Know How...

May 11th 2017

Know How... 310

Premise Wiring

WiFi is EVERYWHERE, so why run wires?
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Category: Help & How To

What tools and knowledge you need to make your own cables and why hardwiring is better than WiFi.

WiFi is EVERYWHERE, so why run wires?

1. WiFi is shared spectrum
No matter how fast WiFi is RATED for, it still obeys physics. Namely, If you have 1 Gigabit of bandwidth available at a certain frequency (In a perfect, interference-free environment), that bandwidth is SHARED.
* 1 Device = 1 Gigabit/device
* 2 Devices = 450Mbps/device (you lose some to the overhead and collisions)
* 3 Device = 275Mbps/device
* 4 Devices = 100Mbps/device

With a wired network, you're limited NOT by spectrum or interference, but by the quality of your cables and the capacity of your switch.
* 1 device on a Gig switch = 2/Gbps/device
* 2 devices on a Gig switch = 2Gbps/device
** Eventually you'll hit the limit of the backplane, but you need A LOT of traffic to do that.

2. WiFi is insecure
No matter what kind of encryption you might put on your consumer-grade AP, it's still crackable
* More than that, once somebody has the encryption key, unless your router separates the traffic (and it probably doesn't),  ANYBODY with the encryption key can see ALL the traffic traveling wirelessly.

With a wired network, unless somebody is running a MITM attack, your traffic is only seen by you and your connected clients.

3. WiFi penetration is Iffy
2.4Ghz penetrates walls well, but it's VERY overpopulated and limited in bandwidth. 5.8Ghz offers more spectrum, but it's lousy at penetrating walls.

With a wired network, as long as the cable makes it to the client, you've got a solid connection

4. For Consumer-grade gear, network management over WiFi is almost non-existent
Some routers from ASUS, Synology, Cisco, etc can do simple management, but nothing approaching what you can do with even a moderately decent switch.

5. POE
Power over Ethernet... once you start using it, you'll never want to NOT have it.

6. Maintenence
Consolidating all your connections into one place gives you the ability to patch. Also, it means you can take full advantage of a large switch w/a big backplane. (Rather than daisy-chaining.)

Build your Kit

1. Cable Crimpers    ~$15    
2. Diagonal Cutter    ~$30    
3. Cable Tester    ~$7   
4. Punch Down Tool    ~$17    
Useful Bit and Bobbins        
1. Cat5 Barrel Connector    ~$7 (5pk)    
2. Cat6 Crossover Connector    ~$9 (2p)    
3. USB 3.0 1000/100/10 Ethernet adapter    ~$15    
4. POE Detector    ~$30    
5. Non-Contact Voltage Detector    ~$30    
1. RJ45 Connectors        
2. Cat6 Keystone (Punch Down)        
Kit (Crimper/Tester/Plugs)    ~$16    

Let's Wire it up!

T568 Wiring Standard        
* There are two standards that you'll see 568A and 568B        
- Use B-Spec... just because most cables you might buy are running B-Spec        
White Brown        
Crossover Cables        

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Thanks to CacheFly for the bandwidth for this show.