15

I have HughesNet service coming in through the house's garage side. Is there any reason I can't connect a 300 ft patch cable (C2G 300ft Cat6 Ethernet Cable - Solid Shielded (STP) - Blue) to the router in the garage and run it under the house There is plenty of crawl space access to the other side of the house about 250 ft away. I'd then pop it up through the floor access and hook it into a router and distribute it to the backside in two locations.

Right now, my problem is WiFi through this house is challenging as it's built with extra-thick walls, double drywall, on each side and in the path from one end to the other are two cobblestone fireplaces interfering with getting the signal to the other side. I came in from HughesNet at a whopping 9 Mbps and decided to try using Google Nests to get the signal from one end to the other because the shielding provided by walls and stone took 5 nests to get from one end of the house to the other. By which point the signal degraded to about .5 from 1 Mbps.

I know what I am proposing is not pretty but will it work?

To recap, 1-300 ft Cat6 cable with Male connectors on each end. Run the cable under The house bring it up on the other end to a coupler or splitter. I might want to hard wire the computer and let the WiFi for my father's TV so that i can introduce him to Netflix.

Let me know your thoughts any reason this shouldn't work?

P.S. I might hard wire the TV, then set up an access point or router for the computer now that I think of it, split them under the house, and bring a cable up in both adjacent rooms. Before you say it, why not hire a professional, well dad has more money than god but refuses to let me or him spend any - it is comical at times.

I greatly appreciate any insights, ideas or advice that you can provide.

13
  • 8
    At 300ft, you'd be right against the upper limit copper ethernet works at (100M/328ft). At that distance, if you want reliable high speed, you might be better off using fiber. OTOH, it should do at least 100mbps without trouble, and since your internet connection gets you less than that at the best of times, perhaps it doesn't matter. – Nate S. Dec 8 '20 at 23:50
  • 9
    If at all possible, hardwire the TV, too. TVs are an item that does not move around, and removing them from the WiFi use space improves the working of your mobile things that need WiFi. – Ecnerwal Dec 9 '20 at 4:17
  • 2
    Have you considered powerline ethernet? Works pretty well at my house, and you can get a set of plugs for $50. – gbronner Dec 9 '20 at 4:54
  • 4
    Why would it take 300 feet of cable to get across your house? That's a big house. Are you sure about that dimension? – isherwood Dec 9 '20 at 15:50
  • 9
    How big is your house?? – RonJohn Dec 9 '20 at 19:42
33

There are two issues, one trivially easy, one a big "maybe":

Don't Use a Patch Cable

Don't use a patch cable. Period. The reason is that patch cable ends break. Oh, I'll just crimp on another connector. Where did the good crimper go (only use it once every 5 years...)? Oops, got two wires swapped, I'll have to try again..., etc.

Far, far better to wire a jack on each end. Super easy. Punch tool is cheap, easy & reliable. Jacks are easy to mount securely to a wall, stud, etc. Then you use a short manufactured patch cable (I get them for ~ $1 each, retail price varies...) on each end to go to the router or other device.

It will cost you a few dollars (very few) extra at the beginning, but is the only professional way to do this.

Distance

The official limit is 328 feet between active devices - i.e., the long run plus the patch cable on each end. That is not based on "if you have really good cable, you could do better" (which was the case with RS-232 serial connections). This is based on the way the Ethernet signal works. Fiber is an option, but at a significantly higher cost.

If your run is really closer to 250 feet then I'd say "go for it". If it is 300 feet plus, then this becomes much more iffy. There are also line drivers and other things you can use to extend the distance, but if you get to that point but can actually run a cable (as opposed to a situation of relying on lower-quality (e.g., CAT 3) cable with no easy way to replace it) then fiber really is worth considering.

6
  • Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. – Michael Karas Dec 10 '20 at 6:33
  • 1
    "This is based on the way the Ethernet signal works" - elaborate? USB has a hard length limit based on the speed of light, but I don't think Ethernet relies on round-trip time delay like USB does. – user253751 Dec 10 '20 at 17:30
  • 1
    Actually, to some degree it does. I've heard different things - and a quick search (on SE and elsewhere) yields conflicting results. – manassehkatz-Moving 2 Codidact Dec 10 '20 at 17:36
  • 4
    IIRC the ethernet signal limit is based on skew -- each pair is twisted at a slightly different rate to minimize crosstalk, but this also means that each pair is a slightly different length. At short distances this doesn't matter, but once the cable gets long enough, the signals from the less twisted pairs start to arrive before the signal from the more-twisted ones, and it stops working. – Nate S. Dec 10 '20 at 21:00
  • 4
    The 328 foot limit for Ethernet connections is based on cable loss/attenuation. The higher the Enet data rate, the higher the frequency content of the signal and the greater the loss, per foot. Go look at the TIA-EIA-568 specification for building cabling. – SteveSh Dec 11 '20 at 0:53
23

I'd suggest that a single cable to bring signal from the entry point to the required distribution point is far "prettier" than a bodge of 27 WiFi access points & signal boosters!

