LAN cable Extension connector

April 5, 2016
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In a networked home or business environment, it may be necessary to extend a LAN (Local Area Network) cable from time to time. The methods and options to achieve this can vary based on factors like the total distance involved, the type (architecture) of the LAN, and more. However, since Ethernet is undoubtedly the most popular and widely used type of LAN today (having widely replaced alternatives like ArcNet), the terms LAN and Ethernet are now considered synonymous and will be used interchangeably for the purpose of this article.

Extending a LAN Cable Within a Total Distance of 90 Meters

Theoretically, the maximum length of a single Ethernet cable can be approximately 90 meters (300 feet). If the total required cable length (after extension) is within this limit, there is a very easy and inexpensive way to achieve the extension.

Items Required

  • Pick up the cable by the (only) remaining free end and run it over to the PC/device that needs to be networked
  • Fix the free end to the Ethernet port of the PC/device

Step-by-Step Method

The extended cable should now provide the desired LAN connectivity.

Additional Considerations

According to some observations and experiences, the method of extending LAN cables with a coupler as described above can be somewhat unreliable at times. The main reason for this is the quality of the coupler used. Poor quality couplers may not provide reliable connection between the two cables which may lead to network connectivity problems with varying amounts of intensity and frequency. In order to avoid the possibility of such problems, only high quality, gold plated couplers should be used. Another alternative would be to use a single cable of the required length, thereby eliminating the use of a coupler altogether.

Extending a LAN Cable to a Total Distance of Over 90 Meters

As mentioned above, the maximum limit of 90 meters for an Ethernet cable is a theoretical one and, in some cases, it could work for distances over 90 meters as well. In case of such a requirement, a quick trial with the method described above can help determine if the desired extension can be achieved using the same method. If this fails to work, the next easiest option is as follows.

  • Two Ethernet cables (with RJ-45 connectors at each end) with a total length slightly (a few inches) more than the total required length
  • One 5-port Ethernet switch (a 4-port switch can also be used but it is generally observed that 5-port switches are available more easily and abundantly, and at more or less similar prices)
  • Run one of the LAN cables from the existing switch/router to as far as it can reach
  • Place the 5-port switch at or near this location (where the length of the cable from the step above runs out) and power it up
  • Fit the free end of the cable to any one of the LAN ports of the switch
  • Fit one end of the second cable to any one of the remaining 4 LAN ports of the switch
  • Fit the free end of the second cable to the Ethernet port of the PC/device

The desired LAN connectivity should now be available. It should be noted that 3 free LAN ports would be left available on the 5-port switch (2 free ports in case of a 4-port switch) after implementing the above method. These free ports can be utilized to connect more PCs or other devices to the same LAN.

How to Buy LAN Cables and Accessories on eBay

It is very quick and easy to buy Ethernet LAN cables, switches, and all related accessories at eBay. Just type 'LAN cable' in the eBay search bar and a keyword suggestion box will drop down, showing various choices like LAN cable 25 feet, LAN cable 50 feet, etc. Click the keyword with the desired length to find multiple listings. Similarly, all other LAN accessories such as couplers, routers, switches, connectors, and crimping tools can also be found via the search bar. All initial search results can be further narrowed-down using various options and choices available in the left-hand sidebar. Alternatively, it is also possible to find such items by navigating from the eBay home page to the Electronics > Computers and Tablets category and then clicking the Networking and Connectivity from the left-side menu. Before making a purchase, always remember to look at the seller's rating and history.

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