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placing router

Discussion in 'General Hardware Issues' started by idr, Feb 10, 2013.

  1. idr

    idr Established Techie7 Member

    A Planet ADR4100(v2) router serves me for working on a PC and a laptpop. The connection to the laptop is wireless and the PC is connected by a fairly short cable to the router.
    I consider a change in my office so that the router would be placed at about 5 m from the PC.
    Can it be done without decreasing the Internet speed (which is now about 10Mbs download) by using for instance
    a) a longer cable
    b) inserting in the PC a wireless connector if such a device exists.
    Please advise.
  2. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    In theory, and according to industry standards, the maximum effective length of standard CAT 5e copper Ethernet cable is 100m (328 feet). So 5 meters is no problem at all and you should easily find pre-made cables of 25 feet (maybe 15') at your local computer or home supply store.

    That said, I really do not trust factory made Ethernet cables and much prefer to make them myself. In that way, I know the quality of the cable, the connectors, and the assembly. However, making your own does take an investment in a quality crimper (cheap ones result in poor connections, frustration, migraines and hair loss! ;)), and time and practice - but well worth it if you use Ethernet a lot. So is a decent Ethernet Cable Tester - regardless if you make your own cables, or not. It is important to note even the best made Ethernet cables are not very robust - they cannot take many yanks or trip-overs.

    There are many wireless adapters available for PCs - if running a longer cable is not practical. If necessary to go wireless, I recommend an adapter with external antenna(s) like this. Some allow you to detach the antenna so you can position it up high. The problem with adapter cards without external antennas is the metal shell of the computer case may act as a shield to the RF signal. Note that adapter is used in an available PCIe (PCI Express) slot. If your motherboard does not have any free PCIe slots, you will need to use an adapter for PCI slots (in spite similar names, PCI is NOT the same as, or compatible with PCIe). Alternatively, there are USB adapters, but they seem have more connectivity issues for some users.

    In any event, before buying any adapter, you need to ensure it supports your version of Windows. And if using 64-bit Windows, it is even more important to ensure it supports your version and that you install the necessary drivers for it.

    Of course, a longer Ethernet cable requires you to simply unplug the short cable, plug in the long cable, and be good to go! No messing with drivers, installing new hardware, setting up wireless access, getting a new IP address or messing with the essential added security needed when going wireless.