New house build - Need advice on network design

Discussion in 'Networking & Security' started by Trooper4985, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. Trooper4985

    Trooper4985 Limp Gawd

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    Finally building my house. I'm trying to decide if it would be smarter to buy an 8 port 10/100/1000 switch and run cat 6 from my utility room to each room then into a hub or if I should go with a 24 port 10/100/1000 switch and make multiple runs to each room.

    I'm not looking for anything fancy or real technical. Currently all my needs are connectivity for surfing/gaming. Possibly in the future I will venture into streaming audio and video, NAS and home theater components that are web enabled but right now all I really need is relieable connectivity.

    Any input is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. jjeff1

    jjeff1 Limp Gawd

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    Home runs are always better. At some point in the future, you may be running video baluns or something other than network across that cat6.
     
  3. gangolfus

    gangolfus Gawd

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    I would go at least 4 wires from your utility room to each room. Far more flexibility in the future for things that may not be network traffic, as jjeff1 mentioned. I would definitely error on the side of running unused wires rather than wishing I had more runs some time down the line.
     
  4. RocketTech

    RocketTech 2[H]4U

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    Install all the cable you think you will need now, switches and other network equipment are easy to upgrade later. I'd suggest at least 2 drops in each room, 4-8 in multi-use rooms.
     
  5. extide

    extide 2[H]4U

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    x2 on all the above. If you pull 1 run it's just about as easy to pull 2 or 4. I would pull 4 runs to each room, with that broken into two groups of two and put the panels on different walls in the rooms. So say you would have one panel with 2 drops on one wall and then another panel with 2 drops on another wall. If you think you may need more connectivity then you can put 2 groups of 4 and whatnot.
     
  6. Trooper4985

    Trooper4985 Limp Gawd

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    Thanks for all the quick replies. 3000' of solid UTP CAT6 it is.
     
  7. Trooper4985

    Trooper4985 Limp Gawd

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    Any reccomendations on cable? Monoprice has been good to me in the past but I see I can save a few dollars with BYTECC cable from Newegg.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2012
  8. trick0502

    trick0502 [H]ardness Supreme

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    do you really need 4 drops to a bedroom?
     
  9. m1abram

    m1abram 2[H]4U

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    While coax is not as widely used any more it still has its uses. I would at minimum also home run 1x coax to each room. 2x would be better but the space required to pull all that cable quickly adds up.

    Again like CAT6, coax can be used for other things beside TV ;)
     
  10. +Eric

    +Eric Limp Gawd

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    Cat5e will do 1Gbps with no issues, and Cat6 1Gbps isn't faster than Cat5e 1Gbps.

    There is nothing wrong with going Cat6, but a lot of people don't even know why they are, they just think it's the newer spec so it's somehow better.

    Point is, if Cat 5e is significantly cheaper for you then you should consider just going that route. I also agree with everyone saying multiple runs to each room.
     
  11. m1abram

    m1abram 2[H]4U

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    Yeah I see people start having crazy numbers. 2 drops in every room yes, 4 though not so much. Only place I would put more than 2 is an office room, basement room that might have many devices, or an home entertainment center. One person in another forum even suggested 6-8 drops for a TV location! Claiming all the devices that need network at the TV, which is true. However that is the one location that using a switch and not homerunning everything might make a good bit of sense. Since generally not all of the TV devices would be active at once, generally you do not watch TV and play a video game at the same time, saturating an uplink should not be an issue. I would still run 2 drops here for future use but not 8.
     
  12. m1abram

    m1abram 2[H]4U

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    5e is not significantly cheaper than CAT6. In many cases anymore you probably wont find CAT5e.
    CAT5e can not run 10Gbps, CAT6 *may* run 10Gbps over short runs, in most homes you will be under the 55m limit for 10Gbps. Course this also requires that it is in a favorable crosstalk situation again if you are carefully with the wiring then you will be able to.
     
  13. +Eric

    +Eric Limp Gawd

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    I'd say for 3000ft, there is going to be some reasonable cost difference. For quality cable it seems about 50 dollars or so a box. So for 3000 feet your ~300 dollars vs 450 dollars.

