Ironically, the context of this question:

How much would a wiring fault cause bandwidth over cat 6 to drop by?

In this question, the OP states that their question is in a home networking environment, which is indisputably off topic; however the question itself was not specifically a home networking question and is 100% applicable in a corporate/professional environment as well.

The question was edited (not by the OP), to remove the opening sentence of the question:

I've just cabled my house (Yay!).

This was the only reference to the fact that this question was being asked in a home networking environment. Once the question was edited, the above sentence was removed and the entire question was as follows:

When using iperf I notice that I don't ever get a speed over about 500 Mbits/s. I know that lots of older consumer grade gigabit ethernet cards won't actually do full gigabit ethernet, I'd just like to check that this drop in speed couldn't be caused by a wiring fault. Could it?

One could argue that if the question was answered before the edit was made (provided the question wasn't closed as off topic, which it wasn't), that

  1. The answers given would be tailored to a home networking environment, with consumer equipment, with the prejudice that any network which happens to be installed in a place of residence, no matter how qualified or professional the 'administrator' and infrastructure may be, is completely irrelevant to the corporate world, and what is considered 'on-topic' on NE.
  2. Any answers which were tailored to a home networking environment are completely irrelevant to what is considered 'on-topic'
  3. The general mindset and attitude towards the question would be "you're an idiot, get out of here", as is normal around NE, SF, etc. where non-professional posters are ridiculed, (which in some cases is expected, it all depends on the content of the question), but we'll talk about that in another question.

However, in the case of this question and a few others I have seen, the answers to the question are applicable in the 'on-topic' environment, and in this case, the edit made was simply to stop the question from being closed as off-topic, when it contained a perfectly relevant question and relevant answers.

So my question to you is: Do we care about questions that are home-network related, if we don't know that they're home-network related (this could also apply to other grounds for question closing)? Does the context of the question matter if it is omitted?

2 Answers 2


Does the context of the question matter if it is omitted?

Yes, if the context is essential to the question. In this case, the context is quite arguably relevant because professionals typically use different techniques to solve cabling issues (i.e. use a real Cable tester for cabling), and normally have different equipment on either side of the cabling.

The edits to "save" the question are invalid, since there is a substantial difference between troubleshooting cabling at home (where there is typically no professional equipment to diagnose issues), and in a professional setting. My problem is with the question, not the answer given.

Instead of editing the OP's question to fit your needs, just ask a new (and better) question of your own.

Regarding your questions about this question...

Do we care about questions that are home-network related, if we don't know that they're home-network related (this could also apply to other grounds for question closing)?

So far, we have said that Home networking questions are off-topic. I say, "Close them without mercy... we should not spend our time on these". Super User and Home Improvement already exist to answer questions like this from home users; and they even have well-loved questions about wiring houses and performance issues:

  • 1
    With regards to the last 2 paragraphs of your answer: This is what I was trying to get at, the fact that a 'home' network could have better infrastructure and be designed and managed more professionally than a corporate network - and while this is most certainly not often the case, it is possible. There may not be a substantial difference between troubleshooting in a place of residence with enterprise equipment and a corporate environment with the same equipment.
    – Libbux
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 3:41
  • 3
    If the home network is "Designed and managed more professionally than a corporate network", then I offer that OP wouldn't be asking for free advice on how to diagnose the cabling. Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 3:55
  • While this question includes references to that specific question, this discussion is not meant to be solely based on that example. I agree, that question may not have been the best, but OP could have asked about lots of other things.
    – Libbux
    Commented Jul 10, 2013 at 17:50
  • 2
    About the real cable tester, I have been in many small/medium size businesses where their cable tester was a continuity tester. I agree a real cable tester is a solid part of an answer to that question and still believe you should post it as such.
    – YLearn
    Commented Jul 11, 2013 at 3:34

While I agree (and fully support) that home networking questions are off topic here, I believe that if you can remove the "home" setting of the question and it could still provide value in a "non-home" setting, then the question should be edited to do so.

If removing the home setting makes the question entirely meaningless, then by all means it should be closed.

In this particular question, could this same question come up in a small to medium size business? I can certainly see it, therefore, I think it should be edited to remove the setting and it should be answered.

Now, while I agree with MikePennington on many things (including that this question is not the best and could use even more edits to make it better), I don't see how the setting in this particular question should largely impact the answer.

  • Agree with all of that, if removing the setting makes it meaningless and the question is off-topic, then it should be closed.
    – Libbux
    Commented Jul 11, 2013 at 6:08

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