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  1. #1
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    Networking technologies

    I need advice on the pros and cons of different networking methods.

    We are renovating our house and adding a second storey and have the opportunity to lay network cables. Our internet access is via an ADSL2+ modem/router with wireless (wifi) and four ethernet outlets. Our network, at least initially, will include a few laptops/netbooks and a smartphone (which will continue to use the wifi connection), and a printer.

    Should I be laying network cables (CAT5e/CAT6), or using powerline adapters for the laptops/netbooks, or just use wifi? What are the benefits/concerns with each, in relation to speed, security and "futureproofing"?

    At the moment, network use is limited to email, copying files, printing and web browsing. But when I have time, I would like to find out about sharing movies/photos across the network.

    Thanks for your help.

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    None of those other technologies are going to match the speed of CAT6. It's trivial to include it in your plans while the walls are open, so I'd consider it foolish to not take advantage of the opportunity. As for futureproofing, don't forget that entertainment streaming is moving to the network, too, so you'll want to make sure you have ethernet cabling for your TV as well.

    When it's not practical to rip apart finished walls, powerline adapters are a decent second best option, but still not as good as wired ethernet. You have here a golden opportunity to do it right, so don't blow the chance.

    Your CAT6 should all "home-run" back to a common point, so spend some time deciding where that should be. It may not necessarily be where your router is right now.

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    You could just run ethernet to "central" areas to feed the wireless access points, then wireless is easy.
    You should think about running coax for your TV needs. Ethernet is not used for TV and isn't likely to be, except for streaming from storage.
    Feeds from the service provider also need to run into your house and putting some conduit in early will save them drilling holes.

    cheers, Paul

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    Cat6 will be best option for future proof investment as it widely used by Phone Service Providers around the world.

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    You may want to consider Ethernet for the TV.

    I have a Samsung SMART TV that uses Ethernet to connect to the 'net and among other things, it's how its firmware updates are obtained.

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    Ethernet is still too slow for real time HD video, but it's OK for downloading the program for you to watch later.

    cheers, Paul

    p.s. the boring old satellite feed via coax has speeds in the terabit region, vs gigabit for ethernet.

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    Ethernet is not used for TV and isn't likely to be, except for streaming from storage.
    Paul,

    I don't know where on "Earth" you are but her in the good ole USofA apps like Hulu Plus, Net Flix, and others are built right into smart TVs, DVD players, and DVRs and they all require connection to the NET. Not to mention getting firmware updates for those devices. So IMHO you want BOTH coax & Cat 6 cables anywhere you want to put or might want to put a TV. As DG stated it's trivial to do while the walls are open so don't miss the chance. I put Cat 5 into the walls of our house when we built it in 2001 unfortunately we didn't have smart TVs, etc. at the time so I didn't put Cat 5 with the Coax and now I have a black wire running from my router to my main TV (lucky they are in the same room) for the above mentioned services (I can't live w/o my Net Flix!). I've got it mostly hidden behind furniture but it still shows in spots as I haven't gotten out the drill just yet (not very handy that way).

    HTH
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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    And they not only run well with wired Ethernet as RG said, my Roku runs well with a wireless connection for TV streaming.

    Jerry

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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    Paul,

    I don't know where on "Earth" you are but her in the good ole USofA apps like Hulu Plus, Net Flix, and others are built right into smart TVs, DVD players, and DVRs and they all require connection to the NET. Not to mention getting firmware updates for those devices. So IMHO you want BOTH coax & Cat 6 cables anywhere you want to put or might want to put a TV. As DG stated it's trivial to do while the walls are open so don't miss the chance. I put Cat 5 into the walls of our house when we built it in 2001 unfortunately we didn't have smart TVs, etc. at the time so I didn't put Cat 5 with the Coax and now I have a black wire running from my router to my main TV (lucky they are in the same room) for the above mentioned services (I can't live w/o my Net Flix!). I've got it mostly hidden behind furniture but it still shows in spots as I haven't gotten out the drill just yet (not very handy that way).

