Hey Lifehacker, Cable question: Currently I am using a 7-foot Cat 5e cable from the router to the ethernet wall jack in the bedroom upstairs. I want to use a 100-foot cord. I need to run it out the upstairs window, across the porch roof and down into the window on the main floor into my office. We lease, so drilling holes and feeding it downstairs is not an option. The room where it is now is directly above the room it needs to feed into. What I'm wondering is: does longer cable equal slower speed? Thanks, Cable Confusion
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When it comes to signal transfer and cable lengths there are lots of factors in play. For example, you need to consider how well insulated the cable is, the nature of the installation (if the cable is exposed to the elements then keeping it in conduits for protection will ensure that it performs well for as long as possible) and the quality of the terminations at the cable ends.
Cat5e cabling is designed to run at lengths of up to 100m – about three times the length you need so you're not likely to hit any limitations in the cable.
Logic dictates that the longer the cable the longer it will take data to move. But at the length you're talking about we'd be very surprised if the cable length was going to impact performance. We've run cables much longer than you're describing as part of office installations and cable length is never a significant factor in performance.
Just make sure it's a good quality cable and that the plugs on the ends are installed correctly, As the cable will be running outside, protect it as well as you can. Run it in a sealed conduit if possible so that the cable doesn’t perish when exposed to the elements.
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