Cat5 Wiring in My Home: Now What?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Angelo.M, Apr 5, 2003.

  1. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    I know enough about this stuff to be dangerous only.

    The home I build last year is completely wired with Cat5 (every room has a multi-jack port with phone line, data line, and two separate coaxial jacks).

    I assume that the Cat5 is there to build a computer network. Well, I have a desktop and a laptop, and I'd like to be able to use the laptop anywhere in the home and access files from the desktop. This can be done, right? This is easy, right?

    Help...
     
  2. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    Sure you can.
    There are a couple of ways to go to get the 2 PCs to talk (I'm assuming PC's here, if it's MAC stuff,I'm lost)
    1) You use a wired connection in each room to connect the laptop to the PC thru a wired router. Hardware costs are cheap and the reliability of the connection excellent. You would need 1 Ethernet connection for each PC (which they might already have) and a router with enough inputs to cable each room into it.
    2) You use a wireless laptop solution to connect to the PC. You install a wireless card in the laptop and either a wired or wireless connection in the PC. You then get a wireless router that also supports wired connections. That way you can roam the house while still being able to talk to the 'base' PC. Wireless stuff is a bit more expensive and can be affected by distances and other 'stuff' in the house that you may not be able to control.

    Once you make the physical connection, you need to set up the resources on the PC as shared, that allows other computers on the network to use the stuff it owns. This is done thru windows. It's kinda neat to be on the laptop in one room and send a print job to the printer connected to the PC in the other room.
    You didn't mention an Internet connection, is that part of the set-up ? I'd recommend a cable modem due to speed and reliability.
    You might want to look at places like cnet.com for more info on how to do this. Manufacturers include D-Link, Linksys and Netgear. All have web sites and I'd bet they'd have info on how to set up your network.
    I'd say that you should do a bit of reading, then figure out how you want to implement your network. Get the stuff connected and talking to each other first, then set up the shared resources. The key is to not bite off too much at first and be willing to navigate the bumps that always seem to occur. Hope this helps
    [​IMG]
     
  3. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    Angelo,

    I'm assuming since you have cat5 going to each room you must also have a data box or some location probably in a closet somewhere that all the cabling runs into. You need to go to that location. The wiring is probably labled with the names of all the rooms so you know which cable goes to which. I'm going to describe what I did since I have the same thing. All my wiring (phone, cable, cat5e) goes into a box in my closet. Their is a patchboard for the phone system so that was already taken care of. There are 1 input and 4 other outputs for the coax for the cable. On the incoming coax line for the cable (the one coming from outside to inside my house) I had the cable guy put a splitter on. I split the signal there. One line goes out of the splitter and into my cable modem. The other split goes into the input on the patch board. Then I plugged all the other rooms into the outputs on the patch board. That setup cable tv for each room. Now for the internet/network. I have a linksys broadband router/firewall. I plug that in and plug my cable modem in. I take the ethernet out of the cable modem and into the wan port on the router. Then take each of the cat5 lines going to the rooms and plug them into the router. Thats it. Now when I want to connect a computer to the internet or each other I just plug them into the wall in whatever room I'm in.

    Here is a picture of what it looks like The white is the cable tv. The blue is all the cat5e cables. The green one is just another service line for the phone. The cable modem is sitting on the floor (that black thing). The linksys thing is the router. Since my phone and network are handled as cat5e cables I can switch them off the phone board (on the left side of the box) and into the router if I ever need to change a jack's purpose.
     
  4. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Thanks, guys, awesome help.

    Mike, you nailed it. My home is wire just as you described. The only difference in my plan is that I will not be sharing a broadband connection, I'll only be connecting the computers for file-swapping. So, I went out today and bought a "switch" (is that the right term?) made by D-Link (the DSS-5+), into which I will plug the various Cat5 cables that are now in my 'central' wiring station (the "box in the closet"). Then, I'll connect my desktop to the network jack in my office and my laptop to the jack of whatever room I'm in. Cool.

    Tell me that the software end of this is not difficult to configure. All machines are running XP.

    Thanks for all of the help...
     
  5. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    You might want to try this .
     
  6. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    The software side is easy. Just give each of them an IP and the same subnet. If you aren't connecting them to the internet AT ALL then make it whatever you want. Turn on sharing and you should be good to go. Reason why a broadband router might have been easier is you could just turn on DHCP on all the computers you want to connect together and the router would handle handing out IP addresses for you. Its one radio button switch under windows and then you are talking. Then if later you wanted to share a cable modem or dsl line you would just plug that into the router and you would automatically be sharing internet without any other setup needed.

    I'm actually using the router to dish out IP's in my closet, then in my computer room (where my server and main windows box is located) I have a 100mbit switch connected to the wall then the computers plugged into that. At most I only have 2 jacks in each room, 1 for phone and 1 for computer. So in my computer room I ended up only having 1 jack for network. The switch lets me have 5 more in addition to the 4 in the other room where the internet comes into the house that I share out to the other rooms.

    But just a switch is just fine and will serve your purpose if you don't intend to share internet.
     
  7. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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  8. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    LewB: thanks. I'm going to read through the entire site and learn about this stuff.
     
  9. Kevin P

    Kevin P Screenwriter

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  10. Angelo.M

    Angelo.M Producer

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    Kevin: thanks.

    All of this help has been tremendous, and I hope to have my home network up and running tonight. Wasn't sure if I'd ever use the built-in Cat5 wiring in the house, but I'm glad I had it put in.

    If I could ask one more question. At present, we're sticking with dial-up because our cable company is also the broadband company, and we've ditched cable. Is there any reason to share the dial-up connection along my home network? Thanks.
     
  11. LewB

    LewB Screenwriter

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    Can't think of a reason to share dial-up unless you want to wait twice as long. You might want to re-think the cable modem. It's the only socially redeeming thing that the cable companies have ever done. If you are an internet junkie, it's a must ! Probably cost somewhere between $40-50 a month.
    I can't imagine how I ever put up with dial up service. If nothing else, the cable modem makes the inevitable XP patches a breeze !
    If you stick with the dial-up, just hook a phone line to the PC and dial out. This would limit you to 1 PC being connected to the net at a time. With the cable modem and router, you can have multiple PC's online at the same time.
     

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