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7 November, 2008

why do you need gigabit ethernet

Back in April, I bought one Cat 6 Ethernet cable (category 6) that connects my iMac (24-inch, late 2006 model) to my wireless and gigabit Ethernet routher - Time Capsule (1TB model). Man, accessing files on a remote hdd/computer with gigabit (1Gbit/s or 1000Mbit/s) was so fast!
Then, I decided to convert my home wireless network from Wireless Distribution System (WDS) to roaming network, I bought more Cat 6 Ethernet cables to achieve the task.

Last Saturday, I was in Jassica's house helping her configuring her Mac (the Power Mac G4 she bought from me in early 2007), setting up wireless network (two AirPort Express base stations for internet and iTunes music streaming) and transferring her music back from a Toshiba Satellite L30 laptop.

Jessica has a rather huge section of her music library (all either CDs she owned or purchased from iTunes Store) on Nerida's laptop. Those music needs to be consolidated back to her Power Mac G4. We did not have a USB 2 Flash drive, and was too lazy to burn them into DVDs. I used the old fashioned solution, connecting the Toshiba laptop to an ADSL2 router/modem. (Her Power Mac G4 is connected to the same router/modem.)

The result: transferring 8GB of music from a laptop to a Mac via 100Mbps speed takes hours! The time could be shortened to few minutes if gigabit ethernet port was available on Toshiba laptop. The Power Mac G4 has gigabit port built-in.

In wireless networking, Wireless Distribution System (WDS) means you have two or more base stations, and each base stations connects to each other wirelessly. This setup is easy, but you don't get the best wireless speed due to WDS itself needs to communicate between each base station. To get the best possible network speed possible, you will need to get wired and preferably gigabit ethernet. And if you also want to have a full wireless coverage in your house, you will need more than one wireless base station, and connects each base station with ethernet cable. Then you create a roaming network.

With roaming network, when you carry your MacBook Pro or iPod touch or iPhone or even a PSP from one room to another room, you will stay on the same wireless network without interrupting (assuming two wireless base stations cover the entire path). The wireless connection will automatically switch from the first base station to the next base station as you walk closer to the second one.

Just some additional information to Don, Jessica is not an extremist, she does not demand music ripped at highest bitrate or lossless format. The AAC format works very well for her.

related blog entries:
more cat.6 and Gaffa tape (16 August, 2008)
I got my a cat 6, finally (17 April, 2008)
Time Capsule (1TB) has arrived (4 April, 2008)
AirPort Extreme Base Station (8 December, 2007)

Posted by Antony on 7 November 2008 9:01 PM | Mac hardware, all things Mac, gadget, non-Apple hardware

more November 2008 blogs. (or 2008 blogs)
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comments
I have no idea what you are talking about, but I need a wireless system to get reception on my bedroom flat panel. The existing cable is now refusing to give several channels. If you get out of your "blue funk", I would appreciate some advice.
Posted by Rev. Dr. Wu Yi on 7 November 2008 9:50 PM.
Rev. Dr. Wu Yi, I used to have similar reception problems with my TV. To Antony's great dismay I simply placed my antenna in the space between the window and the windowsill, and used some cable I got from work (to Antony: for free) to connect it to my TV (to Antony: I still use a cheap old 17" CRT monitor I got for free as a TV, not a huge/fancy flat-panel like the rest of you guys).


Antony, I remember when I switched from 10mbps to 100mbps for making backups. Those used to take overnight, over the course of a couple of hours. Now they can usually be completed both ways in about an hour. Gigabit for me would be rather pointless, though: I back up my music, pictures, and videos to an Xbox, which doesn't have gigabit support (realistic transfers to it are 70mbps), and the rest of the files are all transferred to a machine that can't manage to break 30mbps. And unlike you, my Internet connection is still under 10mbps.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 8 November 2008 1:56 AM.
Don, I have a splitter from my neighbour's antenna in co-ax to my main 42" flat panel in my kitchen/living/media room ( LOL ). I then run a co-ax from a splitter off that set to the 26" flat panel in my bedroom (poked under the skirting board up the hallway, not unlike Antony's "gaffer tape effort" ).
This worked well originally, but now it has become unhappy recently, resulting in loss of signal.
I really should be putting the co-ax up the cavity wall to the roof space and not along the floor surface, and split up there.
However, I hate being in the roof space for fear of falling through the plaster ceilings!
There must be other alternatives I suspect.
Posted by Rev. Dr. Wu Yi on 8 November 2008 11:24 AM.
to Don: I'd like to remind you that I don't get over 10mbps on my internet connection either.
Posted by Antony Shen on 8 November 2008 12:59 PM.
I've got something similar done with my phone and Ethernet cables, except they come up the stairs from the basement instead of coming down from the roof. (Unlike Antony, not everybody has/had cordless phones and Wi-Fi.) The difference is that I didn't take any steps to hide them; the tension of being hung over a couple of door frames is enough to support them being hung.


In the meantime, you might want to check out your splitter. I use a splitter to share the same antenna between a radio and the TV tuner. I found out after I got the splitter and the antenna (Antony: "f"-"r"-"e"-"e") that there were high- and low-loss (-7db and -3.5db) outputs, and that I could hook the TV tuner up to -3.5db and get a higher-quality picture, with minimal change in the quality of FM stations. That was when I was still using analog TV, but I'd assume it would result in a higher signal strength for digital too.


Antony, you are rated for 24mbps, even if you get ten or less. I'm only rated for six and usually get closer to two, which even the old 802.11 legacy spec can handle.
Posted by Don_HH2K on 8 November 2008 1:32 PM.
For starters, 1 gigabit of Ethernet isn't as fast as many people think it is compared to 100 megabit Ethernet. Many people get confused and think 1 gigabit is 1 gigabyte but it isn't, they are two entirely diff things. 1 gigabit Ethernet theoretically maxes out at 125 megabytes, while 100 megabit Ethernet theoretically maxes out at 100 megabytes. Furthermore, it also depends upon your hardware. If you're running a single spindle SATA/IDE hard drive without RAID it's only pushing out on avg a maximum of 65 megabytes in which is about how fast you are only going to be able to transfer files through a LAN Ethernet connection. Even with SATA RAID configured you will only be transferring a maximum of 85 megabytes, which still hits below even the theoretical maximum of 100 megabit Ethernet. Most pc users won't even notice a diff between either 1 gigabit Ethernet or 100 megabit Ethernet when transferring files, because most pc users don't' have the hardware to take advantage of that high of Ethernet throughput speeds in the first place.
Posted by SteelCity1981 on 24 November 2009 4:26 PM.
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Posted by Foot Conditions on 2 August 2015 1:47 PM.
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