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Regular Contributor
Posts: 61
Registered: ‎06-19-2006

Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

We have unsed phone lines in our house. Is it possible to convert these unused phone lines to ethernet jacks?
Regular Problem Solver
SpokaneScott
Posts: 752
Registered: ‎12-12-2006

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

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
Regular Contributor
Posts: 61
Registered: ‎06-19-2006

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

Can I just use the existing wire and change the jacks?
Regular Problem Solver
SpokaneScott
Posts: 752
Registered: ‎12-12-2006

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

No because RJ11 wire only has 4 wires and Cat5 (RJ45) has 8 wires
Regular Problem Solver
SpokaneScott
Posts: 752
Registered: ‎12-12-2006

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

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.
Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

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.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 61
Registered: ‎06-19-2006

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

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.
Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

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.

Bronze Problem Solver
Posts: 5,958
Registered: ‎03-12-2004

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

[ Edited ]

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 :smileylaugh:

Message Edited by FishMan on 01-24-2009 09:24 AM
Regular Contributor
Posts: 61
Registered: ‎06-19-2006

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

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.
Regular Problem Solver
SpokaneScott
Posts: 752
Registered: ‎12-12-2006

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?


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

Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

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
Regular Contributor
Posts: 61
Registered: ‎06-19-2006

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

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.
Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

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).
Regular Contributor
Posts: 61
Registered: ‎06-19-2006

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

Thanks, whats a good N wireless router to use?
Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

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.

Recognized Contributor
bpkilgore
Posts: 513
Registered: ‎07-06-2008

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

Check out the D-Link DIR-655, its a great wireless router, and is also Gigabit on both LAN and WAN
Regular Contributor
Posts: 61
Registered: ‎06-19-2006

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

Whats gigabit?
Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

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.
Mac Expert
Joel
Posts: 5,829
Registered: ‎12-01-2003

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

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

 

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.

Regular Contributor
Posts: 61
Registered: ‎06-19-2006

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

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
Networking Expert
Baric
Posts: 24,238
Registered: ‎07-28-2003

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

Enjoy.
Regular Contributor
Posts: 61
Registered: ‎06-19-2006

Re: Possible to convert phone lines to ethernet jacks?

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.