Regular phone cable or CAT5 cable

  redbarron 09:27 20 Feb 2007

Can anyone tell me what the benefit of CAT5 cable is over normal phone cable please?

I have a high speed ADSL broadband internet connection. My PC is located up stairs in a spare bedroom. I have a normal phone cable extension from the master point downstairs to my PC upstairs. This extension is fully wired into the points at both ends, and my connection speed ranges from 3mbps - 4.5mbps.

Would upgrading the cable improve performance, or would it be so insignificant that it would not really be worth it?

Any advice please.

  Batch 09:38 20 Feb 2007

Obviously you would have to have some other POWERED piece of kit (ADSL modem router, which you presumably have upstairs at the moment unless you are just using a USB ADSL modem now) located by your downstairs phone point and then route the Cat5 cable upstairs.

The Cat5 cable is thicker (more diffiult to route) and there will be a limit on the length of the run. SO it won't necessarily help.

Alternatve might be to have a wireless router downstairs and avoid the cabling issue.

Having said that, the telephone cable running upstairs may not be the problem (esp. if it is wired in correctly).

  Batch 09:40 20 Feb 2007

Having searched, I see that Cat5 can run to 100 metres.

  john-232317 10:27 20 Feb 2007

I have one pc on cat5 30 mtrs from the router, no problem at all ;-)

  silverous 11:40 20 Feb 2007

Normal phone cable will have a shorter distance over which it can reliably operate. Have you looked at power based networking? You can network your house over your power lines.

  redbarron 12:26 20 Feb 2007

Thanks for all your suggestions.

I have just the one PC upstairs, so networking is not really needed.

I measured my current extension cable at roughly 38ft.

Batch, I do use a USB ADSL modem. And it is situated next to my pc. I'm not actually getting any problems, but I am losing around a meg of bandwidth because of the distance from the master socket. If upgrading to CAT5 cable is going to improve things all well and good, if not I won't bother.
I quite like the idea of the wireless router. But I though that still had to be connected to the main computer and additional pc's then worked from the wireless router. Please tell me if I'm wrong. Thanks

  silverous 12:34 20 Feb 2007

Sorry - when I saw CAT5 I assumed networking, I haven't heard of using CAT5 to extend an ADSL line but presumably it is possible. My suggestion of the homeplug power networking was as an alternative to wireless which might get you into trouble as it can sometimes be unreliable.

  keef66 12:59 20 Feb 2007

I think the wireless router has to be wired to the pc in order to set the thing up in the first place, but after that it operates as it says on the tin, ie wirelessly.
(I don't have one, that's based on what I have read)
The plug in mains network kit mentioned by silverous gets good write ups in terms of simple plug and go setup and reliability,(and presumably it's inherently secure?) but it's still a bit pricy for me.

  2neat 13:04 20 Feb 2007

"I have a normal phone cable extension from the master point downstairs to my PC upstairs"

You are better hard wiring this rather than a plug in extention.

CAT5 cable will be fine if you have some spare.
Just make sure all your wiring connections are sound.
Good luck

  Rigga 13:52 20 Feb 2007

I used to have my ADSL modem upstairs with the computer connected to a rather long 13m telephone extension cable. I line used to sync around 5mb mark, but sometimes it would sync around 3mb, depending on the time of day.

As a test I took my modem downstairs and tried it at the master socket without the extension. I found it synced at 8mb.

So I have now moved my ADSL modem router downstairs next to the master phone socket, and I have wired CAT5e cable to the upstairs room to a second hub. Then from that hub to the two computers. I have had a solid 8mb connection ever since.


  redbarron 14:38 20 Feb 2007

Thanks. My current cable is hard wired.

Rigga. It obviously works, but I can't quite get my head around what you have done. I can see the logic of putting the ADSL modem as near to the master socket as possible. But the information still has to travel the length of the cable to your pc upstairs.

I think I'll leave things as they are. It all sounds more trouble than it's worth. Perhaps I'll just upgrade to a USB router. What do you think?

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