Jude1234

Are Cat 5 sockets required all round the house

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We are just putting together the spcification for first fix.  Do we need to have Cat 5 cables in every room or will wifi be okay for some rooms.  We have 2 boys so will definitely have a socket in their rooms and also in the family room with the xbox.  Just wondered what other people did and whether they are underused or if people wished they had put more in.

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I put 2 sockets for cat 6 in each room that was likely to ever need them. We have everything from smart TVs , xboxs, android boxes,desktop computer and firesticks plugged in to them. All the cables go back to a 16port gigabyte switch. The wired connection works much better than WiFi. Doing it this way means it's only your phone/tablet using the WiFi. 

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Put in several at each point where you will have a TV. Everything is connected now - Sky box, console (or two), recorder, smart TV - it all adds up. You can get by with wireless for some of these, but in my opinion wired is better where you potentially have a lot of bandwidth.

 

If you have a study, or somewhere a printer/scanner will go, it's useful to include an outlet or two there. While most printers are wireless-enabled, if you read the reviews, wireless problems are high on the list of people's complaints.

 

I have another where our music streamer is located in the kitchen. Lucky catch, as it happens, because putting the microwave on interferes with the wireless signal enough to stop the music!

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I have cat cables everywhere........unfortunately the whole system is down and since moving in I have had variable access to internet and phone.  There is a gremlin in the data cab and we have not found it yet!

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I am purring cables to every room but not necessarily terminating them just now. They will get connected when a use for them arises.

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I put up to 3 in key rooms (e.g. study, home theatre) and a few points with 1. In most cases I rely on wi-fi. Do factor in your wi-fi point into first fix - make it as central as possible so it covers your whole house (in both horizontal and vertical planes), and allow for at least 2 2x13A sockets, 2x wired ethernet cables, 1x telephone cable to that point, direct from your master BT point.

 

Our kids do not need ethernet points - modern slim devices like laptops, smartphones, kindles have wi-fi only. Xbox is wireless and it works well. Sky Q is crap on wireless in our environment.

 

I also wired one to the garage in case of future integration with car charging / powerwall or similar. Our 16-port switch is in the plant room where I wire in a few plant devices direct - alarm panel, Immersun, solar PV.

 

I did not do this, but you might need to allow for external points in your first fix, especially if you are aiming for an air-tight build. E.g. you may wish to add an external wi-fi booster or antenna, and in our case I gave up with landline-based internet and added an external wireless dish.

 

Another factor for later (not first-fix) is your wi-fi modem / router. Dump your ISP provided one and buy a good device for this function. I wrestled with 4 BT routers before I got this message, and the TP-Link AC2600 has been stable and issue free for a few months now.

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I have cat cables in seemingly every room, have never used them and have no real idea what to do with them to make them look neat :S

 

 

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With the growing popularity of power-over-ethernet (PoE) devices in home automation, I am tempted for my build to install ethernet almost everywhere, and in some unusual locations, such as outside by the front gate, by the front door, where I can imagine having a car charge point, where I want blinds. PoE is now being used for lighting, security cameras, doorbells, and a host of internet-of-things (IoT) things. Who knows if this will bloom and become a ubiquitous standard but if you install the wiring at least you are ready if it does.

 

Changing the subject, if your house is larger than can be covered by a single WiFi router then consider where two will go and give each location an ethernet socket. Buy specialist access points that offer seamless handover (such as UniFi by Ubiquiti) rather than consumer units (including the trendy mesh ones). Ethernet connections between access points is always superior to mesh. It is essential in my opinion that you buy access points that support seamless handover. Two low-end consumer routers will not work nearly as well. They hold on to the waning signal for far too long.

 

UniFi units, for example, which are used widely in commercial installations, have seamless handover, are remarkably cheap, and are rock solid. They offer models for outside use too. Unifi APs do however take a little knowledge to set up but once done require no fiddling.

Edited by Dreadnaught
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Wow, thanks for all the replies, looks like the consensus is go with lots ?

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1 hour ago, jack said:

If you have a study, or somewhere a printer/scanner will go, it's useful to include an outlet or two there. While most printers are wireless-enabled, if you read the reviews, wireless problems are high on the list of people's complaints.

 

I have another where our music streamer is located in the kitchen. Lucky catch, as it happens, because putting the microwave on interferes with the wireless signal enough to stop the music!

 

I failed on both these counts! Printer is now against only wall of the study with no cat 6 sockets and with doors either side, no option to trail a cable. While only 10ft from the BT HomeHub, still flakes out now and again - never had any issues when wired in. Revo in kitchen just about connects to WiFi, again, could have had a socket just behind it.

 

Ideally, I'd have one per wall next to a 13A socket to give you maximum flexibility on layout, plus obv. where you're going to put TVs etc.

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+1 to

We installed two Access points, powered by PoE, in wardrobes either side of the house.

We also have a outside Access Point, to be installed at some point. We have multiple points adjacent to all TV's, for connection to Smart TV'S but also for distributing 4K TV  a central point to every TV from a 4K HDR HDBaseT Matrix ,and at least two other points in every room. Also outside for Security Cameras.  

