Cat5e & Cat6 to whole house?

BAVEAugust 17, 2012

Hello. The elect. sub for our new construction (single level 6000 sq ft)has given me a couple of options for network cable install. Standard is running Cat5e to all locations where there is RG6 (bedrooms, gym, office, theater room, living areas). He has given me the option of also adding Cat6 to all locations and says the total cost will be under $1k (more like $600). This will give us one or two Cat5e & Cat6 to approx. 8 rooms/areas in the home. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Also, they are running all lines to a central area in the garage where they say will have alarm, cable, etc. This is also the opposite side of the wall from where we will likely store any drives, etc. (cabinet between kitchen and living area). Is terminating the networking cable commonly done in a non air conditioned space like garage? We are in the south where it tends to be very hot most of the year.

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David

Considering current AV and other appliances, Cat 5e would be more than enough. Cat 6 gives you the possibility to exceed 1 gbps.

The actual throughput really depends on the network topology and other factors such as the proxmity to power lines, etc.

It is unlikely that you'd really be able to max out a Cat 5e network in a typical home.

Networking equipment is stuffed into various nooks/ crannies (including garages and attic spaces) in homes since conditioned spaces in homes are highly prized.

The final termination of the network centre should really depend on what you intend to have running. Electronics in a normal router can tolerate 45 degrees celsius (> 110 F)

    Bookmark   August 31, 2012 at 7:55PM
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tjdabomb

CAT6 is probably overkill, but hell, why not. Keep in mind, wireless is getting faster by the day, so, not only should you wire the rooms already highlighted, but also, general areas where you could install a wireless access point(s). 2-3 of such drops should suffice for your home depending on layout and construction materials. If doing the WAP's, consider now if you want to provide POE (power over ethernet) or to have your electrician sub provide an outlet at each WAP.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2012 at 2:41PM
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tinan

Put in the cat6. Technology always evolves faster than people think, and if you can put it in the walls now why not spend the extra money now? It will make your home more marketable in the future. Honestly the price difference should NOT be that high though!

    Bookmark   November 23, 2012 at 1:17PM
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schwefel

For that price diference, go with Cat6. While MOST everyone will never have a need to exceed 1G, the cost is so minimal that you should go for it.

Also have a wall mounted rack and patch panel installed to terminate all the runs. Install more (does not have to be terminated) that you think you will need.

Feel free to reach out to me if you want to discuss more specifiecs. (I am Telecomm/Network Architect and Cisco certified.)

    Bookmark   December 10, 2012 at 5:30PM
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chris401

I'm considering similar questions for the house I'm building (where we plan to raise. Our kids and grow old). But architect and builder thus far have only spec'd "tv outlet" to a few rooms, so looks like I will need to do the plan and spec myself if I want it done right. I'm thinking cat6 throughout with 4 ports in study and family room, one port in each bedroom, one in kitchen, maybe even one outside. This house won't have an attic, will have stone clad interior walls on main level, and spray foam insulation so I'm really doubting the ability to do drops later. Any other thoughts on how to "future proof" as best as possible? Should I put ports at likely spots for security system IP cameras a?

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 9:34AM
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calumin

Cat6 is better than Cat5e. I spec'd Cat 6 but then 6 months later actually looked at the cable and realized the electrician put in Cat5e, which is very unfortunate.

Cat6 gives you the ability to run network attached storage (NAS) at reasonable speeds. You could (either now or in the future) run drops to storage at 10Gb/s or higher, which would be great for a very fast video archive.

For regular video, Cat5e would probably be good. Only Cat 6 is "officially" rated to run at 1 Gb/sec speeds, but Cat 5e can generally run that speed as well.

I only run a single port into any room, and if I need more, I attach a small Gigabit switch. I guess you could do it either way. I have a drop in every room in the house where I might ever have a TV.

I hadn't thoght about the IP cameras, but that would be a good idea if you're installing those. No need to waste wireless bandwith on that.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2013 at 12:08PM
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dyno

IP cams are pretty expensive but if I were to do it again, I would spec Cat5e/6 runs for any interior/exterior security cam location. Had to buy a analog to digital convertor and they aren't cheap either.

Other location I should have run Cat5e was the electrical panel so usage monitor can be installed. Of course all TV's are pretty much mandatory nowadays.

Low voltage panel should be in the house. Aside from a 24 port switch, I've got all manner of modems, UPS, routers which sometimes need attention.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 12:50PM
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bcarlson78248

I don't know what type of cable service you have, but in my old house I has AT&T Uverse and they had some interesting options. The main junction coming in had telephone, TV and cable coming off a single box. I found that the TV signal could be distributed to each cable boc using traditional cable or you could run it over Cat 5/6, and it was much easier to interconnect using Cat 5 to the boxes.

I had my Cat 5 run to a central point in the attic (built in 1996), so it was in unconditioned space. This was not very convenient because I wanted to install a router at that point to interconnect various components. My cheap router survived the heat, but probably would have lasted longer in a better environment. Your garage environment may be more stable, but my attic had very wide temperature swings.

Bruce

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 7:47AM
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bcarlson78248

I don't know what type of cable service you have, but in my old house I has AT&T Uverse and they had some interesting options. The main junction coming in had telephone, TV and cable coming off a single box. I found that the TV signal could be distributed to each cable boc using traditional cable or you could run it over Cat 5/6, and it was much easier to interconnect using Cat 5 to the boxes.

I had my Cat 5 run to a central point in the attic (built in 1996), so it was in unconditioned space. This was not very convenient because I wanted to install a router at that point to interconnect various components. My cheap router survived the heat, but probably would have lasted longer in a better environment. Your garage environment may be more stable, but my attic had very wide temperature swings.

Bruce

    Bookmark   August 31, 2013 at 7:15PM
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bcarlson78248

I don't know what type of cable service you have, but in my old house I has AT&T Uverse and they had some interesting options. The main junction coming in had telephone, TV and cable coming off a single box. I found that the TV signal could be distributed to each cable boc using traditional cable or you could run it over Cat 5/6, and it was much easier to interconnect using Cat 5 to the boxes.

I had my Cat 5 run to a central point in the attic (built in 1996), so it was in unconditioned space. This was not very convenient because I wanted to install a router at that point to interconnect various components. My cheap router survived the heat, but probably would have lasted longer in a better environment. Your garage environment may be more stable, but my attic had very wide temperature swings.

Bruce

    Bookmark   September 1, 2013 at 7:49AM
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jreagan_gw

The issue with Cat6 is the bending radius. Make sure your contractor understands that you can't treat Cat6 like you can with 5e.

In my house, each room has two wall plates. Behind each are TWO Cat5e and TWO RG6 cables back to the basement distribution area.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 8:15PM
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