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What a difference a Cat makes! (Cat Ethernet, that is...)

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posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 05:17 PM
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Well folks, I wanted to come and share this because the impact on my set up here has been so profound. Call me odd, but self educating everything I'm doing is like that. I get to be almost expert in one area, while dumb as a newbie in another...leaving more than one person I know to scratch their head in wonderment at times. Not for what I know..but what I don't, occasionally.

So it is for how I feel at the moment. I've been using Cat 5e on a 50ft run to connect a Cisco E4500 Router to my system in the back room. The middle spot for the router is literally that, physically, for the home ...so it does make sense in that way for how it's arranged.

I'd come to be somewhat used to slow loads on some websites (Like ATS) at times as well as spotty game performance. I never really thought about it being that cable, because any ping test and speed test came back nice. 20-30 ping whether to Oklahoma, Chicago or Miami with only a bit more overseas. An LPB as folks with low pings used to be called in games. Anyway....games have been something I haven't been doing much because of the inconsistent performance on connection.

Well, I broke down today and with a bit of help from my brother in law, got myself Cat 6 from, of all places, Radio Shack. (No one else in my town ...not THAT small BTW....seems to think anything above Cat 5e is necessary ..or we need unthinkably priced gold plated. One of the two).


The difference is as staggering as changing the stock air cooler on my new system for a Corsair liquid block has been. It's just amazing how much the seemingly small things matter. With a system now pushing the max that current tech allows, every bottleneck shows up, anywhere else ....and wow.. I've had some biggies I didn't realize were THAT big.

So.... Anyone who isn't seeing ATS load like it's a local HTML file on your hard drive? (I wasn't on the old, worn Cat 5e...I sure am on this brand new Cat 6), consider the Ethernet cable. Long or short..doesn't matter if the network needs to resend a hundred times for a every 3rd or 4th packet by interference or just cheap quality. The difference I see now is absolutely staggering. (Now I just need to get on my Cable company as their modem is the only part of my net not showing a valid 1 gig connection. Shame on them for old equipment....lol)

Don't sell short or go cheap on the small stuff, is what I've learned by this and other experiences. A Super-Computer can run like a Commodore 64 if one critical piece is junk.




posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 05:23 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


That was a really happy and useful story, Wrabbit2000, thanks for sharing it. makes me want to avoid homework and screw with my network..




posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 05:29 PM
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The differences should be marginal, and probably not noticeable in every day application.

The major difference between cat6 and cat5e are the frequency of twists in the individual pairs of wires.

Cat6 should produce marginally lower BER (bit error rates)


If you're noticing a difference in your LAN, it's probably because you had crappy cat5e.


I'm a networking infrastructure technician for a wireless broadband company, just so you know that I'm not just pulling this out of my butt.

ETA: We still use a shielded CAT5e for most everything. We've actually done our own testing to come to these conclusions.
edit on 21-9-2013 by TinkerHaus because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 05:39 PM
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You should not see a noticeable difference in latency\performance between a Cat6 and 5 , more likely you had a bad Cat5 cable which was causing your problems.. it's not like you are gaining bandwidth by going to a cat6..Of course I know how it goes with users and if that was your experience then I could put a T-berd on there, prove out the above and it would not matter.. =)

In the end the only thing that matters is that now your viewing experience is better.



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 05:40 PM
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reply to post by opethPA
 


DOH!!
late.. =)



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 05:45 PM
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reply to post by opethPA
 


Chances are exactly as you say, the OP had a degraded or poorly run piece of CAT5e and was experiencing CC errors and a high BER.

When your cables are producing errors, they have to resend information which slows things down. I'm positive replacing the CAT5e with another, newer CAT5e would have had the same effect.

OP: If you are using a cable modem, just buy your own. You probably have an old docsis 2 modem that you rent from your provider - the reality of the situation, however, is that you probably don't have the bandwidth to even utilize a docsis 3 modem... But it might make you feel like your browsing experience is better.



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 05:48 PM
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Bybyots
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


That was a really happy and useful story, Wrabbit2000, thanks for sharing it. makes me want to avoid homework and screw with my network..


Doh!



hehe, I wasn't the first 'doh'.



opethPA
reply to post by opethPA
 


DOH!!
late.. =)


doh.
edit on 21-9-2013 by greencmp because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 05:53 PM
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reply to post by TinkerHaus
 


Having been Net+ certified myself, I also think he had some very poor/cheap Cat 5e. Or some very bad interference causing many errors in the data stream. There are very few if any internet providers that provide Gigabit speeds to the home. Cat 6 is 10-Gigabit ethernet and will take many years for internet providers to come close to those speeds.

However, it's always a good idea to upgrade to the latest and greatest, and to future-proof your network. But, OP, it really does sound like you had some bad Cat 5e cabling.

I'm using all Cat 5e and haven't had any problems locally or on the internet.







edit on 21-9-2013 by _BoneZ_ because: (no reason given)



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 06:00 PM
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TinkerHaus
the reality of the situation, however, is that you probably don't have the bandwidth to even utilize a docsis 3 modem... But it might make you feel like your browsing experience is better.

He should call his internet provider and see if they even support the protocols of the Docsis 3 modem before he buys one. I had bought one, but just couldn't get it working correctly with my current cable internet provider. I had to switch back to their Docsis 2 modem. My Docsis 3 modem has been sitting collecting dust ever since it came out a couple years ago.



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 06:07 PM
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reply to post by _BoneZ_
 


Pretty much any cable internet provider in the US is using the docsis 3.0 standard. Comcast, Cox, Time Warner, etc.. I was a line/infrastructure tech for Comcast for awhile too.

