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I currently have a wired 100 mbps network in my house. The wiring runs around in every room. I was thinking of upgrading to a gigabit network, since most of my comouters and router have gigabit ports.

So my question is, do i need to change the wiring to achieve gigabit connections or is it just a matter of having gigabit ports on the devices ?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

If you have Cat 5e wiring, you won't need to upgrade your wiring. Most installations done in the past 5 years should be ok but you'll have to examine or test your cable to know for sure.

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How can test the cable and find out ? – ace Dec 10 '10 at 2:51
@ace: There's no easy way to test other than putting gigabit devices on both ends and seeing if they decide to use gigabit. It should be printed on the cable jacket itself. – Billy ONeal Dec 10 '10 at 4:14
I did just that..hooked up the router and my laptop..both connect a 1gbps..woila! – ace Dec 11 '10 at 5:04
Cable testers are available, but good ones are expensive. The "hook it up and see what happens" method is reliable enough at home and cheapest. Glad it worked for you. – afrazier Dec 11 '10 at 21:21

If you're running 100BASE-TX in your house then you have at least Cat5 cable, which is perfectly sufficient for 1000BASE-T.

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Depends on the wire you used and the connectors and how clean your wiring is. Gigabit most of the time uses all wire pairs - so if you wired correctly and wired all the pairs instead of just the 1-2, 3-6 pairs as some do then check the wire specs - Cat 5e or Cat 6. Next is the connectors - did you wire crimp carefully? Cat 5 100base can be a little messy, but the technical spec for Gig Cat 6 say that you can't untwist more than a quarter inch and that you must maintain the jacket and not seperate the pairs as much as possible. The jacks should be Cat6 rated and the patch cables as well.

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Gigabit Ethernet always uses all pairs, not most of the time... all of the time. In addition, Gigabit Ethernet will operate just fine on Cat5 cable. – joeqwerty Dec 10 '10 at 4:04
While it may be recommended to use Cat5e or Cat6, it will work with Cat5. However, anything that goes wrong, could knock it back down to 100Mbps. So keep it away from power, flourescent lights, any other EMI. – Mike Christiansen Sep 24 '12 at 12:44

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