 

 

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13 hours ago, newhome said:

I have cat cables in seemingly every room, have never used them and have no real idea what to do with them to make them look neat

Simple, plug in some monitoring equipment.  Works for me.

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3 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

Simple, plug in some monitoring equipment.  Works for me.

 

They are just cables sticking out of the wall though. As per photos! And there is something like this in every room, sometimes in more than 1 place. Presumably they were meant to be finished off somehow? Not been a priority up until now but now I’m not fighting the council or freezing to death I can get on with some of the final bits and pieces. 

 

They all seem to end up cupboards downstairs. It’s one of those ‘what the hell are these’ conversations I wish I’d had (there are many of those) 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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I would go for running 2 anywhere you are likely to use a tv, computer, printer or phone.  Run back to a central location where you also have power.  I terminated them into a couple of 8 port Trendnet patch panels flush mounted into the plasterboard and connected up with patch leads into a 16 port gigabyte switch.  I went for a fanless one as it is a wardrobe and I didn't want any noise.  Also ran all the tv coax to the same location.

 

It is a bit of a cable fest, but it works well. 

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4 minutes ago, Mr Punter said:

  I terminated them into a couple of 8 port Trendnet patch panels flush mounted into the plasterboard and connected up with patch leads into a 16 port gigabyte switch.  I went for a fanless one as it is a wardrobe and I didn't want any noise.  Also ran all the tv coax to the same location.

 

 

Can you post a photo of how yours are finished off in your rooms please. 

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1 hour ago, newhome said:

As per photos! 

Perfect.

Can connect these to it.

 

sensors.jpg

Edited by SteamyTea

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Put as many in as you can (obviously keep sensible), its cheap to run, and they have far more uses than just for general networking, can also be used to transmit all types of signals using x-over ethernet converters (where x is what you want to transmit), one such type is HDMI over Ethernet which can be very useful, since long HDMI cables tend to not fare very well.

 

Make sure you pay the extra for good quality cable, LSOH (Low Smoke Zero Halogen), and really ensure you are buying solid core cables, and not stranded!

Edited by MikeGrahamT21
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3 minutes ago, SteamyTea said:

Perfect.

Can connect these too it.

 

sensors.jpg

 

That’s good for a cupboard. Need something neater round the walls of the rooms. @Mr Punter‘s set up looks nice and neat. Job for @PeterW‘s little Willy probably ;)

 

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For me, part of the reason for lots of car5 cables is for the "unknown unknowns"

 

Let me explain that.

 

I keep all my AV stuff in a central cupboard and run long hdmi cables to the tv's so you can have an uncluttered wall hung tv with no "boxes" they live out of sight in the cupboard.

 

BUT how long will hdmi be the standard? and what will come next?  e.g the last house was built pre hdmi so used component high definition video YPbPr instead.

 

So a couple of spare cat 5's are there so that when the next AV standard comes along, I hope they will make the usual (whatever they call it) video to cat5 cable converters to go on both ends.

 

I am just kitting out my AV cupboard at the moment to I will post some pictures when it's done.

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2 hours ago, newhome said:

They are just cables sticking out of the wall though. As per photos!

 

The rooms should be easy to fix if you aren't going to use the cables, just fit a pattress box if there isn't one, push most of the cable back into the wall leaving a short end accessible in the pattress box and cover with a blanking plate. Simple and cheap.

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51 minutes ago, ProDave said:

For me, part of the reason for lots of car5 cables is for the "unknown unknowns"

 

Unfortunately you can't predict the course of technology.

 

When we started on this house in 1990 it was more or less gutted and I wanted to preempt future wiring wants. Every room has at least one telephone socket, at least one VHF socket at least one UHF socket. As computer networking was in its' infancy, at least domestically, I put in multi-core serial cables and network coax in some rooms. Now almost all of that is redundant, phones are DECT, TV is networked from a server as is sound and networking is mainly CAT5 with a bit of wireless.

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19 hours ago, Jude1234 said:

We are just putting together the spcification for first fix.  Do we need to have Cat 5 cables in every room or will wifi be okay for some rooms.  We have 2 boys so will definitely have a socket in their rooms and also in the family room with the xbox.  Just wondered what other people did and whether they are underused or if people wished they had put more in.

 

I'd put as many in as possible - cheap and easy to do now, difficult to retro fit.  Also avoids potential problems with neighbour's wifi using the same channel as yours and causing issues.  I think that's what has been happening to us in our new rented accommodation.  iStumbler seems to show a number of devices using the same channels as our defaults were set to....

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Put in loads of cables to wherever you can possibly think they may be required. You don't have to terminate them with faceplates now, so long as you know where they are so that they can be done in future.

 

WRT 'stuff'-over-ethernet/cat5 adapters, be aware that some require power too, and also some require more than one cat 5 cable.

 

As a general rule I never lay/pull a single Cat5 cable anywhere that is going to get covered up. If it gets damaged, replacement can be a nightmare, so its easier to pull 2 cables in the beginning.

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