Shielded vs unshielded wiring a house.

SticKx911

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I plan to run cat 6 through my house to hook up some poe cameras and just to make sure I don't have to rely on wifi everywhere. That said, what's the benefit of shielded? It's significantly more expensive. I plan on running 2 leads to each of 4 rooms so maybe 8 to 10 runs total (assuming 2 outdoor poe cameras).

Thanks for any thoughts.
 

BlueLineSwinger

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You don't need shielded. It's expensive (as you noted), more difficult to properly install (improperly ground the shielding and you've made things worse), and is only useful in environments with high levels of EM interference.

Just keep your runs away from any of the home's power lines, fluorescent lighting fixtures, and large appliances and unshielded (UTP) is just fine.
 
D

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If you have any long runs (more than 50-75 feet, you may want to look at shielded cable to prevent RF noise from the run acting like an antenna.

In any of those cases, look at possibly just buying a couple of pre-made 50/75/100 foot runs. $15-25.
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=5901

Anything you want to run outside, you want rated for direct burial unless you're going to build your own conduit network.
More expensive. $70 for a 100-foot run.
https://www.amazon.com/Outdoor-Waterproof-Ethernet-Direct-Shielded/dp/B002HFEBYM
 

BlueLineSwinger

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If you have any long runs (more than 50-75 feet, you may want to look at shielded cable to prevent RF noise from the run acting like an antenna.


This isn't a thing. 1Gb ethernet is rated to 100 meters over Cat5e UTP cable. The encoding used for data transmission, plus the construction of the cable itself (i.e., the twisting pattern) are designed to reject interference. it's more than sufficient in 99.9+% of installs. Shielded is for edge cases.

Seriously, go to any reasonably-sized office and look at the long runs from the IDF/MDF to the individual desks/etc. It's all UTP, no shielded, for runs far longer than most any home will see.


In any of those cases, look at possibly just buying a couple of pre-made 50/75/100 foot runs. $15-25.
https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=5901


Trying to pull pre-terminated cable through a house sounds like a bitch. Buying prebuilt cables is also more expensive than bulk boxes.

Also, patch cables generally aren't built the same as that used for doing structured wiring runs. Patch cables typically use outer sheathing that's less resilient and might not hold up well to being pulled through a structure. And the conductor is typically stranded instead of solid, meaning you can't simply cut off an end and punch it down to a panel.

So even if you successfully pull one of these cables through the house and leave both RJ-45s on the ends. Now what? It's highly unlikely that the ethernet jack on the camera/AP/etc. is going to be properly grounded for the cable's shielding to drain to. The switch? Also unlikely, especially for something typically seen in the home. So now you have a bunch of shielded cables running through the house with no ground to drain to. Congratulations, you paid extra and had a more complicated install for cabling that, at best, is doing absolutely nothing that UTP wouldn't have done.
 

Mr. Baz

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Structured horizontal/vertical cabling = solid core UTP up to 90 meters
Patch cables = stranded core < 10 meters
 

FNtastic

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Cat5e UTP is what you want. I picked up a roll of the solid core stuff from monoprice and have been really happy with it.
 

IdiotInCharge

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Something else to consider (since I've been considering it myself), is CAT7 for runs that may have computing devices/workstations attached.

This is needed for 100m of 10GBase-T. Main reason? 1GBase-T will push all of ~115MB/s around. A ten year-old spinning drive can do that, whilst even a cheap NVMe drive can do 1500MB/s. 10GBase-T (and "NBase-T", which is 2.5Gbps and 5Gbps) can obviously push around ~1150MB/s. Still not the 4GB/s (32Gbps) that the current NVMe standard maxes out at, but certainly more serviceable!

[Also note: PCIe 3.0 10GBase-T RJ-45 NICs are around $100/ea, and eight-port switches start around $600/ea, and those prices should plummet presently]
 

FNtastic

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Something else to consider (since I've been considering it myself), is CAT7 for runs that may have computing devices/workstations attached.

This is needed for 100m of 10GBase-T. Main reason? 1GBase-T will push all of ~115MB/s around. A ten year-old spinning drive can do that, whilst even a cheap NVMe drive can do 1500MB/s. 10GBase-T (and "NBase-T", which is 2.5Gbps and 5Gbps) can obviously push around ~1150MB/s. Still not the 4GB/s (32Gbps) that the current NVMe standard maxes out at, but certainly more serviceable!

