Home LAN

My house was pre-wired for telephone when it was built. It has a normal indoor telephone cable, with 6 pairs of 22 gauge copper wire. I don’t believe the pairs are twisted within the cable. One pair is used for my telephone service, but the other 5 are not used. I want to set up a network between two computers in the house. Can anyone tell me if it would be possible to use one of the unused pairs for a LAN connection? Would the telephone line in the same cable cause interference with the LAN?


IIRC phone wire is cat 2 cable. You should use cat 5 cable for a LAN. This www.ablecomm.com/wiring.htm+22+gauge+copper+wire+lan&hl=en&ie=UTF-8]site might help.

There are Lan-over-phone setups you can buy. Requires special connectors, etc. at each connection. Expect very low bandwidth (if any), unreliable connections, etc. as well as the extra cost. Ditto Lan-over-power lines. Wireless also has numerous problems.

Just run Cat 5. It can be done with no irrepairable damage in just about any living space. There are an astonishing number of cavities within walls, floors, etc. that cable can be easily run thru.

You can use cat 4 for 10mps and cat 5 for 100mps.

If drilling floorboards and crawling under the house to pull cable is unpalatable just go wireless for part or all of your network. (I did) Wireless setups are relatively inexpensive and much less trouble. The only problem is if the distance is over 80 -100 feet from the transmitter signal quality may not be sufficient.
All you need is

1: A wireless router + switch/hub - (Linksys BEFW11S4 v.2)(approx -$ 130 or so) This unit connects both wired and wireless PCs into a home network and to the cable internet (if desired).

2: Wireless network interface cards - Price is typically $70-$90 per card depending on wheter you are talking PCI card (80)- PC card (70)- or wireless NIC connectd via a USB connection (70).

Connection speeds are listed as 11 MPS under ideal conditions and IRL are a bit less on average than direct wired connections, but not much, and are plenty fast for almost anything you can conceive of doing.

I have been told to get the same brand of cards as the router more maximum compatibility but in my experience the wireless Linksys router/switch works fine will all brands of wireless cards. I have had good luck with Linksys, Netgear and D-Link wireless adapters/cards. Belkin wireless USB adapter worked, but very poorly. I do not recommend them. Wireless PCI cards that go inside the PC case with the antenna sticking out the back are not recommended unless you are close to the wireless router as the metal body of the PC case can block the signal. USB to wireless adapters are suggested for longer distance aA you can place them on top of the PC or even higher to get maximum signal reception.

Favorite wireless USB adapter - $ 50.00Netgear MA101 Wireless 11 Mbps USB Adapter

Favorite wireless PCCard - $ 60.00D Link AirPlus DWL-650+ Wireless 22MBPS PC Card

Favorite Wireless Router+ switch - $ 100.00 Linksys Wireless 4-Port Cable/DSL Router

I do not think 6-pair wiring is considered normal phone wiring. Usually 2 pair or 4 pair is used. I am guessing only 1 or 2 pair is actually hooked up at the jacks. Only 1 pair is needed per phone number.

The wire may not be Cat-5 certified, but could still work. Especially is all you need is a 10Mps network. It’ll cost you about $5 and 30 minutes to hook up two of the jacks and try it. Buy 2 RJ45 jacks. Open one of your existing phone jacks and find out which 2 or 4 wires are used. Use the wires that are not used in your regular phone jack. There are many websites that will show you the wiring protocol for a RJ-45 connector.


Plug in two computers and try it. If this works, you can replace the jack and face plates when you need Ethernet conections. If you also need need phone service at these locations, you can get a dual faceplate and have both a RJ-45 and RJ-11 (regular phone service) jack wired.

Hope this helps.

On another note, I have a “network jack” in the wall in my sitting room. It is one of my broadband access points. However, I use broadband through the tv-cable, so I don’t use, or have an account for the jack-in-the-wall. Point is, there is one in my bedroom as well. Are they connected to eachother? Can put one computer in each room and connect them to eachother through those jacks rather than connecting them with a wire that runs through the bedroom door?

Intel used to offer a solution for a LAN over your home phone lines called Anypoint. They no longer offer it:


Perhaps you could find a second hand set on ebay or something.

And here’s a review:

Here’s a current auction on ebay for the item:


Please use your discretion when transacting through ebay.

I know a lot of people on this board use the Linksys BEFSR41 EtherFast Cable/DSL router (at least I’ve seen it recommended quite often here). Yahoo is running this article about a DDos vulnerability of that particular router/switch. Upgrade your firmware.