Why Can I Only Get 10mbps On A Cat5e Wire?

Hi there,
My internet speed is 20Mbps but speedtests show I get ~9.6 max, the ping and uploads are perfect.
I thought Cat5e cables could support up to 100Mbps ?
This is the wire I have : http://www.amazon.co.uk/CAT5e-ETHERNET-NETWORK-PATCH-CABLE/dp/B000IAHNRK/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top
One review says “his cable is not fully cat5e compliant (or at least the one shipped to me was not). It’s a cat 5 multicore cable as stamped on the cable itself.” Does that mean I need a new wire? And if so which one should I get? Thanks

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5 Responses to “Why Can I Only Get 10mbps On A Cat5e Wire?”

  1. Michael says:

    Ok first of all, unless the cable you have was bought 10 or 15 years ago it is not going to make much difference in your speed connection, more then likely it is a network problem.
    Think of it this way. Mbps means mega bits per second in computer speak but you can think of it as miles per hour or mph, like a car speed odometer. So if your your speed is 20mbps, so in our example it would be 20mph.
    Now the reason this is important is because your internet service provider, ISP, is selling you a connection to the internet at a certain speed, in your case you stated 20Mbps.
    Now in a network your fastest speed is only as fast as your slowest point. For example, you have 20mph on your local network in your house. Which is pretty good. But the minute you leave you home network and venture out into the internet you are now at the mercy of the speed of other networks.
    So if for example your trying to connect to yahoo.com and they are one a different network provider then you ISP, there could be a speed difference between the two. Your ISP might be moving at 20mph but the network that yahoo.com is on is only moving at 7mph, your whole connection is going to slow down to 7mph. thus you have to wait longer and it seems like it is slower, which it is but no one can do much about it.
    Now this is a really over simplified explanation of it but it makes it easier to understand. On last thing to note, your ISP also only guarantees your 20mph speed, or whatever speed you are paying for, on their own network. Which means if the website that you are trying to reach is on another internet network they will not guarantee your speed because your connection is crossing over onto someone else’s network they don’t control.
    Hope that helps

  2. tbshmkr says:

    Ensure your NICs are set to 100Mbps.

  3. Dan Karas says:

    The network cable is only one part of the network.
    How fast is the NIC (Network Interface Card) in the PC?
    There are basically three Ethernet standards in use:
    IEEE 802.3a – 10BASE2 – 10 Mbps (Legacy)
    IEEE 802.3u – 100BASE-TX – 100 Mbps (Fast Ethernet)
    IEEE 802.3z – 1000BASE-X – 1000 Mbps (Gigabit Ethernet)
    Most Ethernet connections today are 100 Mbps fast Ethernet using CAT5 UTP cable. Gigabit Ethernet is 1000 Mbps using CAT6 UTP cable and devices. CAT5e compliant cable can also support Gigabit connections.
    Ethernet connections are determined by the speed of the port and the cabling. The connection speed will always negotiate to the speed of the slowest device.
    For example if you have CAT6 Ethernet cable connected to your router which has Gigabit Ethernet (1000 Mbps) ports, and it is connected to a old PC with a 10 Mbps NIC (network interface card) then your connection speed would be limited to 10 Mbps.
    Another point is, you rarely get the full advertised speed from the ISP. It is common for actual download speeds to be marginally lower than the advertised maximum speeds.
    If you are using a wireless router, what are the wireless speeds?
    Also what type of ISP do you have? (DSL, Cable, Fiber, etc.) You may need to upgrade the modem to support faster speeds from your ISP. For cable you want DOCSIS 3.0, for DSL you want ADSL2+.
    Good Luck…

  4. V. Perkins says:

    Here’s a link to an article on Speed Tests and why they’re a poor way (in most cases) to measure speed in the way you actually work. I found it quite informative.

  5. JOHN G says:

    It depends how far you are from your telephone exchange and whether they have been upgraded, less than 50% have. ISPs’s have no control over that.

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