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When I connect ten computers over a 100 meters (328ft) UTP Cat5, is the signal loss so large that it will affect my network performance? These computers perform simple office tasks, and the 100m utp is a temporary solution.

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Keep them away from any high power lines or anything to do with radio. You should be fine. –  Chris S Jul 19 '10 at 19:20
    
If the cable's good and there's no radio/power interference (as Chris said), it Should work. But you may have performance/noise issues. You said it's temporary...just need to make sure it stays temporary and doesn't become permanent. Otherwise you'll need another switch or device to bridge the distance. But this is if you only extend it a reasonable distance over 100M, not 150 or 200 meters. Otherwise, create a backbone and use a couple switches. –  Bart Silverstrim Jul 19 '10 at 19:35

3 Answers 3

UTP cable does not have a maximum length.

However, the protocol that runs over UTP has a maximum length for performance and technical reasons (such as collision detection in Ethernet).

You're probably talking about Ethernet, and the maximum end-to-end cable length in Ethernet (at least for 100Base-TX, 1000Base-T and 10GBase-T) is 100M.

Assuming you're running full-duplex, you're withing spec (and hence should be fine) as long as no switch-switch or switch-host connection exceeds 100M.

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You can run into problems with resistance on distances that start approaching 110-120 metres, especially if there are patch panels involved. Worth a try, but I'd suggest having a simple hub or switch on standby, if it doesn't work. –  Vatine Jul 21 '10 at 11:24

I have used 100M + 100M Cat5 cables connected through a simple network hub.

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A hub can work as a repeater to get longer lengths. Of course you need power for the hub, which is potentially a problem depending on the application. –  Chris S Jul 19 '10 at 19:20

Maximum cable length in Ethernet networks is 100M; if you're really in need of a connection extending any further, you should place a simple hub/switch between two shorter cables and it will happily resend the signal to the far end.

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