Hi All,
The problem I have is that the port on my laptop NIC is meant to have gigabit capability, but I am only connecting at 100.0Mbps and I don't know where the bottleneck is.

My Cat 5 ethernet cable connects my laptop to the RJ45 wall socket. The cable then runs through to a patch panel, which is connected to a gigabit unmanaged switch, which is in turn connected to a gigabit router and then off to the internet. When my adapater reports it's connection speed, which component is it reporting it's connection to? I would guess this is either the switch or the router but don't know for sure


For first check your patch cable - connection 10mbps or 100mbps used 2 pairs only (4pin) but 1000mbps used all 4 pairs (8pin) and very important that all eight would be in the correct order!

Gigabit transfer requires cat 5e or cat6 cable. Cat 5 will not transfer at 1GB.
Cat5: A Little Older, A Little Slower

Category 5 cabling, also known as Cat5, is an older type of network cabling. Cat5 cables were made to support theoretical speeds of 10Mbps and 100Mbps. You may be able to get gigabit speeds on a Cat5 cable, particularly if the cable is shorter, but it isn’t always guaranteed.

Since Cat5 is an older type of cabling, you probably won’t see them very much in the store, but you may have gotten some with an older router, switch or other networking device.
Cat5e: Faster with Less Interference

Category 5 enhanced cabling, also known as Cat5e, is an improvement on Cat5 cabling. It was made to support 1000 Mbps “gigabit” speeds, so in theory, it’s faster than Cat5. It it also cuts down on crosstalk, the interference you can sometimes get between wires inside the cable. Both of these improvements mean you’re more likely to get fast, reliable speed out of Cat5e cabling compared to Cat5.

Sorry guys - I used the generic term 'Cat5' in my original post - it was actually Cat 5e cable.
Did some unplugging last night after the other staff had left, and found that the 100Mbps is the connection to the switch, not the router. I have also found the 'fault' - the NIC in my laptop is only 100Mbps, not 1000Mbps - serves me right for assuming! I borrowed a colleagues PC and set it up next to my laptop. If I unplug the ethernet cable from my laptop and connect to the PC, the PC shows a 1Gbps connection. If I reconnect the cable to my laptop, my laptop connects at 100Mbps.
Thanks for your assistance