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Adding network cabling to an existing flat

ThirithThirith Registered User regular
Our internet subscription just got considerably faster at the same price - when I ran the router's speedtest, it told me that we were getting between 900 and 1000 Mbit/s to the router. However, from the router to the PC (via Powerline) we're only getting 10-15% of this.

I'm now wondering whether it would be feasible to add network cabling to our flat, which we're renting. I assume it depends on the existing cable ducts, and I've asked property management whether this would be an option.

My question is this: has anyone here got any experience with adding network cabling to an existing flat or house? Is it a major thing in terms of work and costs?

"Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
Eagles on Pogo Sticks: Musings of a Goofy Beast

Posts

  • EchoEcho Staring is caring Moderator mod
    edited July 17
    Hmm, can the router actually handle gigabit speeds on the LAN side?

    edit: oh, ethernet over powerline. Yeah, I have no experience there.

    Echo on
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  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    edited July 17
    If you can run the cables in the existing ducts then running a few network cables isn't a big job. I'd say it is easily a DIY project if you're a little handy.
    The costs is then only materials meaning the network cables and wall sockets - the later you can even skip if you don't wanna do a permanent installation and instead simply let the cables extend out trough the walls at the end points ie. directly from the router to your PC. You will need a special tool to put the connectors on the network cables if you don't do wall sockets, but those aren't expensive.

    There are some good videos on youtube that tells you more:
    https://youtube.com/results?search_query=diy+network+cabling

    PS. I know nothing about Powerline, but amuse it is network running through the electric cables so I don't know what speed it offers and if that is what limit what you see at your PC. It could also be that your PC's network hardware doesn't support more than the speed you measure, so do check your PC can do 1,000 Mbps and not just 100 Mbps.

    BlindZenDriver on
    Bones heal, glory is forever.
  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    If you can run the cables in the existing ducts then running a few network cables isn't a big job. I'd say it is easily a DIY project if you're a little handy.
    The costs is then only materials meaning the network cables and wall sockets - the later you can even skip if you don't wanna do a permanent installation and instead simply let the cables extend out trough the walls at the end points ie. directly from the router to your PC. You will need a special tool to put the connectors on the network cables if you don't do wall sockets, but those aren't expensive.

    There are some good videos on youtube that tells you more:
    https://youtube.com/results?search_query=diy+network+cabling

    PS. I know nothing about Powerline, but amuse it is network running through the electric cables so I don't know what speed it offers and if that is what limit what you see at your PC. It could also be that your PC's network hardware doesn't support more than the speed you measure, so do check your PC can do 1,000 Mbps and not just 100 Mbps.

    The big question is do you have simple access to where you're going to place the drops? If you can easily run the cable down from, say, having access above the ceiling it's an insanely simple task. If you have to cut lots of holes in drywall and snake cable then it's tougher.

    I strongly recommend you do wall sockets either way unless you're forbidden to, as it's a much easier task to troubleshoot cables.

    What is this I don't even.
  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    I'm definitely not going to do this on my own; I know my own limits. If it's done, it'll definitely be a professional doing it - doubly so since it's a rental flat.

    I have to say I'm still quite amazed by Powerline and how well it generally works, using a system that was designed a long time ago for an entirely different purpose. I expect it's what limits the speed from the router to the PC, as the mainboard allows for 1GBit/s speeds.

    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
    Eagles on Pogo Sticks: Musings of a Goofy Beast
  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Thirith wrote: »
    I'm definitely not going to do this on my own; I know my own limits. If it's done, it'll definitely be a professional doing it - doubly so since it's a rental flat.

    You may want to look into WIFI as an alternative rather than having deal with installation of cables. I haven't gone that route my self so no real experience to speak from, but from what I hear something 3x what you're seeing now should be possible with 802.11ac.

    Also something which might seem almost ludicrous is to consider if you would really benefit from faster internet to your PC. Of course once in a while you may up or download something where the bandwidth in the other end is like limitless, but in my experience that is rare so while the concept of "fast enough" is like almost criminal whit anything computer related it is a thing :P

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    Yeah, it all depends on the overall costs. I want MOAR SPEED, not least to future-proof a flat where I hope we'll stay for years to come, but not if it costs me the equivalent of a new PC.

    As far as Wifi is concerned, how reliable is it these days? Back when I used it regularly on my main PC, it was okay in that respect but not brilliant - and since I use one PC as a dedicated server, I'd definitely want the connection to be as reliable as possible.

    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
    Eagles on Pogo Sticks: Musings of a Goofy Beast
  • Eat it You Nasty Pig.Eat it You Nasty Pig. tell homeland security 'we are the bomb'Registered User regular
    powerline ought to be able to sustain the same speeds as regular ethernet cable, unless something bizarre's going on with your wiring (if your powerline adapters are way old they could also be limiting you)

    if the place has wiring ducts that you can be easily accessed that's a pretty easy job, doable either on your own or by a super or local handyman

    another option to consider if you have carpet is just running a cable along the edge of the room under the carpet. Couple bucks worth of carpet glue and you can be done with that in an hour or two.

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  • DarkewolfeDarkewolfe Registered User regular
    powerline ought to be able to sustain the same speeds as regular ethernet cable, unless something bizarre's going on with your wiring (if your powerline adapters are way old they could also be limiting you)

    if the place has wiring ducts that you can be easily accessed that's a pretty easy job, doable either on your own or by a super or local handyman

    another option to consider if you have carpet is just running a cable along the edge of the room under the carpet. Couple bucks worth of carpet glue and you can be done with that in an hour or two.

    There are several tiers of powerline speed based on technologies, so it's definitely possible it's an older one.

