How Long Can an Ethernet Cable Be?

how long can an ethernet cable be


 There are several different versions of Ethernet cable but all have a maximum distance of 100 meters (328 feet). It should be noted that the Cat7 cable has more severe distance limits than the Cat5e Cat6 and Cat6a. 


Cat7 is advertised for its 100 Gbps speed but it will only work for distances of up to 15 meters (slightly more than 49 meters). Beyond that, it goes down to the same 10 Gbps speeds of Cat6 and Cat6a cable (though it still maintains the excellent bandwidth of 850 MHz).


Network cables are amazing but they are not perfect. There is a limit to how long these small thin wires will last even if you pay for the best possible wires.


Traditionally this limit is recorded at 100 meters (328 feet), but this number can be lower depending on some factors such as how the ethernet lan cable is manufactured and the electric fields on which the cable needs to pass. 


On the other hand, I have seen people running Ethernet with reckless abandonment and I am sure they have been given more than 500 meters of wheelbarrow. Still, it is good to stick with recommended lengths if you want a nice stable system.


What Can You Do beyond 100 Meters Ethernet Cable?

If you choose to stick with a wired solution you can switch to Ethernet over Fiber (100-Base-FX). This solution allows you to replace the regular "category" cables with fibers for long runs. 

The maximum recommended run is 400 meters (about 1600 feet) so if you run the longest "category" cable followed by the longest possible fiber wire lan cable and the longest possible "category" cable on the other side it gives you the ability to walk 600 meters About 2400 feet. 


That should be enough in most cases. Solid Signal has a wide selection of 100BaseFX products that make it easy to connect your wired network cable over long distances.


It is just as easy to work with fiber as a regular ethernet lan cable but requires special skills and a lot of expensive tools. Therefore if you do not need a lot of long runs it is probably best that you find a contractor who will do this part in the wiring.


Going Even Further

If you need to go further you can use something like Ubiquiti's LOCOM5 Nano stations that make it easy to connect two points up to 15000 meters (over 9 miles) as long as they can see each other. They are an inexpensive way to replace Ethernet lan cable over long runs. 


Using Nano stations makes it easy to connect two buildings at reasonable distances without burying wires. Technically this is not an Ethernet solution just as Wi-Fi is not technically Ethernet. But this kind of distinction is more for engineers than for other people.


Why Would Anyone Go Wired?

I can hear you say "If wireless is so easy and cheap why would anyone use a wired connection?" Good question. The wired technology was first and as such it was more expensive than the beginning. And more importantly however safe fibers. 


You can bury it and put the transceivers that attach from copper to the fiber in locked cabinets. That does not mean it is completely resistant to burglary. 

However, it is much harder to break into a wired signal than a cordless one. If your bag is absolute security you should use fiber.


Wired technology also works in areas where there are many RF interference. Wi-Fi range can be reduced in office situations. Offices use aluminum studs and there are usually a lot of cables in the walls. It can really limit the Wi-Fi range for those who need it.


Either way, however, the limitations of simple copper Ethernet cable should not touch you because Solid Signal has easy ways to expand your network as much as you need it.

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