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Making Your Own Networking Cable

"Buying pre-crimped, ready-made cable for a home or office can be quite expensive..."

Buying pre-crimped, ready-made cable for a home or office can be quite expensive, and hiring somebody to do the wiring will cost even more. For those of us who are on a budget (and who isn't?), there is a simple way to make your own networking cable. Requiring a little skill, and a few inexpensive tools you can be making your own cable in no time. Keep in mind that I'm talking about places that need over 100+ feet of cable, there's no sense in making just a few feet of cable and going out and buying all of these tools.

What you will need

  • Category 5 network cable
  • Category 5 RJ-45 connectors
  • RJ-45 Crimping Device
  • RJ-45 Loop Back Tester (optional)

Category 5 network cable

This cable can be bought from many different places in spindles ranging from 50-5000 feet depending on the job you are doing. At a local Radioshack one can buy a spindle of 100 feet for just about $25, you'll pay a little more than that ($30-$40) for 50 feet already crimped, so why not do it yourself to get the exact size you want?

Keep in mind that there are a number of different types of cable one can use for networking. The most common for an Ethernet network (what you'll most likely use) is cat5 cable. There are a number of different specifications of cables out there as well as classified by the Electronics Industry Association (EIA), take note:

CAT 1&2: Less than 10mbps (classic telephone wire)
CAT 3: Data speeds of up to 16 mbps
CAT 4:
Data speeds of up to 20 mbps
CAT 5:
Data speeds of up to 100 mbps (what you should use)
CAT 5 Enhanced: Data speeds of up to 200 mbps
CAT 6:
Data speeds of up to 600 mbps

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