But yeah, I guess it is a good idea to call your cable provider first.



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 06:08 PM
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You'll all notice, I had mentioned in the OP that is was old, and worn. Although, a good number using Cat 5 probably are using older cables they've had for a long time and maybe, moved around a few times. I recall this one being good at one time (Although never quite this good) but moving, being twisted out of the way or the cable itself being stepped on..whatever over time..took it's toll. That is certainly part of it.

(For some stupid reason, I've thought of the networking cable as only slightly more sensitive than Coax. Err... what was I saying in the Op about smart on some things and ..err never mind)

There is also the fact that even on 3 foot sections? 5e is a 10/100Mbps connection while the 6 is a no joke 1Gbps. There is no understating that (not so minor) difference for using the network storage attached to my router and finally getting true media streaming without any issues at all.

err.. There was also the lack of quality shielding on the 5e. I think it was Wal-Mart shelf stock (What more freelance techs use than would care to admit, I'm certain). So quality is an issue. Quality and time/wear with cross-talk off weak shielding putting the cherry on the cupcake.

...and to think.. My little epic journey through Community College, as it's turned out to be (Whoever invented Algebra as a required subject needs removed from the time continuum by going back in time and shooting him.) started in Networking. lol... I just didn't get to the 200 level Cabling class. A shame on that...they played with Fiber too, courtesy of local cable company support.



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 06:13 PM
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reply to post by TinkerHaus
 


Any major cable internet provider should be using the Docsis 3.0 standard, but my cable provider isn't a "major" provider. lol. I was pretty pissed that I spent $100 on a Docsis 3 modem and couldn't use it, and still can't to this day. This cable internet here sucks hard anyway.



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 06:21 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 
can you say with a straight face that algebra hasnt impacted your adult life in a positive way?

i didn't think so, quit bad mouthing algebra.


also ping is only relevant if you play tekken or soul caliber.



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 06:37 PM
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Rikku
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 
can you say with a straight face that algebra hasnt impacted your adult life in a positive way?

i didn't think so, quit bad mouthing algebra.


also ping is only relevant if you play tekken or soul caliber.



Okay, basic or what they call pre-algebra, is something I've used without even considering or realizing it. True... The advanced college level (Graphing -> Advanced Graphing) is a little stretch to explain where I'll be using that unless in a profession very directly related to it. They can tell the 18yr olds they'll be using it and just don't know it yet..but I'm not the only 30-50 year old in these classes rolling eyes when that gets said.

At the same time, I know someone up there from last semester that was taking an advanced Trig class..purely as an elective because it was fun. Numbers people... lol.. I'm more a data person than numbers on that level...and quite happy for it. You can't get a degree as a social worker (Above AA) without the 2 advanced levels to transfer up though.


My interest in ping goes back to the days of the bad net code with games like Half Life, in particular. Where Dial Up was running a healthy 3 digit level and Cable was a murderous 2 digit. People got fragged literally before seeing the hit come at all with the red laser sniper rifles.... Oh, if only such advantages could be had today. Anyway.. I'm a perfectionist to an extreme with tweaking my config and hardware (usually because going bargain price means getting performance is all about tweaking).

You're right...with speeds people run now, ping is mostly useful for network tracing/diagnosing problems.



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 06:38 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 





5e is a 10/100Mbps connection


You forgot a 0 in there. 1000 mbps. It's rated for a Gigabit.



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 06:46 PM
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FlySolo
You forgot a 0 in there. 1000 mbps. It's rated for a Gigabit.

Yes, Cat 5e is 1-Gigabit ethernet, and Cat 6 is 10-Gigabit ethernet.



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 07:34 PM
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reply to post by _BoneZ_
 


Indeed.. it is...



That just about matches the text book chart the course had on it. I kept the book for reference.....and I have not one 5e cable here that will register as a 1gb connection on the router status screen. If I'd known what a difference it would actually make, I'd have replaced it sooner. My wife has the other high connection on the screen below but doesn't do much outside Farmville and similar things, so didn't see much more than a difference in page loads there.



That shows the current config for it and it's equipment related for what is slow now, since all connections off the router are 6 and the short ones were quite nice for cost and quality. Now I've swapped them around for my older cables to check..since I have a couple milk crates full of them at all different lengths and I'm probably trashing the lot of them at this point. None hit the magic right column.

However the charts read, the actual experienced difference is downright remarkable.

Enough to be worth sharing, anyway.



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 08:17 PM
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reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


Again, if you're experiencing a noticeable difference... It's because you had a bad cable. Not because the CAT6 is faster.

Your cable is almost definitely not the bottleneck in your LAN. If it is, it's because the cable is poor quality, not because it's CAT5e.

It's like someone with a 12mbps internet connection getting upgrading from a docsis 2 to a docsis 3 modem - yes, the modem is capable of more throughput, but you're still getting 12mbps.



posted on Sep, 21 2013 @ 08:25 PM
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TinkerHaus
reply to post by Wrabbit2000
 


Again, if you're experiencing a noticeable difference... It's because you had a bad cable. Not because the CAT6 is faster.

Your cable is almost definitely not the bottleneck in your LAN. If it is, it's because the cable is poor quality, not because it's CAT5e.

It's like someone with a 12mbps internet connection getting upgrading from a docsis 2 to a docsis 3 modem - yes, the modem is capable of more throughput, but you're still getting 12mbps.


additionally the cable is not the only factor in your throughput...
what speed your interfaces support, your connection is only going to be as fast as your slowest point.
what your switches or routers could handle in an office situation.

in reality though..unless you want to really learn networking the only thing that matters is the performance is better. =)





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