- If you need to make a longer Ethernet cable, we show you all the options we have to achieve it.
- There are many alternatives and devices that, depending on our needs, can be adapted to what we want to achieve.
It is not that we hate Wi-Fi, although we trust a little more in the stability that a Ethernet cable, although sometimes we need to make this longer. Luckily, Ethernet cables can have an optimal signal up to 100 meters. Need more length? Don’t worry, there are ways to do it without losing signal.
Make a longer Ethernet cable
Ethernet cables make use of copper wiring to be able to send a data signal from one end to another. However, the further the electrical signal must travel, the more it is lost. For this reason, Ethernet cables have a maximum length, a longer cable would end up generating a loss of performance or a total loss of connection.
As for the maximum length, the ideal is 100 meters for almost all categories. There are some exceptions such as category 6 (Cat-6) cables that can only support speeds of 10 Gbps up to 55 meters. While it will still work with 100 meter cables, the maximum speed will be 1 Gbps beyond 55 meters. Another example comes with Cat-8 cables that have a maximum length of about 30 meters.
However, we are not limited by these meters. It is also possible to use a network switch and a media converter to be able to overcome the 100 meter barrier.
Best Solution: Network Switches
One way to get around the 100 meter limit is through a network switch. They are generally used to provide additional Ethernet connections to a network, although we can also use them to extend the length.
Standard switches are very simple to use. The only thing we will have to do is connect the incoming Ethernet cable to one port and the outgoing one to another. The only drawback is that we will need to have it connected to the electrical current.
But the positive is that each of the switches can extend the limit of the Ethernet cable to another 100 meters, which means that we could go to a maximum of 200 meters. Although we will have to be sure that the network switch has the same data transfer speed as the Ethernet cable.
A media converter is another device that we can use to extend our Ethernet cable. It usually has two ports: one for Ethernet cable and the other for fiber optics. The device converts the Ethernet signal to a fiber signal at one end and reverses the fiber signal to the Ethernet signal at the other.
We must take into account that multimode fiber cables have a range of about 550 meters and single-mode fibers can travel several kilometers.
To extend a short cable, an Ethernet coupler would be best. It is the easiest way to join two cables and obtain a longer one. It is a device that has two female RJ45 connectors to connect one end of each cable.
The only drawback is that it is only useful when the combined length of the two cables is less than 100 meters. Another thing to clarify is that using several of these devices to join different cables is not a very good idea. The more couplers connected, the greater the possibility of a loss of connection.
Something else that we have to take into account is the type of cable that we are using. It is best to mix cables of the same category. If the cables are shielded, we’ll need to get a shielded coupler.