Cable Question

As I'm continuing to plan for an overhaul of the (lack of hard-wired) networking in my house I'm pricing out Cat6a Cable and came across something listed specifically as Riser. Is that different from"regular" cable?
Cat6 Riser Ethernet Cable Unshielded | trueCABLE (Free Shipping)

Riser rated cable ahas a different fire rating. It is for use in open spaces between floors - like an elevator shaft.

Edit: How to Choose Between Plenum Vs Riser Rated Cables


I believe that, generally, Riser and Plenum cabling is more expensive due to more fire resistance and lower toxicity in a fire. Also required by Building Codes in many cases for commercial properties, but I don't know that it is ever required in a personal property. If you can afford the higher cost, it would be preferable to use it.

Plenum is required when the cabling is run inside air ducts, which is pretty unlikely in a house.

Just google riser Ethernet cables definition and you’ll find many, many hits that explain why riser cables are recommended in walls.

During an addition several years back my local county inspector was only looking for riser rated cable since I wasn’t running cables within “plenum”rated spaces like air ducts. This article explains it a bit better than me:

I have a crawl space and if you do as well and plan to run wires up to the attic, I always recommend a PVC pipe be installed allowing you to easily run wires from crawl to attic. I installed a 2” PVC in a wall before rewiring my entire house with Cat5 and RG6 17 or so years ago. I have since utilized that pipe for additional cat runs or security wire. Know it’s not possible in all situations but it makes your life easier down the road.

I was toying with the idea of using the existing cable TV coax with ethernet converters. I have several jacks in most every room.

No crawl, slab house, but yes would be a combination of exsisting cat 6 and new cat6a in the attic. There are three runs up there now, but they arent connected to anything on either end just rub accros the attic.

There isn’t any existing coax (built in 2020]. I really don’t understand why they didn't put in a network panel and actually connect those cables. Right now everything is just off wifi. Even the fiber connection is not really installed correctly.

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Those work VERY well if you are careful on how you use them/connect them. disconnecting/reconnecting coax to be point to point between two adapters will give you max speeds. Just remember the bandwidth listed is half duplex/total (not each direction simultaneously) and is shared with any other devices on the same coax segment.

You can EASILY get very reliable 1Gb speeds over coax runs (bi directionally) with MOCA 2.5 adapters. And with very good latency.

For houses not using their coax currently, I recommend finding where they come together (in newer houses it is typically in a structured wiring panel by the alarm panel), and making multiple point to point coax stretches and having them connect to a new switch in the structured wiring panel. Costs more as you need more MOCA adapters to do it that way, but it makes for a very fast, and very reliable network.

If not using the coax at all you can disconnect it from the street connection to ensure it is 100% private/local. If you are using the coax for internet/other service and need to leave it connected to the outside world, you need to install a MOCA filter on the coax line going to the street to ensure your network traffic doesn't 'escape'.

You can get brand new MOCA 2.5 adapters on eBay for as low as $20 sometimes, and easily for $30-40 any time.

Some houses I've done/seen also will share a few coax stretches between multiple areas if there are seldom used or low bandwidth/use areas to keep the MOCA adapter count lower. If you do this MAKE SURE your coax splitters are rated for the frequency range MOCA uses - cheap ones are not. Ones made for satellite service usually are fine.

MOCA 3.0 should be really great with 10Gb bandwidth (if they ever come out - I wouldn't wait for them at this point)


Excellent write-up, thanks.

If you can't tell, I highly recommend them for places you can't/don't want to run CAT6/7/8, and want better more predictable bandwidth than wireless.

The downside is cost - some people don't want to incur the cost of the MOCA adapters. :man_shrugging: There's no free lunch, I say.