Distance with cat5 and switch

Posted on 2007-10-20
Last Modified: 2013-11-09
Can I extend the distance of cat5 by putting a switch or another device in the middle? I need to go to approximately 360 feet.
Question by:pluhrs
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Yes, that should work - or you could just buy a couple of media converters and use fiber which has a MUCH longer length limit.  Just keep in mind, switches can only be stacked 3 or 4 deep (I don't recall the exact number).  Meaning if you go computer to switch to switch to switch to switch to switch to switch to computer, it won't work.
    LVL 1

    Accepted Solution

    The number of switches you put in between doesn't matter, as long as they are properly configured (standard settings would do nicely). (there is absolutely NO maximum...)

    Also Cat5 cable officially supports 328 feet of coverage, it is possible to go further but erros could occur...

    So you could try to cover it with one cable, but if you place a switch in between results will be perfect!
    LVL 95

    Assisted Solution

    by:Lee W, MVP
    Yes, you COULD try to cover it with one cable and ASSUMING the cable is made to spec and the termination points are made to spec, you could be ok... but generally, most people try to avoid using cables longer than 200 feet when possible.

    And your correct, I misspoke - the limit is for network HUBS, not switches.  Though I would consider it poor network design if one were using many switches chained together.
    LVL 11

    Expert Comment

    And make note it's 328 feet of cable, including all curves, inreases and decreases. A little netgear 5 port switch (or similar, even  a HUB will work) could be a regeneration point. It will be much cheaper then fiber + media convertors or a switch with fiber ports. If you need multiple connection in different directions, you have two options, divide your network on areas and put more switches with less ports or go for fiber.

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