Ed Bukoski, Todd Ellermann, and I recently conducted an experiment to analyze how to get the best performance out of a home gigabit network. We used design of experiments (DOX) techniques to design and conduct the experiment, and held several factors constant to limit the combinations.
We were primarily interested in things which would beneficial to know before INSTALLING a home gigabit network, and held constant things which are put in place after the fact (ie. network cards, computers, software, etc.).
We analyzed the following factors:
1. Network cable length (10ft vs. 100ft)
2. Network cable wiring type (solid vs. stranded)
3. Network cable category standard (cat 5e vs. cat 6)
4. Network switch price level
5. Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) from a light switch
6. Electro-Magnetic Interference (EMI) from a power line
We set up our equipment in a large conference room, and ran 192 completely randomized scenarios.
None of these factors had a significant effect on network throughput performance. If factors are chosen to minimize and maximize network throughput based on the model equation generated in this experiment, the results would be as follows:
This experiment was especially interesting to me because I was considering whether or not to rewire my house with CAT 6 cable instead of the CAT 5E that is in place now. After these results, I’m not going to bother.