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What is the maximum length of a cable in a local LAN set up?

What is the maximum length of a cable in a local LAN set up?

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The Cat-5 Ethernet specification dictates that the maximum length a CAT-5 cable can have is 100 meters. In the case you require a cable longer than 100 meters, you need to install a simple repeater I.E. a hub, or a switch, which will allow you to extend the total length.

You should also be aware that there is a specific rule for such situations, it's mostly known as the 5-4-3 rule which dictates that you can have a maximum of 5 segments with 4 repeaters, of which 3 segments are allowed to be populated.

The below diagram will help you understand this better:

Seg1---R---Seg2---R---Seg3---R----Seg4---R---Seg5
|                      |                     |
PC                     PC                   PC

Here you can see there are 5 segments, which are connected via 4 repeaters (R) and there are only 3 segments populated, Seg1, 3 and 5.

This was first published in July 2003

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