I have FiOS internet (200 Mbps up/down service), via an Ethernet cable entering my house from one of their ONT boxes outside. I would love to have it available at each of the wall plates in my house. When the Verizon tech did the install, he looked behind one of the wall plates and said "your house is wired for CAT5 but I don't know where the access point is," and just plugged the cable into a router in the back of the house.
I've since done some investigating, checking behind each wall plate. First, I think he's wrong about the CAT5: every non-coax cable is stamped CAT3, though some have 2 pairs of wires and some have 4 pairs. Second, I also can't find non-coax splitters in any obvious locations, including behind the wall plates, in the outlet boxes. Here's what's behind each wall plate:
- Basement: Two 2-pair CAT3, two coax connected to a 2-way splitter
- Living room: One 2-pair CAT3, one 4-pair CAT3, two coax (the previous homeowner had a router that was previously connected to one of these coax cables). Pictured, in case helpful:
- Bedroom 1: Two 4-pair CAT3, two coax
- Bedroom 2: One 4-pair CAT3, one coax
So my questions are:
- Can I use these cables for internet?
- If so, how would I hook it up? Where is the splitter?
It would be great to have the outlets providing internet, though I gather that CAT3 is slow. A reduction in speed wouldn't be terrible, if it's more reliable than getting wireless across the house, and has low latency for video conferencing.
Wow, this generated a surprising amount of interest, and some very helpful info. I took a little bit from column A, and a little bit from column B.
I got a cheap tone and probe kit to confirm that the coax and CAT3 daisy-chained through the whole house. And I'm using two MoCA bridges to convert the FiOS signal from Ethernet to coax, snaking through the house and converting back into a wi-fi router. Ethernet out from the router goes back into the wall, traveling upstairs via a short run of CAT3 in the wall. From my office upstairs, if I plug my computer into the wall jack, I get 100 Mbps up/down with 7 ms latency, which is exactly what I got from plugging my computer directly into the FiOS ONT.
I now get great speeds when plugged in, and feel good knowing that I'm taking advantage of the wiring in the house. (Most of it anyway—I am cutting the daisy chain short by one link.) Also, the wi-fi router is much more centrally positioned, so I get better wireless speeds too.
Thanks for the suggestions to use MoCA, and also to give the CAT3 a shot—it seems to be working great so far.
Here's how everything's hooked up: