Sunday, September 25, 2022
Home SCIENCE How to make an Ethernet cable even longer

How to make an Ethernet cable even longer

John99/Shutterstock.com

Looking to extend your existing Ethernet cable or want to avoid the maximum length limit without sacrificing performance? You’ll be glad to know that there are several ways to lengthen an Ethernet cable.

Maximum length of an Ethernet cable

Standard Ethernet cables use copper wiring to send a data signal from one end to the other. But the further an electrical signal travels, the more it degrades. As a result, all Ethernet cables have a maximum length, beyond which you risk mediocre performance or loss of the connection altogether.

The maximum length is set at 100 meters for almost all categories of Ethernet cables, with a few exceptions. For example, category 6 (Cat-6) cables can only support 10 Gbps speeds for about 55 meters. They’ll still work up to 100 meters, but you’ll only get 1Gbps speeds beyond the 55-meter mark. Similarly, Cat-8 cables have a maximum length of just 30 meters.

But you are not limited by these length limits. You can use devices like a network switch and media converter to go beyond 100 meters in length.

Network switches: powerful and reliable

StarTech.com Network Switch
StarTech.com

a network switch it is one of the best and most reliable ways to join Ethernet cables or avoid the 100 meter length limit. Although switches are primarily used to provide additional Ethernet connections on a network, you can also use them to extend the length of a cable as they regenerate the data signal.

Consumer grade network switches are very simple to operate. Simply plug the incoming Ethernet cable into one port and the outgoing cable into another. The only downside is that a switch needs a power source, so you’ll need a power outlet where you install it.

With each switch, you can extend the length of an Ethernet cable to its maximum limit, which, as mentioned, is 100 meters in most cases. So with just one switch, you can have a 200 meter long Ethernet connection. However, you need to make sure that the network switch has the same data transfer speed as your Ethernet cables.

network switch

Netgear GS110MX

The Netgear GS110MX is an unmanaged network switch ideal for extending Cat-6 Ethernet cables beyond its 55 meter length for 10Gbps speeds.

Media Converters: Going the Distance

Another device that you can use to extend your Ethernet connection is a media converter. It usually has two ports: one for Ethernet cable and one for fiber optic cable. 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.

An Ethernet over fiber media converter it is very useful for extending an Ethernet connection over long distances. Multimode fiber cables have a reach of about 550 meters, and single-mode fibers can travel many kilometers.

media converter

Ethernet Couplers – Best for Small Projects

While network switches and media converters are great for getting around the 100-meter limit, an Ethernet coupler is all you need if you just want to extend a short cable. It’s one of the easiest ways to join two Ethernet cables together and get a longer cable overall. As the name suggests, an Ethernet coupler is a simple device with two female RJ45 connectors to connect one end of each cable.

Unfortunately, a coupler is only useful when the combined length of both Ethernet cables is less than 100 meters. You risk performance degradation or complete loss of connection if you exceed 100 meters.

Although you can use more than one Ethernet coupler to join several short Ethernet cables together, it is not a good idea. As the number of couplers in an Ethernet connection increases, there is a greater chance of failure or loss of speed.

Another crucial detail to remember before choosing an Ethernet coupler is the type of cables you are joining. It is best to mix Ethernet cables of the same category. Also, if the cables are shielded, you should get a shielded coupler. Otherwise, you will face performance issues due to loss of protection.

ethernet coupler


Everyone’s network requirements are different, and sometimes you may have to run an Ethernet connection over 100 meters. In such cases, it will be a good idea to opt for a network switch or media converter to get a secure and reliable connection. Or, if you just need to extend a relatively short cable, you can always use an Ethernet coupler.

RELATED: What tools do you need to connect your home to Ethernet?


RELATED ARTICLES

American spy satellite launched into orbit from California

VANDENBERG SPACE FORCE BASE, Calif. (AP) — A classified U.S. National Reconnaissance Office satellite was launched into orbit Saturday aboard a United Launch...

Creating the ultimate virtual reality display | Sciences

Scientists are exploring new material designs to make smaller, denser pixel displays.

Why you should buy a hybrid car instead of an electric one

otomobil/Shutterstock.com Are you in the market for a new car? Gas prices are high and electric cars can be expensive, but there's good news:...

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Finnish Katja Gauriloff on making the first Skolt Sami language film

Finnish director Katja Gauriloff won first prize this week at the Danish Film Affair's works-in-progress exhibition for “Je'vida,” an intimate historical drama that is...

Actor Ryan Grantham sentenced to life in prison for killing his mother

Actor Ryan Grantham has been sentenced to life in prison after pleading guilty to the second-degree murder of his mother Barbara Waite in 2020....