[Also note: PCIe 3.0 10GBase-T RJ-45 NICs are around $100/ea, and eight-port switches start around $600/ea, and those prices should plummet presently]
While I got really turned on by your recommendation because it's what really gets me going, Cat5e is gigabit. For even a power user, this is typically sufficient. And, wouldn't include upgrading PC hardware and the rest of the network. Unless he's pushing massive backups 24/7 over the network, he's going to have enough leftover overhead with Cat5e. Even then, a good firewall with QoS and BWM could handle that effectively enough that the computer user would not experience any noticeable difference, and that's with a topped out 1Gbit.
That's a lot of data that most people will never be able to fill. As a comparison, I have a 100/100 connection and was able to stream twitch at 1080p while streaming 5 4k videos simultaneously. And, that barely took me over 50. So, I still had plenty of bandwidth left.
Commendable recommendation if he's looking to go for the "latest be greatest" though
 

IdiotInCharge

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Commendable recommendation if he's looking to go for the "latest be greatest" though

Well, the recommendation is more to put some CAT7 in if it's affordable, not to go any further with it yet. Re-pulling cabling sucks.

And I'd agree that there's just not much use for CAT6(a) over CAT5e, aside from the Nbase-T implementations that are on the horizon, themselves being slower than 10Gbase-T.

Overall, it'd be for something like a higher-performance centralized NAS; few things alone would need more than 1Gbit, but once you get to that point, your expansion is either 10Gbit or a managed switch that supports teaming, which approaches 10Gbit unmanaged switch territory. With a managed 1Gbit switch teaming interfaces to a NAS you're still limited to 1Gbit to each client, and likely not going to get more than four interfaces, so 4Gbps to the network. Oh, and it can be painful to set up LACP to actually get utility out of it.

4Gbps is probably fine/enough in and of itself, but since the cost delta to be ready for 10Gbit is just running some CAT7 to workstation and home network concentration locations while waiting for the price of 10Gbase-T equipment to come down, I figured it would be worth the mention, especially since the equipment has already dropped into the 'accessible' price range.
 

BlueLineSwinger

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Something else to consider (since I've been considering it myself), is CAT7 for runs that may have computing devices/workstations attached.

This is needed for 100m of 10GBase-T. Main reason? 1GBase-T will push all of ~115MB/s around. A ten year-old spinning drive can do that, whilst even a cheap NVMe drive can do 1500MB/s. 10GBase-T (and "NBase-T", which is 2.5Gbps and 5Gbps) can obviously push around ~1150MB/s. Still not the 4GB/s (32Gbps) that the current NVMe standard maxes out at, but certainly more serviceable!

[Also note: PCIe 3.0 10GBase-T RJ-45 NICs are around $100/ea, and eight-port switches start around $600/ea, and those prices should plummet presently]


Why? There's no benefit to it. Cat7 has not been specified for any networking standard, and IMO is unlikely to be. There was a fair bit of resistance to 10 Gb ethernet over copper due to the high power requirements, and I bet any attempts to go faster over copper would run into the same walls. The existing faster ethernet standards (e.g., 40, 100 Gb) already are using fiber or, for short runs, direct attach cables with SPF connectors.

Cat6a supports 10 Gb ethernet to the full 100 meters. There's no reason to throw money at a spec that is unlikely to ever be used or provide any additional benefit.
 

IdiotInCharge

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Cat6a supports 10 Gb ethernet to the full 100 meters.

Welp, this is where I was wrong: I had been thinking that 6A was distance limited, but I was probably mixing that up with the limitation that SFP+ 10Gbase-T transceivers have due to the power limitation in SFP+ itself.

However, we're definitely seeing a trend toward 10Gbase-T. It's what's coming on servers, high-end motherboards, and even consumer and (low-end) enterprise NAS devices. Further, upcoming Nbase-T devices will be important for alleviating bottlenecks while operating at lower power than 10Gbase-T.
 

BlueLineSwinger

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Welp, this is where I was wrong: I had been thinking that 6A was distance limited, but I was probably mixing that up with the limitation that SFP+ 10Gbase-T transceivers have due to the power limitation in SFP+ itself.


Maybe you were thinking of Cat6 (non-'A')? For 10 Gb ethernet it's limited to between 35-55 meters. It's more vulnerable to crosstalk than 6a, and bundling more cables together reduces effective distance.

Cat6 can support 5 Gb ethernet (the new NBase-T standard) to 100 meters.
 

BlueLineSwinger

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The unshielded network cable is mainly used in the network without interference, while the shielded network cable is relatively used in an environment with interference. There is no need to use the expensive shielded cables in home network.


Not sure why you felt the need to recap what others already said in a thread that ran its course nearly three months ago...
 
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