View Full Version : Running Network over Phone Cable

17-11-2003, 11:23 AM

In a few weeks time our student will be leaving to head back to Tai Pei (IIRC) and I'll (hopefully) get free rein of the sleepout where she's staying. Anyway, she currently has a phone line hooked up by the nice guys at the company which does all the contract work for Telecom (can't remember their name) and that's sweet, however when she leaves, and her phone line is disconnected, I'm wondering about calling up these guys (or Telecom) and seeing about rewiring the connection so instead of going from the sleepout to the telephone pole it goes from the sleepout to the house (about 5 meters away from eachother) and once that's done just wiring it all up (changing the connections over obviously and so forth) so I can plug my PC into the network from the sleepout.

So I guess the questions are:
1 - would this be possible - does the phone line have the same amount of cables as a Cat network cable? I'm looking for connectivity and not really fussed about the speed unless it's something drastically slow.
2 - if it is possible what are the probable speeds?
3 - any possible limitations with this setup?

If this setup is not possible or extremely slow, then I have no problem running the network cable up to the sleepout, except I notice it does get quite windy up here in Akl when the winds do pickup, and the last thing I want is for the network cable to take a beating, so I'd most likely wire it along the side of the deck where it would get some (limited but not full) sheltering from the forces, so then I guess the questions would be:
1 - any suggestions as to how one would string a network cable between 2 buildings?
2 - what are the possible effects that the weather could do to the cable?
3 - has anyone done something like this and just general comments



17-11-2003, 11:45 AM
If its been wired for a normal phone, then its likely to be 2 pair non data grade cable, so could be dismal to use as ethernet.

Cat 5 has 4 pair, but only 2 are used. So in theory you may have enough conductors with a phone cable.

Look here for guidance:
core usage in Cat 5 (http://www.bluemax.net/techtips/networking/Wiring_Tips/Wiring100TX/colorcodestandards.htm)

The slowest speed for a LAN will be 10 Mb/s, but this cable may even fail to connect, you will not know until you try I guess.

Given the costs of getting tradesmen back in, it may be worth going to wireless?

17-11-2003, 12:58 PM
Thanks for that. I was thinking about wireless as I typed up the thread, although I'm trying to keep costs as low as possible (already have a 30m network cable and the gear for wiring it through walls to terminate at a wall jack), and the last thing I want is some idiot to come up outside the house while I'm at school and try to get into whatever machine is running at the time or piggy back the internet connection and kill whatever bandwidth we have at the moment...

On the other hand it'd probably be useful to have a wireless network setup so it means that if others have them I have no hassles with running network cables or anything.

17-11-2003, 01:07 PM
Security is relatively easy with wireless.

At the minimal level, setting the access point to only connect certain MAC addresses would suffice as each card has a unique address.

Keyed encryption is supported on all systems these days.

You are right re ease of connecting others. It takes seconds here to give a guest access using wireless.

17-11-2003, 02:43 PM
Depending on how far the sleepout is from your house, you could probably run the CAT5 cable yourself. I think it's illegal to run it overhead (although I'm not too sure on that), so you could invest in a bit of conduit (PVC piping) and run it underground or along the deck or whatever you said earlier. That way anyone who tries to tap into your connection would have to saw through a pipe first, and that would be quite an effort. Since you've already got the cable and the equipment, it will probably be cheaper than running a wireless network.

However, I can say that I have seen a network cable run from a window of a 2nd storey window, to a building's gutter and down about 30m to another building, and the network on that still runs smoothly. This was CAT5 cabling just run as-is, without conduit or anything.

17-11-2003, 02:44 PM
The main concern with overhead wiring is the event of a lighting strike, it could fry your network equipment and possibly your computer.

17-11-2003, 02:55 PM
there is proper lan adapters for running over telephone cable. however the speed is not great. its proberly easier to run a cat5 over (bury it in the ground if need be).

17-11-2003, 03:26 PM
You could always run it through your Power outlets and get a network going like that ;-)

Im agreeing that laying some Cat5 is best bet.

I have a 30m DSE Cat6 Cable running outside, no protection on it, but it works just fine :-)

Cost me about $35, and I have no regrets about selling my Wireless internet. The speed for Wireless was just not good enough (1/10 speed for my 802.11b connection) and packets would get lost due to the walls being in the way...

