… include wireless routers for your portable devices, but cable is always going to be far superior for data-intensive tasks – like streaming TV & Movies.
Also remember that your telephone service is also going to be replaced by the NBN infrastructure – another reason to ensure you have ethernet cable where you need it.
But isn’t wireless technology improving?
It certainly is & the theoretical speeds coming out of manufacturer’s labs are impressive – but the real-life speeds are always a lot lower for a host of reasons – Physical Obstacles, Limited Frequency availability, Interference from competing networks & devices …
Plus the BIG drawback. WiFi Bandwidth is shared between all of your devices.
A wired connection is always going to be superior to wireless – so it makes sense to cable your house as it’s being built or renovated
– if you install Cat 6 or the new standard Cat 6a you should be able to achieve reliable speeds of 1000BASE-T/1000BASE-TX (Gigabit Ethernet), and 10GBASE-T (10-Gigabit Ethernet) throughout your home.
Of course wireless is still suitable for your smart phones & tablets, but put the wireless gateway in the areas where it is likely to be used.
But be aware …
The reason for this primarily is your network needs to meet certain conditions to ensure safety, reliability and operational integrity.
Just as your electrical, gas & plumbing needs to be installed by licensed and trained specialists, so too does your communication network. Standards such as the distance between electrical & data conductors, installation into ‘wet areas’ are there to ensure your safety & that of any future contractors.
Quoting the ACMA:
Cabling work must comply with the industry standard AS/CA S009:2013 Installation requirements for customer cabling (wiring rules). The wiring rules detail the minimum requirements for cabling installations to ensure that network integrity and the health and safety of end-users, other cablers and carrier personnel is protected.
We’ll cover this further in a later post, but at a minimum you should install Cat 5 cable – Cat 6 or Cat 6a is preferable and not too expensive. (Be wary of cable sold as Cat 6e … this is not a recognised standard & is probably over-priced Cat 6)
You’ll need a patch-panel, network switch, Cat 6 patch cables & ideally a mounted cabinet & Back-up Power (UPS).
Tucked away in the Garage, Laundry or a vented cupboard, your installation does not have to look ugly and, designed properly, can cover your communication & entertainment needs for decades to come.
The most important point to remember is it is FAR cheaper to install the cable before plaster or wall coverings are completed – even if you don’t need it now, the network cables will be installed correctly for when you need them later.