I'm thinking of upgrading the "backbone" of my network, taking a Cat 6 cable from my router (DLINK DIR-655 (has Cat 6 ports)) to a gigabit swith in the tv room (25 m). I have two devices there that uses network (Xbox and tvbox, both of them have Cat 5).

Will my net be downgraded to 100 Mbit/s as the maximum speed, or will I get 1 gigabit/s between my router and switch, and 100 Mbit/s between the tvbox and the Xbox?

From back in the days I have a tool to create my Cat 5 cable (the plug tool thingy). Can I use this for my Cat 6 cables too?

  • 1
    Your network will run as fast as the slowest point in the network!
    – Dave
    Nov 20 '12 at 11:06
  • That would be the internet (10mbit), but my whole network is not running on 10mbit is it? Can't be.
    – Jason94
    Nov 20 '12 at 11:16
  • @Jason94 - only when you communicate with the internet. The internal communications will be faster
    – ChrisF
    Nov 20 '12 at 11:22

Think of your network as a branching chain of links.

Your connection speed for a given device is only as fast as the slowest link back to the WAN (in your case, the ISP modem).

So, for the setup you described, your Xbox will only have 10/100 speeds (Due to the cat 5 being the slowest link) but anything that can path back to the WAN using ONLY cat6 will have gigabit speeds.

Also, you need to factor in the router and switches themselves. if they are on 10/100 ports, anything flowing through that port will be limited to 10/100 speeds.

Personally, I would replace everything shorter than 25 feet with cat5e or cat 6, and anything longer than 25 feet with cat6. This will ensure that everything is running at optimum speeds. (cat5e is gigabit over short distances and slightly cheaper than cat6.)

as to terminating the ends. Yes, cat6 and cat5 both use the same RJ-45 connectors, though the wire order is slightly different. follow this diagram for cat6.

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  • Thanks. But given the scenario: Router(gigabit) <-> switch(gigabit) <-> 1) xbox(100mbit) and 2) pc(gigabit). Will the speed from xbox to router be 100mbit and pc to router be gigabit? or is the pc's speed slowed down by the xbox?
    – Jason94
    Nov 20 '12 at 12:46
  • I that scenario, the Xbox will be 10/100 and everything else is gigabit, since the pcs can get back to the router without having to hop through 10/100 ports. But I'd have to assume all the cables between them are either cat5e or cat6. If you have a cat5 anywhere on the path, then any traffic along that cable will be limited to 10/100. YOU ARE THE WEAKEST LINK! Nov 22 '12 at 9:25

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