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are PCs too far away for networking?

Posted on 2003-03-28
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Last Modified: 2010-03-19
im planning to network my pc and that of my cousin's. both systems are win98 and winxp dualboot and have ethernet adapters installed. im thinking of using a network hub, using coaxial cables. my question is if the distance between the two PCs is of considerable importance. i estimated i would need about 23 meters  of cable to join the two which are located in our houses respectively. we would mostly use the network connection for playing games, remote assistance, and sharing files.  my cousin has a P4 2.4 GHz, 256 MB DDR RAM, 30 GB HD; mine is a PIII 1.0 GHz, 384 MB SDRAM, 20 GB HD. is it ok despite the distance? can you tell me how it would affect the connection, speed, etc? is it advisable? what other options do i have? is a sharer hub better, why? also, feel free to give pointers and tips on how to go about it, like how to route the cables, where to place the hub, etc. can i use mine as the server? thanx in advance.
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Question by:exjon
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11 Comments
 
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Expert Comment

by:gidds99
ID: 8229984
Ethernet can work up to 100m.  So with only 23m required - you should have no problems.
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by:gidds99
ID: 8229995
If you are using a hub I dont think you will be using coaxial cables, more like CAT5 with RJ45 connectors.
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wyliecoyoteuk earned 150 total points
ID: 8230550
If there are only 2 machines, a crossover cable will do, no need for a hub.

http://www.makeitsimple.com/how-to/dyi_crossover.htm

If you can get it, for a 23 Meter run, use solid core cable, as you may find that stranded core cable will not allow 100Mbit full duplex .(mind you with only 2 on the wire, 10Mbit half duplex is as much than the computers can use, you will not notice the difference).

Or you could use a hub with straight through cables, will give you better signal integrity, and you could add other devices as well.

maximum length of cable PC > hub 100M
maximum length between any 2 nodes(with hub in middle) 200M
But stranded cable is only advised for runs up to 10M (it will work, but will be less reliable)
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Expert Comment

by:golfer4146
ID: 8231681
maximum cable length is actually 90 metres for cat 5 installations you need to subtract from the 100, 5 metres for each patch lead if you were going to have proper termination boxes.
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Expert Comment

by:gidds99
ID: 8232011
To answer exjon's question, he can connect his machines with or without a hub using CAT5 cable (straight through or crossover) and the 23M distance will not be an issue.

As the 23M distance is well within the maximum there are no issues around speed/performance.
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Expert Comment

by:wyliecoyoteuk
ID: 8232035
golfer4146 is correct,if using boxes.

gidds99, 23 meters on stranded cable may not work reliably, which is why I posted.Crossover cables are more subject to crosstalk and interference than standard installs. I have had 20 meter crossover installs fail at 100M using stranded core cable.
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Author Comment

by:exjon
ID: 8255809
so i the hub isn't neccessary. i don't now much about networking hardware. so it's good to know all of the things all of you are saying. is the cat5 the same as UTP cable(i only see "UTP cable" in the computer shop's catalog sheet)? i'd be running the wire outside: if using UTP cable, any pointers on what to avoid(for inteference,etc.)?
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Expert Comment

by:golfer4146
ID: 8255858
yes it is the same if you are running it outside i would try and get sheilded utp cable if you can if not just make sure it is in waterproof trunking and away from a mains power runs in your house
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Expert Comment

by:gidds99
ID: 8256757
wyliecoyote, you first suggested using a crossover.  But I must say I havent had or heard of any issues with crossover cables.

As I mentioned in my initial posts using a hub and CAT5 cables the 23M distance is not a problem.

Small hubs a very cheap these days and a 4 port model can provide the scope for additional connections should you require them in the future.  
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Expert Comment

by:wyliecoyoteuk
ID: 8256762
Again, try and make sure it is SOLID core utp, NOT stranded core (although that may work for 23 meters, you will not get the best performance).
It is similar to the difference between the cable in your walls for electricity, and the flex between the socket and the appliance.
One is best for low resistance to current, and one is best for flexibility.
Shielded UTP (STP) cable would be even better, but I don`t think it would be needed.

If possible, avoid mains cables, fluorescent lights, radio masts, etc.
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Author Comment

by:exjon
ID: 8269622
thanx a lot guys. i think i'll go for crossover solid core cables for now. it turns out the dealer i contacted will do the crimping for me. they have shielded TP, solid core. i just have to say the length. the 23 meters is just an estimate. guess i have to measure it more accurately this time to avoid excess wires coiled and dangling(which you say is bad for ethernet). once again thanks a lot guys. learned a lot from you.
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