    Watch out for cheap cable, you don't want any copper clad aluminum.

    Unless you can substantiate a need to spend the extra money, it's wasteful imo. Sure you can say 150 dollars is not a lot of money (and I agree) but waste is waste.

    To get to 10Gig, as you pointed out with Cat6, there are considerations and installation requirements that must be considered. I find it unlikely (certainly possible of course) that will be the case in a typical home install, unless of course he's a professional cable installer.

    Again, I'm not even saying don't use Cat6. I'm just saying there is probably not real world need and if it were me, I'd consider saving the money and spending it elsewhere..... say a better switch.
     
  14. valve1138

    valve1138 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Install twice as many as you think you need.
     
  15. m1abram

    m1abram 2[H]4U

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    Why the main issue is avoid noise and length. Most homes you would be hard pressed to exceed 55m even counting having to make less than direct routes.
    As for noise keep the wire away from AC lines and motors. Since most homes the worst motor is the air handler just keep a little distance there. And you should stay away from AC lines anyhow. The other noise issues would be from other CAT6 in close proximity, this is usually only an issue in high density with high traffic, probably not a home situation.

    Then the other issue is crimping, buy a good crimper and punch down tool and follow best practices and that is a non-issue. Really not hard.
     
  16. Langly

    Langly Only Three Midgets

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    I did two drops to each of my rooms. The way I ran the cable is if I ever need more, I'll just tie 3 lines to one cable and pull it through the house so I can double the amount without an issue.
     
  17. RocketTech

    RocketTech 2[H]4U

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    I use and recommend ICC cable. I don't think you can get CMR/CMP cable as copper clad aluminum, so that shouldn't be an issue. I would spend the extra money on UL listed cable with the holographic label over CAT6A any day.
    6A does not get you anything in a home environemt that 5e doesn't get you. For those that say 6A can do 10GbE, unless you are willing to pay for certification ($$$$) it means nothing.
    I certify every drop I run and have never, not once in commercial/industrial/residental installs been unable to certify GbE on 5e with a fluke tester. This is NOT just continuity, but the full 5e GbE test suite.
     
  18. m1abram

    m1abram 2[H]4U

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    Actually CAT6A does not require certification for 10Gbe. CAT6 does but it is not hard to achieve.

    Also no one in this thread mention 6A, which is a bit more expensive than 6. 6 is not much more expensive than 5e, so much so it is a why not buy it. 5e is not produced as much as 6. Yes of course always buy UL listed cable, however in the US it is very difficult to buy non-UL list cable.
     
  19. PigLover

    PigLover [H]ard|Gawd

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    Cable is cheaper than labor (even if you are doing it yourself - attic climbing is a PITA). Do it once. Place more than you need. 5 years from now you will have forgotten all about the extra $100 you might have spent on cable you will never use...but you'll be cursing at yourself if you have to go back an pull more later.

    For me, I placed 2 Cat6 and one coax to each bedroom and living space. I pulled 4 Cat6 w/out coax to the area of my 'desk' and two additional cat6 into the one bedroom that might become an office if/when the kids start to leave (someday...).

    As for cat5e vs Cat6 - after running the Cat6 and doing quite a bit of 10Gbe experimentation, I cannot recommend Cat6. I also can't really recommend against it - except that there is really no good reason. Cat6 is a PITA to work with, its stiffer and the 'core' has to be dealt with on terminations. Its also a bit easier to get reliable crimps/terminations on Cat5e - and a poor crimp/termination is going to cause more troubles than the difference between Cat5e/Cat6. Besides - if you get into a pinch you can buy Cat5e connectors, etc, anywhere - while Cat6 can still be a bit harder to find.

    Unless you live in a really unusual house you are not likely to see runs over 55m so "future proof" for 10Gbase-T is no worry.
     
  20. JPF_

    JPF_ Limp Gawd

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    Double the ammount of runs you need to each room.


    ^ Best train of thought.


    if you only need 1 data port in each room, run 2. Its a back up you may never need, or may need....



    edit: may even want to run 3......you may want to run phones in there.
    Rather over do it, than find out in 4 years you need to re do it......
    When I buy my house, I will run 5 cat6e plenum (I gets it for free woohoo) to each room, and 2 runs of rg6 (once again, free) to each room. I will then get a control 4 style system......
     
