpensive-ish PVC conduit in places where they might want to change wiring more often (e.g. living room -- adding a HTPC later? more RG6 runs?), just keep a piece of conduit rope in there, this way it only takes a few minutes to run an extra line later on.

As for places where I had one or two jacks and wanted more -- been there before too. Thankfully, most of the time the problem was only the number of jacks, so a cheap 5 port switch on that end was an easy fix (not an issue unless you have several devices who use a lot of bandwidth simultaneously).

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Thanks all for helpful replies and the links, nice to see what i need, although im in the UK to cant buy from the US. Heres where im up to and some areas of confusion!

What i need:

Different coloured boots http://www.homestead.co.uk/productcategory...ategoryid=51299

Q: will Cat5 boots fit cat6 RJ45 ends?

Cat6 RJ45 ends http://www.homestead.co.uk/productcategory...ategoryid=54365

Q: Is it usual for them to come in 6 individual components which are assembled into the complete plug, or will something like this do http://www.maplin.co.uk/module.aspx?Module...&doy=search

Q: I have a crimper from a few years back, pre cat6! My Tool!. Do i need a special cat6 crimping tool

Box of 305m Cat6 cable (1000ft)

Wall RJ45 Face plates. I was going with 2 ports in each room!

Q: I was looking at Black Nickel wall plates as it will match the other sockets we have. From the info given would i be correct in saying that if i bought these Nickel wall plates i could use them with cat6 cable, or will i need a dedicated cat6 wall plate that ive only seen in 'attractive' white plastic?

Q Jcarle: What do these do and where do they go? http://www.computercablestore.com/Toolless...a_PID41171.aspx I assumed that buying a Patch panel or wall plate sockets would come with these?

NETGEAR GS116 16 port Gigabit Ethernet Mini Switch

8 port is too small and 16 too big, so 16 wins! There was no unmanaged 12 port switches

A 12 Port CAT6 RJ45 Wall mounted patch panel http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vie...A:IT&ih=008

Q: Is one of these necessary?

SO, i think my real confusion lies in the RJ45 ends them self, the Wall plates and crimping tool, and possible the patch panel!

:blushing: Sorry for all the questions, but id rather plan it correctly and have a clear idea as to what i was doing beforehand!

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