Have you considered bringing the cable from the garage to someplace somewhat midpoint in the house - maybe a hall coat closet, or something off the kitchen? Terminate it there in a router (if the run comes directly from the HughesNet modem) or switch (if there's already a router in place), then make additional runs to other locations in the house.

A 5- or 8-port gigabit switch can be had for pretty cheap and provides usefulness as well as a signal boost. From here, you can make another run to your currently planned distribution point. Additionally, you can make a direct run from here to endpoints that are closer to this location than your currently planned point, and you've got some empty ports for additional runs in the future. You could even use some ports for running cables to WiFi access points for phone/laptop/tablet use around the house.

By running to the middle of the house, you eliminate the concerns of being near the 300' limit of wired Ethernet, and an accessible the switch in the middle adds functionality for the present and expandibility for the future.

11

Yes, this will work fine

Cat5 is rated for Gigabit Ethernet (1Gbps) for 100 meters / 328 feet. (source: IEEE 802.3ab). Cat5e has more crosstalk resistance than Cat5 and is the most inexpensive network cable available today. It will be more than sufficient for your needs. Cat6 is even better and will work fine too.

Another poster said that you need to put in a wall jack. I agree that this is the best way to do the job. However, it sounds like you are more interested in getting the job done without it being "pretty." A 300ft patch cable should work just fine, and will save you the time and expense of purchasing a crimper and learning how to terminate.

A few notes:

  • Triple-check your measurement before ordering the cable. I would add ~20ft to be safe.
  • Don't let the cable touch the ground under the house. Attach it every 5-10ft to a beam with a cable tie or equivalent.
  • Don't run the cable parallel with electrical lines that are not in conduit. This will hurt the performance of the link.

You do not need to worry about 300ft of Cat5e or Cat6 having performance problems.

2
  • I suggest getting an outdoor-rated cable, also. The tougher jacket is more forgiving of abuse during installation. It's easy to find jacks with two female ends if you buy cable with preinstalled male connectors. – Suncat2000 Dec 11 '20 at 17:27
  • Terminating into a jack isn't about being "pretty" it's about being reliable. And you don't need a crimper to terminate cable into a jack. (In a pinch, I've done it with nothing more than a utility knife for stripping, punching down, and trimming the cable.) The jacks are always colour-coded and often come with a disposable punch-down tool. – miken32 Dec 11 '20 at 19:44
7

I think you should be OK since you are under 100m , but you need to avoid signal degradation.

This can be achieved by

  • Separation of cat6 cable from power runs(check your local code)
  • Crossing power cables at 90 degrees if you absolutely must
  • Ensuring you use correct punch down tool (fake/cheap punch down tool destroys keystone jack forks) , yellow cheap tool (no spring cut mechanism) is ok to use ,need to cut excess afterwards.
  • Keep your cable direction as straight as possible
  • Know the bending radius of your cable (important! + dont kink your cable insulation , this is where installers screw up when going around a corner, pull cable so you always have some slack) , do not exceed radius when changing direction!!.
  • Ensure keystone jacks are of shielded variety (you will need to terminate the sheath if you want shielding to be effective)
  • Know which standard you want to terminate in (weird semantics T568A or T568B , choose one) ,both will work but you know...standards..... :-/
  • Get your cable on a rotating spool if your by your self , you will/neighbors will know the frustration when you need to cross a pipe with 20m of cable in your hand and it tangles.
  • Check before hand what are you going to mount cable (bearers/joists/brick)to and get the appropriate cable clips.
  • Wear overalls/get head lamp/wear gloves , guarantee you will see strange stuff down there.
  • Drink alot of water to stay hydrated

**** Note that the equipment on both ends of the cable need to use a shield patch cable going into the shielded jack from the wall AND also the equipment itself needs to have shielded jacks as well , meaning your router and PC need to have metal jacks and a 3pin plug/ground which most consumer routers do not because they are double insulated (earth in this config is safety violation!).

**** Shielded cable increases install cost because of this, you can cut off the grounding sheath if its too much hassle ,but then again might as well spend the extra money getting cat6A because it has higher bandwidth due to bigger minimum size conductors and better interference/cross talk rejection from the tighter twists in the cable and a center plastic core twizzler acting as a separator from the other channels/ conductor pairs.

**** This is just general advisory , i provide this for demonstrative purposes. Proceed according to your own risk!.

11
  • 3
    Stay hydrated? OP is running a cable, not a marathon. – J... Dec 9 '20 at 14:39
  • 2
    What does the color of the tool have to do with anything? – T.J.L. Dec 9 '20 at 14:43
  • 9
    @J... did you ever run 100m of cable? The OP didn't. Sweating and swearing are inevitable. – fraxinus Dec 9 '20 at 15:08
  • 2
    @fraxinus It's cat6 cable, not 4/0 Teck. It's nearly the easiest cable you could hope to pull. – J... Dec 9 '20 at 16:12
  • 3
    @J...: It's not actually true that any configuration will work with both ends the same: you need to make sure that the pairs that are twisted together are in the expected places, or else you get a "split pair" that can cause greatly increased crosstalk/interference. – psmears Dec 10 '20 at 14:07
7

Forget running the Cat6 wires for that long. It doesn't sound like your bandwidth needs are all that pressing for the other end, other than a 1-2 streaming devices. Use a network over power device instead.