Hope this helps


Wayne H
17-11-2003, 03:54 PM
if you did the ground work (ie digging trench, laying pipe, and feeding cable) any contractor you see in the street would do it as a cashie for about $20 otherwise if you want a proper job where you do the trench work and the contractor provides the cable then you would be looking at about $150 +GST (in AK), that way they provide the guarantee that it would work. We all know that garden hose is waterproof....

17-11-2003, 04:51 PM
> We all know that garden hose is waterproof

Unless it's leaky garden hose of course :D

Here's my stupid suggestion:

Just use a dial-up VPN connection from the sleepout to your existing phone line and have the other phone line permanently connected to the internet. You won't have to modify any hardware, and it'll be super-easy (and super-slow) ;) :p

17-11-2003, 04:57 PM
And you'll have to pay for 2 phone lines... very expensive.

17-11-2003, 05:27 PM
ring your nearest reseller and they should be able to supply this


Graham L
17-11-2003, 05:28 PM
Run a new cable. The wire there belongs to Telecom. You could get a contractor to run a wire for you for money. There are no real restrictions as long as it's on your own property (aprt from being too close to a power line). If you put a length of garden hose in the ground, there are no problems. Just thread the cable inside it first, or get a pull string into it (a rag on the string and a vacuum cleaner works well for pulling a string through).

Cat-5 cable is cheap, and the wall blocks are not too expensive, or you could use a made up patch cable --- just be very careful with the plugs while putting it into a hose.

17-11-2003, 08:25 PM
The only forseeable problem with Wireless is that I don't want to end up having friends over (who bring their machines) and find they can't do anything useful as they don't have a wireless card and I'm too stingy to setup IP Masquerading in Linux... Ok, so I don't want to bring a crossover cable up and end up sharing 11mbps between 2 computers, also means I don't end up having to read google after I've fiddled with something I shouldn't have and I can't bridge the 2 networks :p

Probably will end up running a Cat6 cable next to the deck (dunno about putting it through PVC pipe first though), and will have to sort out a way to get it inside from there (wonder if i could just cut the phone jacks cable and then feed my cable through there :P). Can't dig a trench though (although it'd be fun :D) as mum's got her garden between the side of the house and the sleepout, and I'm sure she'd love to see me going through there with a shovel...
Although on the other hand I might run it through PVC before running it along the deck as that means I get that extra piece of mind that the cable won't end up with some freak accident or some random animal trying to bite through it (we have a lazy cat :p) and I loose all the equipment I've accumulated over the years. Won't string it overhead as we have enough cables running overhead as it is and I kind've want to be able to see the big blue thing above my head... (not my ceiling either)

Lan2Telephone seems interesting except if I'm going to end up paying money for a contractor to come in, string a telephone cable between the 2 buildings and then but the equipment for Lan2Telephone it'd end up getting expensive, and well, I think it'd be more fun running my own cable :D:p;). That, and I've promised my sister for the past month her machine is next on the upgrades list so I kind've want to get that over and done with.

I do have the equipment for a dialup server already and it's been used and tested. Works ok, except if I'm going to end up hosting another lan party at my house (and I'm sure it'll come to it one day), I don't want the majority of gamers in the house on 100mbps and then 2 of us up in the sleepout sharing a 56k and wondering why we get fragged all the time...
Also, as we're getting Jetstream (yep, this is the actual stuff classed by Telecom as Jetstream which was reccomended to the Telecom representative that talked to mum) I'd rather not have the speeds of a as it's far too easy to end up with a bottleneck in the network which is one thing I'm trying to avoid... Then again it might be a good incentive not to go over the monthly cap ;( (don't even get me started on it.. Just don't...). Also means that if I end up late one night trying to fix a relatives computer I'm not waiting all night for WindowsUpdates or the latest IE to download off the server either...

So, thanks for the insight and I guess if I'm still around in a month when I actually implement this then nothings gone BOOM and exploded something it shouldn't have


17-11-2003, 08:32 PM
I've done it before, in a new house with a 6 wire phone system - used the excess wires in the system to create 10mb/s network direct between two PC's.

Not terribly difficult at all - just work out the pins you need and crimp them into an end and you're done.