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Wiring an apartment for ethernet?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Chad Ellinger, Jul 11, 2002.

  1. Chad Ellinger

    Chad Ellinger Second Unit

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    I'm moving into a two bedroom apartment next month, and my roommate and I are planning on getting a broadband internet connection (DSL or Cable). I already have a router that I can split the connection with. I'm wondering now about how to wire the apartment.

    Ideally, I'd like to have an ethernet jack in the bedroom without the DSL/Cable modem and two jacks in the living room. This could be done by running CAT5 along the baseboards, but it would be nice to run it in the walls and use wall plates.

    Has anyone had any experience with this? Is it an easy DIYer, and if not, is it expensive? Thanks for your input.
     
  2. Mark Paquette

    Mark Paquette Supporting Actor

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    Chad, have you considered going wireless instead? I've used an 802.11b router in my place for 8 months now and love it.
     
  3. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    Check with your landlord before doing anything. And then consider wireless. Your cable modem or DSL connection will never give you the speed where the bottleneck would be on your end, so 802.11b, which is 11mbit/sec, would be just fine.

    I had thought about wiring my home for ethernet, but wireless made more sense.
     
  4. Kolya

    Kolya Stunt Coordinator

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    Definitely another vote for 802.11b. Especially in an apartment.
     
  5. Chad Ellinger

    Chad Ellinger Second Unit

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    Wireless is a possible solution, but has extra costs associated with it as well (access point, 802.11b PCI cards).

    Are there wireless->ethernet adapters available? That would allow me to connect my PS2 to the internet if I went wireless.
     
  6. Andrew_Cramlet

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    Your situation sounds similar to mine. We have a two bedroom apartment, cable modem, router, and two computers networked together.

    What we did was use existing holes in the walls to run our ethernet cable. Our rooms share a common wall - and when I removed the faceplate of my cable outlet, I could see his closet. Reason being, his closet is where the cable came into our apartment.

    Every apartment will be different, but I would wager that most units will have a similar setup. Since most apartments are wired for cable TV, there is usually a network route already in place.

    If I wanted to get fancy I could have updated the faceplate with a cable + ethernet faceplate. I opted to simply run the ethernet cable behind the loosened faceplate and directly to my computer. Due to the layout of my room, it looks super clean, and people are impressed that we are linked without any visable cables.

    I'd look into something similar before I'd run cable along the floor or spend the extra money on wireless.
     
  7. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    Chad,
    Yes, wireless to ethernet bridge devices are available. They used to be expensive, but now Linksys has come out with one available for about $100. Model WET-11. I plan on using it for the same purpose.
     
  8. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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    Wireless bad, in an apartment. Wireless very bad.
     
  9. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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  10. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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    I just made a few new holes to rewire HTPC and phone access. Some patchwork will be done when I leave. As mentioned, removing existing electrical plates/blocks will give you a feel for the wiring and possible risks. Some places may have radiators with a decent gap from room to room for water pipe runs. There wasn't much of an option in my case, so if I lose my security deposit so be it. Others before me apparently did the same so I figured it was a benefit to me in the long term over excessive cable runs or a more expensive apartment.
    When I had to clean up some of my father's apartment bldg units, I saw much worse than what I've done so I don't feel too guilty. Mopping down walls to get the orange cigarette smoke off is a good deterent. [​IMG]
     
  11. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    If you have or want to put holes then when you move just get some blank faceplates and cover up the holes. Match the color to the walls and it looks like it belongs there.
     
  12. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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  13. Mark Paquette

    Mark Paquette Supporting Actor

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  14. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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    Yeah, what Mark said. We aren't talking about the normal user dealing in company secrets. At the most is web surfing and email. Who cares if someone sees it. If your worried about your web surfing, anything important (online shopping etc) is encrypted at the browser level and then will be encrypted going out into the air again. As far as someone tapping into your connection thats easy enough to stop at the router anyways. Adjust your router to give every machine a static IP. Or limit the number of dhcp hosts that are allowed to the exact number of computers you have. People who constantly harp about the security of wireless don't understand the differences between a home user and an office. Do you really think someone is going to waste their time driving around apartment complexes trying to use peoples cable modems when the better challenge (and easier because there are more of them) is to just drive up and down a row of office buildings picking out the signals there?

    To the original poster, go wireless. Its easy, its relatively fast. Don't let the whole security thing scare you.
     
  15. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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  16. MikeAlletto

    MikeAlletto Cinematographer

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  17. Mark Paquette

    Mark Paquette Supporting Actor

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  18. Dave E H

    Dave E H Supporting Actor

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    IF you're going to go wired, my opinion is just do it, then ask for forgiveness later if the landlord balks. I've lived in apartments a long time, and found that if I asked to do something reasonable when I moved in some place, they were inclined to say no. So, I just did whatever I wanted (and I've done everything from repainting, DSS install, got a dog, etc.) and then dealt with it as problem came up.

    Sure, it's risky, but landlords are always inclined to say no to anything. I am a very good tenant - pay rent on time, take care of my place and have left every place in much better condition than when I moved in. So, I just get a track record of being a good tenant and then if there is a problem down the road, I have a lot of 'karma' to rely on, such as prompt rent payment record for 2 years, etc. They always are much more reasonable & flexible after you've been there a while. I've found that most of the time they really give you trouble about stuff is just a proxy for you being a pain to them or whatever. In the end, for the landlord, good tenants who don't complain much and pay the rent on time are worth their weight in gold.

    YMMV.
     
  19. Shayne Lebrun

    Shayne Lebrun Screenwriter

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    Oh, I do online banking myself. And yes, SSL is quite secure. SSL, however, is a VASTLY different encryption scheme than WEP, even though both are nominally '128 bit.'

    The simple fact of the matter is, though, that its a LOT harder to get onto a physical network to sniff packets than to simply point a can of Pringles at the next apartment over.

    The technology just isn't there yet, in my most humble opinion. :)
     

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