Ethernet Cable Extenders: Everything You Need To Know


About Ethernet Cable Extenders, Are you having any troubles because your ethernet can’t reach as far as you need it to?

Or Are you suffering from slow speeds because of the distance your ethernet cables have to transmit data?

Luckily, a simple solution to all your troubles is using ethernet cable extenders.

You’re probably wondering what an ethernet extender is and how to choose the right one. The article below will help answer your questions.

Table of Contents

Maximum Distance For Ethernet Cable

Before learning about the cable length you need, it’s important to first discuss maximum distances. 

There are scenarios in which a cable is considered too long. The maximum cable length for copper pair twisted cables is about 328 feet (100 meters).

 If your cable is any longer, you are running the risk of deteriorating the signal strength, or in the worst case scenario, the cable doesn’t even work. 

Control the length of the ethernet cable

Control the length of the ethernet cable

What Is An Ethernet Cable Extender?

Ethernet extenders, commonly referred to as LAN extenders or network extenders, are devices that extend a network or ethernet segment beyond the standard distance limitation. 

The device uses a number of transmission technologies, for example, DMT, 2B1Q, and TC PAM and physical media (copper wire, coaxial cable, wireless, or fiber optic cable) to transmit info.

Ethernet extenders using copper wire use 8-, 4-, and 2-wire variants of unconditioned copper wiring to extend the LAN.

 Further, transmitting via copper wires doesn’t allow for speeds that otherwise fiber optic transmission would allow, but it enables you to use CCTV coaxial cable or an existing network-grade copper wiring. 

You must use ethernet extenders made of copper on unconditioned wire such as alarm circuits and unused twisted pairs.

It is difficult to try and connect two distant locations or separate buildings to a private LAN because WiFi needs a clear line of sight and special antennas. 

You can use a standard ethernet extender if the buildings are not 100 meters apart. 

However, remember that you might encounter grounding problems between the two buildings. 

If the buildings are 200 meters apart, you can still use a standard ethernet bridge if you can provide weather protection and power.

 With the help of specialized equipment, you can interconnect two buildings that are 300 meters apart to the same LAN using a single twisted pair of wires using VDSL technology. 

Benefits of Ethernet Extenders

  • Coming in a wide range of sizes and features, ethernet cable extenders are extremely flexible for many different applications.
  • You can use an ethernet extender via a number of networking technologies and use various cable options to provide broadband network speeds over long distances. By repeating or boosting the signal, enables transmission beyond the standard 100-meter limit via UTP or coax.  With the perfect device, you can extend to the following limits:

           10 Mbps over 914 meters (3000 feet) – UTP cable

           100 Mbps over 610 meters (2000 feet) – UTP cable

           10 Mbps over 1524 meters (5000 feet) – using a coax cable

  • As typically plug-and-play devices, Ethernet extenders are easy to set up. First, connect one end of the Ethernet cable that came with your extender to an Ethernet port on your connection hub or router and the other end to the Ethernet port on the extender. Second, connect the extender to a power source. Third,  if the connection hub or router is not already plugged in, plug it into a power source. Finally, connect your computer to the extender through a cable that remains in place.
  • Ethernet extenders are the popular choice as opposed to using fiber optic cabling because it is cheap.  Network designers mostly choose to use a number of ethernet extenders in a series to link multiple devices. Often ethernet extenders are embedded in bigger multi-port ethernet switch nodes.

Ethernet Extender Applications

You can use an ethernet extender for a variety of applications listed below.

  • Metering Systems
  • IP video
  • Ethernet Speeds of between 10 – 100 Mbps
  • High-speed computer links
  • Outdoor WiFi access points
  • CCTV systems
  • Transportation systems
  • Factory automation enablement
  • VDSL retrofits
  • Surveillance systems and security cameras

How To Select The Right Ethernet Extender For Your Network

Now that you’ve established that you need an ethernet extender, below are some factors to consider to guide you in choosing the right one.

What Is Your Bandwidth Requirement?

An ethernet extender works best for network speeds between 10mbps to 100mbps, and your bandwidth will determine the distance you can extend your ethernet signal. 

The lower the bandwidth, the further you can extend your network.

What Type Of Cable Will You Be Using Between Extenders?

You can use an ethernet extender to transmit ethernet over UTP or coaxial cables. 

Often devices are designed for one while others are for both; therefore, ensure the device you choose is compatible with your cabling.

What Is The Path Length Between Devices?

This question may seem obvious, but often most people overlook this factor.

 Always ensure you know the distance you need to cover and have the equipment capable of handling your requirements.

What Are Your Power Requirements?

A limited number of ethernet extenders are designed to provide pass-through power over ethernet (POE), while others might need a separate power source.

 If you require POE capability, ensure it’s listed in the specs for your device.

What Kind Of Switch Functionality Do You Need?

As mentioned earlier, ethernet extenders are used together with ethernet switches to ensure ethernet traffic reaches the destination at full strength.

 Therefore, when buying a switch/extender combo, you should consider whether you need a self-managed switch, an unmanaged switch, or an advanced uplink management functionality.

How Many Devices Are You Connecting, and How Many Ports Do You Need?

The number of ports you need will determine the extender size you need to get. You want to avoid buying an extender that doesn’t have enough ports per your application.

What Are Your Operating Conditions?

Mechanical shock risk, temperature, high line voltage, vibration, low line voltage, and humidity condensation are all factors that will help you determine if you need a standard ethernet extender or whether you need a specially hardened one for tough conditions.

Does Your System Use Unicast or Multicast Transmission? How About Jumbo Frames?

An ethernet extender is designed to support various transmission modes. 

Remember to ensure the ethernet extender you pick supports your transmission mode, especially if you use jumbo frames.

Don’t Forget About Compatibility, Installation Requirements, and Signal Protection.

An ethernet extender is designed for compatibility with various equipment, easy installation, and signal protection from surges and other temporary voltage events. 

It’s important to get a device you can trust and rely on rather than an unreliable low-quality one.


There you have it, all you need to know about ethernet extenders, from how they work to their various benefits. 

Before settling on the ethernet extender you want, consider the above factors. In case you have any queries feel free to contact Cloom Tech.