Running Ethernet Cable Outdoor, Is It Safe?
You can run Ethernet cables (Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6) outdoors to network your computers between buildings and homes, only if you are using surge protectors and waterproof cabling. They can also be used to run outside up your houses or on the rooftops connecting your devices in different rooms. The regular Cat6 cables can work outdoor safely to serve your networking needs. However, using the more expensive and weatherproof Cat6 cables remains the best option when networking your computers in the outdoors.
Buy External Cta5e cable and External Cat6 cable online
On FruityCables you can find our full range of
All suitable for outdoor use!
The Use of Regular Cat6 Cables
Cat6 cables have a thin plastic casing that does not withstand weather elements for long. This makes them deteriorate much faster when they are exposed to outdoor weather conditions. When using these regular Ethernet cables, it is therefore advisable to put them in a kind of conduit and bury it on the ground. You should use a depth of between six to eight inches and make sure that this is far from power lines or any other source of electrical interferences of any kind.
Plastic pipes and PVC are good materials to make a conduit for your cables. However, you should make them waterproof for the best results. It is good to note that these ordinary Cat6 cables are not designed for outdoor use. This is because their useful lives are greatly cut short by extreme temperatures and other weather conditions like humidity.
The Use of Direct Burial Exterior Cat6 Cables
Instead of using ordinary Cat6 cables, it is recommended you use the special direct burial exterior Cat6 cables which are waterproof and designed for your outdoor use. These are a little expensive but they are designed to offer the best outdoor networking experience. They do not require conduits due to the fact that they are weatherproof.
Direct burial exterior Cat6 cables can be buried on the ground directly. If you are not planning to bury them but instead want to use them above the ground on the rooftops for example, choose the ones that have UV protective jacket in order that they are protected from the exposure to sunlight.
It is good to note that both direct burial exterior Cat6 cables and ordinary cables do attract lightning to some level. When you put and bury your cables underground, this does not mean that you are lessening it’s affinity to lightning. This means that you should install surge protectors as part of your outdoor network system. These surge protectors are used to shield your network against lightning strikes thereby protecting your indoor equipment from being damaged.
Exterior Network Cabling Range
Whether used indoors or outdoors, a single Ethernet cable by design functions to a limited distance. This is about 328 feet. Some networks however, operate effectively over twice this distance. However, when a single Ethernet cabling goes beyond the recommended distance of 328 feet, performance and reliability are compromised as a result. The results and effects are dependent on particular cabling systems. To extend this range of Ethernet outdoor cabling network, active hubs or repeater devices can be added and installed with a series of Cat6 cables.
Note that Cat6 Ethernet cables are compatible (backward) with Cat5 and Cat5e.