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Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

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Posted by
Regular Contributor

Message 1 of 23
49,683 Views
We have unsed phone lines in our house. Is it possible to convert these unused phone lines to ethernet jacks?
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Accepted Solutions
Posted by
Networking Expert

Message 8 of 23
50,953 Views
Solution

Before I'd try converting phone lines to ethernet, I'd go wireless.  No wires to run at all.  Another wired alternative is to use powerline ethernet adapters.  These adapters use your house's existing electrical wiring for networking, but it depend on how your house is wired, how good the cable is, etc.

 

I'd say wireless is the way to go here.




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22 REPLIES
Posted by
Problem Solver

Message 2 of 23
49,680 Views
You sure can if your willing to change out the RJ11 Wire (Telephone Wire) and replace it with Cat5 Wire. And replacing the phone jacks with network Jacks
Posted by
Regular Contributor

Message 3 of 23
49,678 Views
Can I just use the existing wire and change the jacks?
Posted by
Problem Solver

Message 4 of 23
49,675 Views
No because RJ11 wire only has 4 wires and Cat5 (RJ45) has 8 wires
Posted by
Problem Solver

Message 5 of 23
49,673 Views
However, I did come across this awhile back, have no clue how well it would work, but it is a box that plugs into your phone jack and converts it over to ethernet. It might work however the output speeds are not going promising nor reliable.
Posted by
Networking Expert

Message 6 of 23
49,668 Views

As long as you don't try to use anything past 100Mbps ethernet, it might work. 100Mbps ethernet and below only use 4 out of the 8 wires in a typical cat5 cable.  The issue is going to be the quality and construction of the existing phone cable.  cat 5 cables have specs for what pair of wires are twisted together, as well as how many twists per inch, etc. to reduce crosstalk and other types of interference.  POTS phone lines make use of much less bandwidth on a phone line, so typical phone wiring is of a much lesser quality and really not suitable for the higher bandwidth/complex signals like ethernet uses.

 

Personally, I suggest you run new cabling suitable for ethernet.  I'd use cat6a to support future upgrades,

althought cat5e is sufficient for most current applications.




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Posted by
Regular Contributor

Message 7 of 23
49,664 Views
Thanks for the suggestions. The problem is, we live in a small Town Home and have restrictions on running wires. We just don't use the phone lines and I thought it would be an easy way to get the Internet in to another room. I was hoping to just change the the receptacles on the wall plates and use the existing wiring. I can completely diconnect the outside phone wires so there would be no outside lines.
Posted by
Networking Expert

Message 8 of 23
50,954 Views
Solution

Before I'd try converting phone lines to ethernet, I'd go wireless.  No wires to run at all.  Another wired alternative is to use powerline ethernet adapters.  These adapters use your house's existing electrical wiring for networking, but it depend on how your house is wired, how good the cable is, etc.

 

I'd say wireless is the way to go here.




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Posted by
Bronze Problem Solver

Message 9 of 23
49,659 Views

wymi wrote:
Thanks for the suggestions. The problem is, we live in a small Town Home and have restrictions on running wires. We just don't use the phone lines and I thought it would be an easy way to get the Internet in to another room. I was hoping to just change the the receptacles on the wall plates and use the existing wiring. I can completely diconnect the outside phone wires so there would be no outside lines.

Have you considered wireless?

 

I don't type fast enough

Message Edited by FishMan on 01-24-2009 09:24 AM
Posted by
Regular Contributor

Message 10 of 23
49,655 Views
The second computer were connecting does not have a wireless card. I suppose I could put one in though. What's the easiest and most reliable wireless router & card to use? Both computers are older Dell's with XP operating sytems and 512 Meg of ram.
Posted by
Problem Solver

Message 11 of 23
49,651 Views

wymi wrote:
The second computer were connecting does not have a wireless card. I suppose I could put one in though. What's the easiest and most reliable wireless router & card to use? Both computers are older Dell's with XP operating sytems and 512 Meg of ram.

Personaly I like Linksys Wireless G Routers, and if you dont want to go through the hassle of opening up the computer, you can always install a usb wireless adapter, or if you feel comfortable with opening up the case, then a pci wireless card will work.

 

Scott

Posted by
Networking Expert

Message 12 of 23
49,650 Views
I second the Linksys recommendation. Something like the inexpensive WRT110 or WRT160N should work just fine.  As wireless adpaters, I'm not a fan of most USB adapters due to past problems, but it seems they are working much better these days as long as you stick to USB 2.0.  If your computer does not support USB 2.0, I'd highly recommend a regular PCI adapter.  I have a Linksys WMP300N, works great, but I don't think they sell that adapter anymore, so try the Linksys WMP110



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Posted by
Regular Contributor

Message 13 of 23
49,623 Views
Okay, I have another question. All this has prompted me to get the new computer bug. I just ordered a new Dell Laptop that has the wireless N card. I am also going to get another Laptop that will have the wireless g card. If I get a wireless n router will it support both computers running different cards? Crazy I know but both old PC's are tired so I just think it's time to replace them both with Laptops.
Posted by
Networking Expert

Message 14 of 23
49,620 Views
Shouldn't be a problem, as long as you setup the wireless router to accept both n and g connections (which is the default, usually).



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Posted by
Regular Contributor

Message 15 of 23
49,618 Views
Thanks, whats a good N wireless router to use?
Posted by
Networking Expert

Message 16 of 23
49,614 Views

Any of the models from Linksys, Netgear, or D-Link will work just fine.  The Apple Airport Extreme is also a good model, but it's tad pricey in my opinion.

 

I'm personally partial to the Linksys line.  If you're budget minded and don't need gigabit ethernet support, I'd suggest the WRT160N.  If you want to step up to faster ethernet, try the WRT320N or WRT610N models.




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Posted by
Most Valued Poster

Message 17 of 23
49,599 Views
Check out the D-Link DIR-655, its a great wireless router, and is also Gigabit on both LAN and WAN
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Posted by
Regular Contributor

Message 18 of 23
49,597 Views
Posted by
Networking Expert

Message 19 of 23
49,594 Views
There are several different speeds/flavors of Ethernet.  The old slow Ethernet is 10Mbps, or 10Base-T.  Next step up is Fast Ethernet running at 100Mbps, called 100Base-TX.  After that, there's so called gigabit Ethernet which runs at 1Gbps or 1000Mbps, also know as 1000Base-T.  If you want to go even faster and can afford the premium price on cables and equipment, there's 10Gbps Ethernet, and even 100Gbps Ethernet.



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Posted by
Mac Expert

Message 20 of 23
49,585 Views

However, since you'll be going wireless, the ethernet speeds are irrelevant

 

Just make sure you've got the proper N/G compatibilty in a price point you're comfortable with. Linksys is probably the most popular brand and they are very dependable.




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Posted by
Regular Contributor

Message 21 of 23
49,584 Views

Thanks everyone for your replies, here's a link to the router I've chosen.

 

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=8586783
Posted by
Networking Expert

Message 22 of 23
49,574 Views
Enjoy.



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Posted by
Regular Contributor

Message 23 of 23
49,541 Views
Just thought I would give a quick update after using a wireless router for a while. We went through 3 Netgear wirless routers, all of them had various issues. Two of the Netgear routers would randomly reboot, the third would just shut off and have to manually turned back on. We finally traded the Netgear router for a Belkin N+ router and it has worked flawlessly for weeks. One nice feature on the Belkin N+ router are the status lights, I can tell when the wireless link is being used.