[IMGCAP(1)]It’s unfortunate, but probably true, that many of us--me included--haven’t sat down and actually planned out our networks. Rather, the parts and pieces of the networks in many smaller to mid-sized practices have evolved as we extended network capability to new areas.

For best network performance when you have multiple users, the answer at the moment is Gigabit Ethernet, or 1000BaseT, running over Cat6 cable. The ISO (International Standards Organization) standard for Cat6 cable runs is 100 meters. That 100 meters includes a 90 meter cable run and five meters of patch cables on either side of the run. If there needs to be a run between switches or devices longer than that, you need a device called an Ethernet repeater, which boosts the signal in both directions.

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