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I am in the process of getting ready to install coax cable in our house which is under construction. I am wondering if I would be wise to go ahead and also install some sort of network cable for computers. I am thinking that maybe this would be smart if we ever wanted to have a "in-home" network. Has anyone done this, and if so, what type of cable should I look at?

Thanks,
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I'm contemplating a similar retrofit to my house. I'm planning on 3 cables into each room: coax (for TV) and two cat 5 network cables. One of the network cables I'll split to have two 2-line telephone outlets. I want to run the other ends all to a central point for distribution of the various services. This will give me the flexibility to move my home office into a different room in the house as the family grows.

Besides being useful for me right now, I figure it'll also be a good selling point when the time comes to sell the house.

--Peter
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You'll find all kinds of advice here:
http://slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=01/12/09/1847251&mode=nested

2 cat5's is probably good. Depending on what you might want in the future extra phone, coax, or speaker wires might be in order. Other flexible options I've heard include using conduit (so you can run whatever you want later) or at least leaving a string (to pull cables later).

For those of us who already have walls, 802.11b provides some nice connectivity without holes.

joe
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There is know reason to install any coax/cat5 in your home for network purposes. These days you can purchase a wireless linksys switch/router for $149 and place your computers anywhere in the house. The router can sit in the attic or in a closet as long as there is at least a cable or phone connection near by.

The only cable you need to run is for your phone,television, stereo. But if you are determined to spend some money and some time then I would suggest running cat 5 or higher grade cable. You can purchase it Home Depot, Fry's, etc....

In all honesty don't waste your time....
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There is know reason to install any coax/cat5 in your home for network purposes. These days you can purchase a wireless
linksys switch/router for $149 and place your computers anywhere in the house. The router can sit in the attic or in a closet as
long as there is at least a cable or phone connection near by.


I disagree with this, because you never know how much data/music/video you (or a future owner) will want to push around the house. You can quickly exceed the bandwidth provided by wireless.

Cat5 is soooooo cheap in rolls. Put it in while the walls are open.

joe
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These days you can purchase a wireless linksys switch/router for $149 and place your computers anywhere in the house.

Last I checked (last week) it is $170 for the combo firewall and 802.11 hub.
$140 for the 802.11 bridge alone.

But then for each computer you have to spend $50+ for the network card, instead of $10. (Orinoco gold 802.11b cards are currently ~$70)
And the network speed within your home won't be as fast.

In all honesty don't waste your time....

IMO it isn't a waste of time.
But then I'm biased, as I'm doing the same to my current house, and will probably put CAT5 in any house that I move into in the future.

I'm pulling 2 RG6 coax cables (for TV) to each spot as well.
Some small dish systems use (or used to use) 2 coax cables. As do a very few cable TV systems.

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Maybe some pvc conduit runs, say 1" or so, in as straight a run to the garage as you can, with pulling cords left in place for future runs, will leave lots of room for whatever comes along...

In fact, terminate each pvc run in a 6x6 box in the way, and you's be set..

I thought I had run everything I could think of before adding LOTs of blown in insulation in my attic...

No way to add anything up there any more, so I have to go under the house... not nearly as friendly a place... (also insulated)

I ran a 25 pair cable, coax out to my workshop, back when I had a chance.. ready for computer, TV, whatever!

weco
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Well boys you pull all the cable you want. It's good exercise.

I just take my laptop anywhere I want (by the pool, in the garage, where ever). It's real nice not having to worry about wire.

Regards,

Maz.....

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Wire doesn't scare me!! :)








IF I had it to do over, building my mixed system LAN, I would have gone 802.11 and saved a week of fidding, but at the time it was not an option... Next time!

