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I moved into a home that has Ethernet cables in the walls and all my computer's are gigabyte Ethernet ports, same as my router and the cables I use to connect my PC to the Ethernet ports in the wall, however the Ethernet cables used to wire the home are not accessible from the home

How do I run a test of some kind, or do something to be able to find out what the Ethernet cable is, cat5 or 5e or cat6? Is there any equipment or anything I can do to figure out what kind of cable was used to do the Ethernet wiring in the home before I moved here? I can't figure out the cables in the walls are even capable of doing more then 100mb and my internet speed is 1GB And I have 9 computer's wired thru the internet eternet wiring of the home by plugging the computers into the Ethernet ports in the wall of the home (they all go to one central location where the router is)

Pls help, I want to clearly find out what type of Ethernet the home is wired with, and if I'm even able to use the full 1GB if my home is wired with old Cat5 cables that can't handle the full 1gb internet speed I'm paying for

Please help!

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    There are a number of companies that make cable testers that will accomplish this. Fluke is one of the best known flukenetworks.com/content/… It may be less expensive to hire a contractor to perform the tests. – Dave M Aug 31 '18 at 11:48
  • Do you mean 1 Gbps, or are you saying that your ISP provided speed is 10 Gbps (1 GB/s)? The difference between 'b' and 'B' is 8x–10x. – user1686 Aug 31 '18 at 13:07
  • It's the Spectrum 940mb for $120 a month, it's considered a 1GB cable connection, but I think my cables might be Cat5 10/100 so I want to figure out how to test it, what product can I buy to test the cables, can anyone recommend a method of brand / model # of what I can buy? – Davis Smith Sep 1 '18 at 7:08
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Here are some physical differences :

  • The cable type is usually printed very small all along its length, so you might try pulling them out if there is slack, unscrewing the jack if possible.
  • Cat6 is 24 gauge instead of 22 so will look larger.
  • RJ45 connectors on Cat6 are shielded with metal while Cat5 are transparent.
  • Cat5/5e/6/6a cables are round and smooth while cat3 is likely lumpy and often with kinks or non-smooth radius bends.
  • The number of twists in the green pair is same as the orange and blue pairs for cat5e, but same as the brown pair for cat5.

If this is not enough to identify the cables, you might post here some photos. You might also possibly have cables of different type along the chain. I believe cat 6 is really needed for gigabyte.

  • Cat 6 (like Cat 5e) can come in shielded and unshielded varieties. Cat 6 is usually made with 24 AWG or 23 AWG conductors, but its overall diameter is often larger than Cat 5e. Cat 5e and Cat 5 that I have experience with has variations in lay length for all pairs. The best way to determine the actual performance is to connect it and see the negotiated speed. – davidmneedham Aug 31 '18 at 15:53
  • It's the Spectrum 940mb for $120 a month, it's considered a 1GB cable connection, but I think my cables might be Cat5 10/100 so I want to figure out how to test it, what product can I buy to test the cables, can anyone recommend a method of brand / model # of what I can buy? How do I test the speeds and figure out what cable it is if there is no other way, I'd prefer a simple easy method if I can buy something to help me do that – Davis Smith Sep 1 '18 at 7:08
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    You could just hook up gigabit interfaces at both ends and use a program such as iperf to measure the speeds. No special equipment required. – harrymc Sep 1 '18 at 7:17
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If the cable runs 100BASE-TX it'll most likely run 1000BASE-T as well.

The cable requirements for both are the same - Cat-5e. However, 1000BASE-T requires all four pairs to work while 100BASE-TX uses just two - so if there's "economy" cabling you're out of luck. Additionally, if the cable's barely working with 100BASE-TX (Cat-3 over short distance), gigabit won't work.

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