    What is this I don't even.
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  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    edited July 17
    The Powerline adapters theoretically allow for 1200Mbit/s, but in practice this doesn't seem to be the case, at least according to several speed tests over a longer time. The Devolo Cockpit app always lists speeds of ~450Mbit/s, while the router's speed test option gives me results around ~120Mbit/s. Makes it difficult to know what's what.

    Thirith on
    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
    Eagles on Pogo Sticks: Musings of a Goofy Beast
  • ZxerolZxerol Registered User regular
    In practice, you'll probably only get a fraction of your powerline's theoretical maximum, so it's not super surprising.

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  • zepherinzepherin Registered User regular
    Are you going point to point? Or are you wiring your hole apartment. Point to point is annoying but easy, especially if you have vertical space to go over. If you have to go horizontally then it is very time consuming and requires a lot of cutting and pulling. It is still doable. I'd need a floor plan and a picture of the wall you want to wire to and the wall the router is already.

  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    edited July 18
    Thirith wrote: »
    Yeah, it all depends on the overall costs. I want MOAR SPEED, not least to future-proof a flat where I hope we'll stay for years to come, but not if it costs me the equivalent of a new PC.

    As far as Wifi is concerned, how reliable is it these days? Back when I used it regularly on my main PC, it was okay in that respect but not brilliant - and since I use one PC as a dedicated server, I'd definitely want the connection to be as reliable as possible.

    I haven't seen any source be able to push over 100 mbps sustained (for more that a few minutes) that wasn't a private network. It sometimes happens when I download ISOs from MS. Also I can pull it sometimes via usenet, but it gets throttled. I don't Torrent though.

    If your ISP-provided router supports, then I'd suggest using 802.11ac, or requesting from your ISP to upgrade your router to 802.11ac.

    Edit: I have Gig-capable access and an AC wifi router.

    Djeet on
  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    edited July 18
    Zxerol wrote: »
    In practice, you'll probably only get a fraction of your powerline's theoretical maximum, so it's not super surprising.
    Yeah, that's what I would've thought too, but Eat it You Nasty Pig's statement that "powerline ought to be able to sustain the same speeds as regular ethernet cable" threw me a bit.
    zepherin wrote: »
    Are you going point to point? Or are you wiring your hole apartment. Point to point is annoying but easy, especially if you have vertical space to go over. If you have to go horizontally then it is very time consuming and requires a lot of cutting and pulling. It is still doable. I'd need a floor plan and a picture of the wall you want to wire to and the wall the router is already.
    Ideally, what I'd want is to have three rooms connected; the living room, where the router is, and the office and bedroom, where the two PCs are. It wouldn't be me doing it anyway but a professional. Also, depending on where you live I'd imagine that the situation would be pretty different anyway, due to how houses/flats are usually built, how cable canals (is that what they're called in English?) are built into walls and what's actually doable in a rented flat.

    Edit: In the meantime I've received the offer from the electrician. It's more expensive than I'd hoped (though this is Switzerland, so my hopes were probably naive), but not so much so that I'd reject it outright. I'll have to think about it, but most likely I'll go for it.

    Thirith on
    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
    Eagles on Pogo Sticks: Musings of a Goofy Beast
  • FoomyFoomy Registered User regular
    edited July 18
    What sort of baseboard do you have?

    It takes some time to do it carefully but you can usually pry it up a little bit and sneak the cable in behind it.

    You need longer cables then if your running it through cold air returns or between studs, but it is a solution anyone can do without needing a pro to come in.

    Other decent option is some cable raceways, you can either put them down low near the floor and paint them the same colour as the wall, or you can get ones that look like crown molding.

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  • ShadowfireShadowfire Vermont, in the middle of nowhereRegistered User regular
    Zxerol wrote: »
    In practice, you'll probably only get a fraction of your powerline's theoretical maximum, so it's not super surprising.

    This is almost wholly dependent upon the wiring in your home. At my house, I was able to push almost the full 1000 megabits over powerline. Other places are a half or less. It's hit or miss, but for most homes it is more than adequate.

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  • ThirithThirith Registered User regular
    Foomy wrote: »
    It takes some time to do it carefully but you can usually pry it up a little bit and sneak the cable in behind it.
    Me: all thumbs. I once managed to get a new HDD for a PC and, in the process of installing it, both cutting myself and getting blood all over the innards of my computer *and* killing the HDD. And installing HDDs is one of the easiest things to do.

    There are things I'll absolutely do myself. But electrical stuff? I am too ignorant of what needs to be done, too lacking in dexterity to do it right, and fortunately paid well enough at this point to get professionals to do this work. If it was just one or, at a pinch, two of those things, it'd be different, but I know what I'm good at and what I'm... less good at.

    "Nothing is gonna save us forever but a lot of things can save us today." - Night in the Woods
    Eagles on Pogo Sticks: Musings of a Goofy Beast
  • BlindZenDriverBlindZenDriver Registered User regular
    Thirith wrote: »
    Me: all thumbs. I once managed to get a new HDD for a PC and, in the process of installing it, both cutting myself and getting blood all over the innards of my computer *and* killing the HDD. And installing HDDs is one of the easiest things to do.

    There are things I'll absolutely do myself. But electrical stuff? I am too ignorant of what needs to be done, too lacking in dexterity to do it right, and fortunately paid well enough at this point to get professionals to do this work. If it was just one or, at a pinch, two of those things, it'd be different, but I know what I'm good at and what I'm... less good at.

    Ouch!
    It is a clever man that knows his limitations. Much cleverer than he who doesn't and is insisting on doing stuff he should not - the later makes for badly assembled furniture and worse :)

    Since you're expecting to be living at your place for a good while I'd say having a pro do the job seems reasonable, so if the property manager says okay get a estimate from an electrician to be sure it isn't too costly before you go ahead.

    Bones heal, glory is forever.
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