Networking, Media Servers & Content Streaming > Cat5E Wall Plates Connecting at really slow speeds
justinbkerr's Avatar justinbkerr 12:00 PM 12-31-2010
Hey Everyone, i've got a really odd networking problem.
I purchased a new home with CAT5E installed throughout the house, and the keystone wall jacks were installed prior to moving in.

Here is my issue:

On two of my wall plates the maximum speed I can get between a gigabit switch and a gigabit ethernet ready laptop is 100Mb.

On one of my wall plates it only works with one of my switches (my D-Link router won't even connect), and connects at a mere 10MB. Every single device, switch, and router on my network is Gigabit at Cat5E, and I can't figure out why devices are connecting so much slower.


1.) I removed the wall plate and varified the wires were settled in the jack, the person who did it used A (not b for wiring on both ends).
2.) The cable is Cat5E
3.) I noticed that some of the strands that are exposed have some minor damage to the shielding. I would consider these cuts small, but perhaps worth mentioning.


Any ideas why my fully gigabit network would be having so much trouble with these wall jacks?

Thanks in advance for your time.

98_1LE's Avatar 98_1LE 01:03 PM 12-31-2010
How much wire is out of the twisted pairs before the keystone? It should be the minimum.

Are the interfaces coming up gigabit or 100Mb?

You do know the difference between MB/s mbps, right?

And to make sure, are your source and destinations fast enough to read/write at the speeds of your network?

The one connecting at 10MB is missing one or two pairs (probably two). They probably aren't making contact.

I would probably replace all the keystones and make sure they are done right.
justinbkerr's Avatar justinbkerr 02:04 PM 12-31-2010
Yes I know we are talking bits not bytes.
I'm using the network utility on my Mac which tells me the link speed, and verified this with a second Windows 7 laptop by double clicking on the network adapter.

As for exposed cable there is 1.5 inches of exposed cable before it reaches the keystone.
jmpage2's Avatar jmpage2 02:05 PM 12-31-2010
I had this problem on one of my pre-wired CAT5 runs. I simply pulled some of the slack out of the line and re-terminated the connection onto a fresh keystone jack. However I do this stuff all the time so really no big deal.

There should be a warranty on this and the installer should have tested all of the runs with a cable tester that not only tests for continuity but also does speed tests.

If there is a single link in the CAT5e chain, where a non cat5 rated component was used (at a wall field, etc) then it is entirely possible that is the reason you are not getting full speeds. Also it is worth noting that the transceivers in all gigabit home switches are not created the same so a different model gigabit switch might have more success.

Bottom line, get the installer out there to fix it, or, purchase a punchdown tool and some additional keystone jacks as well as a cheap cable tester and fix it yourself, it's not too difficult to do.
justinbkerr's Avatar justinbkerr 07:43 AM 01-27-2011
I tried installing new jacks and while I was able to improve the connection from 10Mbps to 100Mbps, this still isn't the 1000Mbps I was looking for.

As a result I had the builders contractor come back and he tested the continuity, said everything was fine, and that Cat5e is only rated for 100Mbps and left.

He had no tool to check the connection speeds and even though I proved to him using other cables Cat5e that Gigabit is possible, he shrugged and walked out.

Am I right to assume that a damaged cable run somewhere in the wall might still give continuity on a tester, but introduce noise that could be impacting the connection speed?

Very frustrating.
jmpage2's Avatar jmpage2 08:05 AM 01-27-2011
It's not necessarily a problem with a broken wire on the wire run. Usually problems like this are related to termination, or termination using non cat5e components. If there is too much wire untwisted at a termination point, that can immediately ratchet the speed back from gigabit to 100M.

It also depends on the quality of the components being used. You should try at least one other NIC/switch combination to see if you can get gigabit out of it.

Worst case, hire a better wiring contractor who has an actual speed tester that they can put on the wire run. These devices will run data transmission tests on the line and show you what is going on.

And, that guy is an idiot, cat5e fully supports gigabit assuming all termination is done properly, etc.
aaronwt's Avatar aaronwt 04:57 PM 01-27-2011
Are you sure the building contractor did not break out two pairs to split to another jack? They are notorious for doing this. I can't count the number of people I've run into that got a new house and had the building contractor do the wiring. They'll take the cat5e cable and use only two pairs per jack and have one for the phone and the other for data. Of course this is no issue with 100mbps, but to run at gigabit speeds you need to use all four pairs. The builders usually get away with it since most people aren't running gigabit so they don't find out until some point later.
jmpage2's Avatar jmpage2 05:02 PM 01-27-2011
Even a basic continuity tester should work for testing all four pairs end to end between wall plates.
aaronwt's Avatar aaronwt 07:05 PM 01-27-2011
Originally Posted by jmpage2 View Post

Even a basic continuity tester should work for testing all four pairs end to end between wall plates.

Here is a cheap one on Amazon for around $6.

I got one last year to keep in my car as a backup. It does work but it's not really very sturdy like the $100 tester I have or even the $30 one. But for occassional use it's worth it.
replayrob's Avatar replayrob 10:22 AM 01-28-2011
You didn't mention what's at the other end of your cable runs... do they terminate at a patch panel?
If so- maybe just a bad punchdown job at that end (or at the keystone jacks at the wallplate). If you have a punchdown tool (if not buy one- they're invaluable!) gently pull out the existing connection- pull another inch through- seat and repunch. Make sure not to untwist the twisted pairs any more then necessary.
frodiggs's Avatar frodiggs 07:15 PM 02-08-2011
solid is better for runs vs twisted pair btw.

are you testing bet two computers and removing the HD from the equation?
jmpage2's Avatar jmpage2 07:23 PM 02-08-2011
I think you mean solid vs stranded. All twisted pair cable is twisted.
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