    HTH
    Actually, I have often been surprised at how easily a competent electrician or linesman can thread extra wires alongside existing wiring to add to the building's existing wiring, without having to disturb the roof or wall framework. (Hey, talk to your electrician or linesman, that is outside my territory).
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coochin View Post
    Actually, I have often been surprised at how easily a competent electrician or linesman can thread extra wires alongside existing wiring to add to the building's existing wiring, without having to disturb the roof or wall framework. (Hey, talk to your electrician or linesman, that is outside my territory).
    True in many cases but not all. Its much cheaper to get it done while the walls are open as RG suggested.

    Jerry

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    RG, you managed to ignore the bit about "streaming from storage", which is what you are doing. Live TV requires more bandwidth than Ethernet can currently provide.

    cheers, Paul

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    Super Moderator RetiredGeek's Avatar
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    Paul,

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    RG, you managed to ignore the bit about "streaming from storage", which is what you are doing. Live TV requires more bandwidth than Ethernet can currently provide.
    cheers, Paul
    I thought I had that covered with:
    So IMHO you want BOTH coax & Cat 6 cables
    May the Forces of good computing be with you!

    RG

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    Quote Originally Posted by RetiredGeek View Post
    Paul,

    I don't know where on "Earth" you are but her in the good ole USofA apps like Hulu Plus, Net Flix, and others are built right into smart TVs, DVD players, and DVRs and they all require connection to the NET. Not to mention getting firmware updates for those devices. So IMHO you want BOTH coax & Cat 6 cables anywhere you want to put or might want to put a TV. As DG stated it's trivial to do while the walls are open so don't miss the chance. I put Cat 5 into the walls of our house when we built it in 2001 unfortunately we didn't have smart TVs, etc. at the time so I didn't put Cat 5 with the Coax and now I have a black wire running from my router to my main TV (lucky they are in the same room) for the above mentioned services (I can't live w/o my Net Flix!). I've got it mostly hidden behind furniture but it still shows in spots as I haven't gotten out the drill just yet (not very handy that way).

    HTH
    A little help please, for an older guy who doesn't fully understand some of this new technology of cables and router selections.

    I have just moved to a new residence in FL (a very nice mobile home) that previously had satellite service. I had Comcast come out and 'rejuvenate' their older connection so I could get some good internet service. This service comes into he house via a coax cable, that I connected to a new Motorola surfboard modem (SB6121) that I purchased to replace my older one.

    I then tried to install my older Netgear router, but discovered it was not up to the task, as it kept dropping the internet connection. I replaced that router with another Netgear one that I borrowed from a friend, and that has kept me connected for just basic internet surfing.

    But I want to purchase my own new router. As I look thru the bewildering selection I get confused. I run across some that are highly recommended by some 'knowledgeable' folks only to discover some very negative comments about the individual units on Amazon customer reviews. It really appears that there are a great number of these new routers brought on the market, and professed to be the 'greatest thing since...' , only to be found to either not hold up for long, or have some very negative features. It appears as though the dual-band ones are the ones to buy now?
    Can someone offer me a few suggestions for a good router that will cover a moderate single floor mobile-home with good internet and streaming video,....at a reasonable price??

    I also want to install a Roku3 system for streaming video. What internet speed do I really need for streaming video? When I googled this, I got an answer that said anything in the 3-mbps plus range would do just find? But I have had many folks tell me I need more.....at least 6-mbps?

    And should I be concerned with the 'quality' of the Ethernet cable connecting the modem with the router? Do I want a Cat6 cable? (I just read this discussion of coax and cat6, and discovered that cat6 is just a real hi-quality Ethernet cable,...is that correct?)

    thanks, Brian
    Last edited by beiland; 2014-11-27 at 10:53.

  14. #14
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    Brian, congratulations on a first post that opens a very large can of worms.
    Your existing router should be up to the job of providing internet connection, but may not handle the video streaming you want. What is the model of the router?
    Are you likely to be streaming different video to different machines at the same time? This may require a bit more from a router, but modern routers should be up to the job.
    Streaming speed depends entirely on your source material. If it's all high def then you need as much bandwidth as you can get. Again, a modern router should handle this no problem.
    A CAT5e cable will stream your video happily - it'll run up to 1Gb.

    I'm sure others will have more questions / suggestions.

    cheers, Paul

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    If your computer has a Gigabit Ethernet card in it, then you'll want a router that has Gigabit ports and I'm not sure if all routers now have those, so you will have to check their specs before deciding.
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2014-11-28 at 10:13.

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