[Q] I have been told you can run two ethernet connections through a single CAT 5 Cable. Is this possible and what are the drawbacks?
[A] Several computer tech enthusiast web sites have recently made the claim that you can save money by running two connections through a single CAT 5, CAT 5E or CAT 6 Cable utilizing the two unused pairs for the second connection.
While it is physically possible to perform this operation, it is obvious the idea was conceived by software personnel rather than hardware planners due to the glaring problems this will present.
The design of the 4 pair twisted cable is not by accident. There is an intended separation between the pairs for a good reason. The introduction of an additional data signal through a twisted pair in such close proximity is a formula for severe cross talk.
The other obvious problem is hardware connectivity. The only way any of this is going to work would be if you custom pin two jacks at the termination point of this cable, and you would also have to have a custom pinned CAT 5 Cable for use between the "extra" connection and whatever piece of hardware it is connected to.
In short, it seems like a mountain of unnecessary work that would most certainly have to be removed later. A much more sensible solution would be to spend a few more dollars on a second piece of CAT 5, CAT 5E or CAT 6 Cable, and pull them both at the same time.
5 Cable Company sells CAT 6, CAT 5E, and CAT 5 Patch and Crossover cables in 9 colors, custom fit to any length up to 328 feet.
RELATED FAQ QUESTION: What is the difference between patch and crossover cable?
Keywords: CAT 5 Cable, CAT 5E Cable, CAT 6 Cable, CAT 6, CAT 5E, CAT 5 Patch, Crossover Cables