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Safe distance for Ethernet at 100 Mbps over Cat5e

"What is considered a safe distance for Ethernet at 100 Mbps over Cat5e?" Our infrastructure expert, Carrie Higbie, answers this question in this Q&A.

What is considered a safe distance for Ethernet at 100 Mbps over Cat5e? I hoped for 100 meters, but that gets up to 50% data loss. Is there a superior cable type that can tolerate greater ranges?
100 meters is the maximum channel distance. That said, if it is not properly installed then you will not be able to achieve the full 100 meters. The distance is inclusive of patch cords. Also it is based on a four connector model (meaning that there are no more than four connections or breaks in the entire channel). If you are getting 50% loss it could either be that you have purchased some inferior cable, or it has been improperly installed. Have you tested the cable? If so, send me the test report and I will be happy to look at it for you.
This was last published in December 2006

Dig Deeper on Network Infrastructure

10 gigabit Ethernet offers opportunities for VARs and integrators The current economic climate has limited customer spending to projects that demonstrate measureable savings. 10 GbE makes possible reducing the number of ports and switches required, thereby simplifying the task of combining multiple small data centers into large data centers. Building effective consolidated data centers requires a careful analysis of requirements and a detailed understanding of network interface, switch and cabling technology. Working with customers as they plan and implement a combined data center provides multiple opportunities for VARs and integrators to provide services and sell equipment. This guide provides an overview of the issues involved in selecting equipment and upgrading customer network infrastructure to support the use of 10 GbE in a consolidated data center.

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