  21. m1abram

    m1abram 2[H]4U

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    First off, most if not all new CAT6 will no longer have the core. Course this I am sure varies but it is not a requirement. I have worked with both, and yes the stuff with the core is a PITA.
    Second get the right jacks and equipment for CAT6 makes crimping no harder than CAT5e. Done both many many times for work and I do not find CAT6 any harder than CAT5e other than the stuff with the core.

    Again though you should be able to find CAT6 without the core.
     
  22. Trooper4985

    Trooper4985 Limp Gawd

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    My house is 68X40 with 9' walls and a full walkout, finished basement plus an attached garage. 1 home office and 4 bedrooms (one of which will be my computer/reloading room). I think I can stay just under 55 meters by going to the attic with everything and then back down. I will try to figure out how to shorten every run by going down to the basement as that is where my utility room is.
     
  23. McTurkey

    McTurkey Limp Gawd

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    To all those saying double what you need - this is exactly right. It's vastly cheaper and easier to run cable while building now than to go back later and add more (unless of course you've got a layout that permits simple conduit runs to each room, making pulling more lines cake).

    18 months ago, I determined that 8 ports was the most I could possibly ever need. Then 6 months ago, I had to upgrade to a 16-port switch. Now I'm looking at going for a 48-port switch in the next couple of months. The more connected our homes become, the more valuable it becomes to have numerous Ethernet runs. Wireless is growing, but for a lot of applications, nothing beats wired.
     
  24. PigLover

    PigLover [H]ard|Gawd

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    Ah yes - don't forget to wire for the wireless (pun intended). Drop at least one cable in the ceiling somewhere central on each floor for the APs (even if you aren't installing any now).
     
  25. StickyLoad

    StickyLoad Limp Gawd

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    When I built I also put in a drop tube from the attic into the basement for any future cable runs. Might want to consider that option as well.
     
  26. wizdum

    wizdum [H]ard|Gawd

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    These also serve as excellent way to transfer flames from one floor to another, in the event of a fire.
     
  27. m1abram

    m1abram 2[H]4U

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    Fill the tube openings with insulation. Insulation will prevent the chimney effect and you can easily remove it to add more wire.
     
  28. BlueLineSwinger

    BlueLineSwinger Gawd

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    Conduit. Put in conduit in every location that could conceivably have a network device, A/V device, or anything else that requires some kind of data wiring. In the future, when you need to add lines to an existing location or move stuff around you'll be glad you did.

    Stick with Cat5e. For home there is absolutely no reason to go with anything else, you will see absolutely no benefit. Cat6 is generally more expensive, more difficult to run (e.g., tighter restrictions on things like bend radius), and more difficult to terminate properly (e.g., keeping the pairs twisted properly up to the punchdown points). If you really must go higher than Cat5e, use Cat6a.
     
  29. m1abram

    m1abram 2[H]4U

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    Where are you guys buying your Cat5e that it is so much less expensive than Cat6?

    Remember this guy is buying maybe 3000 feet of the stuff not 30,000.
     
  30. BlueLineSwinger

    BlueLineSwinger Gawd

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    A brief search comes up with the following for me (per 1000ft):

    Cat5e: ~$70-75
    Cat6: ~$105-110
    Cat6a: ~$245-255

    Not to mention that other components for Cat6/6a (e.g., keystone jacks, patch panels) typically cost more than their Cat5e counterparts.

    Also consider that he's probably going to want to buy a box per line for each drop. e.g., a run to a location with four outlets would take for boxes of cable. Unless you want to effectively double the work for that run.

    And again, Cat6/6a is harder to install correctly and provides absolutely no benefit for even gigabit networks. And it's going to be a long time before 10Gbit is anywhere near normal or worth the cost for a home network.

    Install conduit, plan a network for today and couple/few years into the future. When things change farther along and new wire possibly needs to be run, it'll be fairly easy. Don't throw unnecessary money today at an issue that doesn't exist, especially when the solution in a few years will most likely be much cheaper.