weco
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I am in the process of getting ready to install coax cable in our house which is under construction. I am wondering if I would be wise to go ahead and also install some sort of network cable for computers. I am thinking that maybe this would be smart if we ever wanted to have a "in-home" network. Has anyone done this, and if so, what type of cable should I look at?
~~~
RG6 (quad for long term, but pricy) for cable TV and CAT5 for network. BTW, NEVER staple any of these cables. For that matter... you should not have to secure the cable to any studs. Run the cable(s) thru PVC if you have to go floor to floor. This way you can pull a new cable if any cable gets damaged or needs to be upgraded for whatever reason.

Seymore... . {-:
<<www.cablesforaliving.pl>>





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When the walls are open, put the wires in. Don't go for wireless as a whole house network.

First off you can get 100MBit (or 1000MBit) over cat 5e cables (while you can only get 20MBit over wireless).

I would suggest running 2-3 cat 5e cables to each outlet (somtimes more then one outlet in each room). You can run the cables and just leave them in the walls if you don't want to hook them up. I used cat 5e cables for my phone, it cost a little more.. Also buy 2 or 3 different color wires, makes it easy to trace.

Also, I would run at least 2 RG6 (Maybe Quad) to each room and 4 to the 'main' tv room. The reason for this is that you can make a loop system. So any VCR, DVD player, TV out on the computer can be played on ANY tv in the house. The way it works is 1 RG6 is input, the other is output. So your VCR upstairs plugs into the input jack onto channel 84 and any TV in the house tuned to 84 will pick up that VCR. (You need to buy a box that tunes the VCR to channel 84.)

This system also lets you play your music onto one of the channels and pick it up anywhere. (I have a server in my basement playing my songs that I can pick up on anywhere in my house.)

Again, you don't have to set this up now, but later you might really want to do it. And with the wire in place is makes it so much easier.

See
http://www.smarthome.com/howto16.html
about this loop system

Also I used Leviton QuickPort, they look very nice when your done with them.



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2 cat5's is probably good

Go cat5e. Faster cable.

Also, of course, if you do this you need to decide where to run the cables to. Presumably you will have a hub someplace; all the wiring should go to where the hub would be. Make sure everything is clearly labeled.
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Run the cable(s) thru PVC if you have to go floor to floor.

Check the code in your area first - we did this, but had to re-do it with EMT 'cause the PVC was against fire code.

Jennifer
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with pulling cords left in place for future runs

Normally, pulling cords are not needed - you can blow in a string or use a fishtape.
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Normally, pulling cords are not needed - you can blow in a string or use a fishtape.

But I always appreciate the guy before me taking the time to make my life easier! And I try to reciprocate... Tag 'em, Color Code 'em, label 'em... saves a little hassle...

weco
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Last I checked (last week) it is $170 for the combo firewall and 802.11 hub.
$140 for the 802.11 bridge alone.

But then for each computer you have to spend $50+ for the network card, instead of $10. (Orinoco gold 802.11b cards are currently ~$70)
And the network speed within your home won't be as fast.


Not only that, but 802.11b is less secure than a wired network. PC Magazine did a test recently, where they drove around Manhattan with a laptop with 802.11b. There were able to log onto dozens of different networks around the city, often getting in behind the firewall. Obviously, if you set up the security properly, and maintain it properly (they recommend 128 bit encryption, and changing keys at least once a month), then you can minimize the problem. But this becomes at least as much work as a wired network, for 1/10 the speed, and you are still broadcasting your information, that a hacker could potetially steal. (if you think that nothing you do at home is worthy of such protection, think about it the next time you log onto your broker or bank).

David
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if you think that nothing you do at home is worthy of such protection, think about it the next time you log onto your broker or bank.

While I believe in using better security, IMO the above example is a poor one.
Every bank and broker I've dealt with online uses a secure webserver.
You should assume that no matter what you use to connect to the internet that it is insecure.
Whether it's dialing up through AOL or using a wireless connection.

Secure webservers (the "https:...") make it so even though you're using a network that is assumed to be public, others can't see your bank account's balance.

Using a 128 bit key for 802.11b's WEP and changing occasionally is of course a good idea.

But the fear of logging on to banks or brokers should not be the driving force IMO.
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Secure webservers (the "https:...") make it so even though you're using a network that is assumed to be public, others can't see your bank account's balance.

In an ideal world, that would be true. Given the large number of bugs and "backdoors" that are found on a daily basis, however, I don't have a lot of confidence in such an easily broken system.
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Every bank and broker I've dealt with online uses a secure webserver.
You should assume that no matter what you use to connect to the internet that it is insecure.
Whether it's dialing up through AOL or using a wireless connection.


I wasn't referring to the internet connection necessarily. With an insecure wireless network, it is possible for someone to directly access your files, including anything you may have downloaded, etc.

Using a 128 bit key for 802.11b's WEP and changing occasionally is of course a good idea.

I think it is imperetive. However, the original poster recommending wireless liked it because it was so easy. I was pointing out that it is not as easy as just unpacking it and plugging it in. Wireless can be made fairly secure (although never as secure as hard-wired), but it does require work and dilegence.

With all this for 1/10 the throughput of wired networks, I still think it makes sense to install wires before the walls go up.

David
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I still think it makes sense to install wires before the walls go up.

That's the key statement for me. The original poster said they were in the midst of a construction project and the walls were open. With such easy access (and relatively inexpensive wire), it just makes sense to put in as much (or more) wiring that you think you'll need.

--Peter <==who's surprised no one has yet metioned optical fiber ;-)
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