Here is a site that has some reviews of currently available powerline networking adapters. Feel free to search for other reviews as well. With your distance needs, you may wish to differentiate on more than just price.

https://www.nytimes.com/wirecutter/reviews/best-powerline-networking-kit/

6
  • 5
    You would be better off suggesting searching for reviews - as it stands, it looks like you're promoting a particular web site... – FreeMan Dec 9 '20 at 15:33
  • 1
    Thanks, @FreeMan, I made an edit. – Kyle J V Dec 9 '20 at 16:05
  • 2
    "It doesn't sound like your bandwidth needs are all that pressing for the other end, other than a 1-2 streaming devices." - so in other words they are pressing? – user253751 Dec 10 '20 at 17:30
  • 1
    Sure, but not more than the 2gbit model in the link can handle – Kyle J V Dec 10 '20 at 17:35
  • Remember powerline kit is notoriously fickle - it depends how the power is laid out in the site, and which phases are connected to each room. With the US system its 50% possible that each end is on a different phase. Plus the danger of leaking your ethernet traffic out the incoming utility feed and down the street, so always use encryption. – Criggie Dec 11 '20 at 3:22
0

Just thinking a bit outside the box here. Why not use a Wireless Point-to-Point bridge solution. I've had really good luck and the price points are excellent for Ubiquiti products. This solution is not nearly dependent on you needing tools other than a drill, and screwdrivers, 2 patch cables approximately 25 feet for going between switch/router and the wireless endpoint.

Something like these: Ubiquiti LocoM2 2-PACK PRE-CONFIGURED Nanostation Loco M2 AirMax CPE 2.4GHz

4
  • 1
    OP said "my problem is WiFi through this house is challenging as it's built with extra-thick walls, double drywall" So access point to client already shows problems. While a p2p link with directional aerials might be better, there's a good chance it won't be better too. Physical copper wires and fibres are fundamentally superior in link speed and reliability, but lose on the installation/deployment time to wireless. – Criggie Dec 11 '20 at 3:26
  • In my experience of lathe and plaster walls, they tend to hold slight amounts of moisture which attenuates 2.4 GHz severely. 5 GHz would be a better frequency to target too. – Criggie Dec 11 '20 at 3:27
  • 2
    @Criggie sometimes, when diagnosing flaky WiFi connections, installing a piece of copper would be quicker in the long run... – FreeMan Dec 11 '20 at 11:50
  • as a general rule, higher freqs tend to attenuate even more severely when there are LOS obstacles involved. 5 GHz would likely result in even worse performance than 2.4. – Erich Dec 11 '20 at 19:31
0

I recently installed some tp link Pharos CPE510 (5Ghz CPE 210 for 2.4Ghz) point to point outdoor links at a property with converted stables about 75m away from main property. They are designed for outdoor use so if there is clear line of site from one end of house to the other then they are very easy to mount on wall mounted pole. They can be used as an extender or stick a router on the receiver end, using LAN to WAN setup and it can be used for wired and wireless at that end of the house. The current models also allow you to use transmitter as AP at same time so would gain outdoor wifi access at property. They cost roughly £75 GBP so probably about $75 USD for pair. This way the walls inside make no difference and I think this is what last post was referring to

1
  • 3
    Unfortunately, there is unlikely to be a clear line of site through the house. The OP wants to run the cable under the house, so that means the house is in the way. – FreeMan Dec 11 '20 at 11:31
0

I don't think your house is actually 300ft wide. Maybe it's 30ft wide? In any case I agree with pulling cable. Much better than wifi. The wifi spectrum is only going to get more congested in future.

And if you have reliable wired internet, it's a godsend for working from home, which is becoming a bigger thing now - and will raise the value of your property if you sell it.

  • Make sure your cable is outdoor-rated.
  • Consider running it inside a plastic pipe to protect it from mice / squirrels.
  • If you use a pipe, leave a string inside the pipe to make pulling other cables in the future easier.
  • As another poster said, installing two cables is cheap and gives you a spare cable.

The cable ends are going to be important. One end goes into the cable modem / router / your ISP's equipment. The other end should come into the house somewhere unobtrusive. Plug that end into a home gigabit router. From that router you can plug in wifi, TV, your computer etc. Once it's all working, try to avoid touching or moving / plugging & unplugging the cable ends as much as possible. It'll be a hassle to fix if it breaks.

I have a 16 port gigabit router mounted on the wall in the cupboard under my stairs, and twin ethernet to wall sockets in every room in my house. So useful. Nobody touches it, it never moves, should last forever.

2
  • 2
    A lot of people have big or long houses. Assuming OP is lying as a basis for the answer is probably not very helpful. – TylerH Dec 11 '20 at 16:56
  • I don't they they are assuming the OP is lying lol, probably think it could be a mistake. And so do I. Yes, some people have homes 300' long/wide, but not many, that is BIG (football field length) – Ack Dec 11 '20 at 17:35

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.