Forum Thread

how to wire whole house with ethernet ports?

gmorris 67 69 October 10, 2015 at 07:59 AM
Help Techie SDers! Looking to wire whole house for Ethernet ports for internet access.

Recently purchased an older home and will HAVE to run hard lines for internet access; both my spouse and I work from home currently and wireless is not an viable option for that, though will still want to have wireless in common areas.

total novice at what we'll need to make this look semi professional: switch?? routers? etc...

Limited reading on the internet sounds like this should be able to be done by us and lead me to a setup like this with cable internet:

Cable Modem connected to a 16 port switch (figure we will run 9/10 lines, might as well have some expansion space if needed). one of those lines run to the main living space where the wireless router would be. want to run lines for the Roku and smart tv/dvd players too since everything is clearer with hard lines.

So there is my question and possible layout...... looking for recommendations on correct layout and equipment. Thanks all!

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#2
router between the modem and the switch unless you have one of those "combo" modems.. find a nice place for mounting the switch to the wall.. see if you can find a "centralized" place for it such that your routes are kept short, always draw multiple lines to each location (more than you think you will need), buy a decent fishing line tool, and grab a spool of 1000ft cable - make sure it's rated for in-wall use, label each line on where it starts and where it ends, and use a cheap cable tester to make sure you terminated them correctly
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#3
Instead of running wires through the entire house or through the walls, you can use your existing electrical wiring with the Ethernet electrical plugs. I have had my house wired that way for years and it works great. Granted, technology has gotten better since I set up my house. Check out this article and go from there http://www.cnet.com/topics/networking/best-networking-devices/power-line-adapters/.
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#4
up feed from basement?

down from attic?

bad option?
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#5
Quote from stufine View Post :
up feed from basement?

down from attic?

bad option?
up from basement, I believe I should be able to do wall outlets.
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#6
There have been a number of threads on this over the years, I suggest searching the tech support forum (including the archive) and reading through these threads. Several of them are also linked at the bottom of the page in the similar threads section. Keystone, punchdown , and "punch down" could be good search terms

I'm generally a fan of wired networks, but why isn't wireless an option? Performance, security, company policy, etc? Upgrading your wireless hardware could also be a viable solution.

I'll assume the basement is unfinished? It is a 1 story, 2 story, tri-level, etc? If it's more than one story, you'll want to run at least 1-2 wires to an upper level.

The basics:
  • Make a drawing of the house and locations you want jacks, use a cad program like DraftSight if you want. Whenever possible choose interior walls! Think about home theater and security cameras too.
  • Study your drawing carefully and measure. Consider drilling some small holes or driving in a finishing nail in front of the baseboard down through the carpet to help locate where things line up between floors. You don't want to accidentally drill through an electrical wire, floor joist, wall stud, gas line, duct work, or water pipe. Adjust your plan as required, the plan doesn't have to be absolutely perfect, but be careful when it comes time to actually drill
  • Run 2 Cat-5e or Cat-6 cables to each location. You may want even more or jacks in multiple locations in certain rooms like an office or by a tv.
  • If you want to add cable (RG-6 QS) to any of the locations it's easiest to do it at the same time
  • Run all wires from a central or otherwise practical location that will serve as the wiring closet. You should run coax and Cat-5e/6 from this location to the area outside your house where phone and cable enter the house. If you want to future proof, running an empty conduit through the basement from the wiring closet to an area near where the cable and phone enter the house is a good idea too. Electrical power should be available in your wiring closet.
  • Terminate all wires using punch down jacks not crimp-on connectors, use keystone jacks in the rooms and 1 or more patch panels in the wiring closet. DO NOT use cables with RJ-45 modular plugs!
  • use spools or boxes of un-terminated bulk cable, preferably 2 spools or boxes so you can easily pull 2 wires to one location at the same time (different colors). Use solid cable not stranded for in wall use
  • use mudrings when installing jacks in the rooms.
  • don't bend the cable too sharply
  • avoid staples as much as possible other types of hooks and hangers usually work better, when necessary use something large enough the cable can freely pass through. Try to plan your wires like a tree where the trunk runs parallel to the floor joists above you in the basement and the branches go to the various rooms.
  • buy pre-made patch cables (to connect your devices to the wall jacks), making them yourself isn't worth the hassle.
  • keep low voltage wires away from building wiring, preferably at least 1' away, perpendicular crossings with >1" space.
http://monoprice.com has pretty good prices and sells many of the things you'd need

I wouldn't connect the jacks on the patch panel to a switch until you need them, if your needs grow you can upgrade your switch easily. I'd plan on putting a wireless router in the wiring closet and running Cat-5e to 1 or 2 locations fairly far from the wiring closet where you could setup an access point if you need to boost your wireless.
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Last edited by jkee October 13, 2015 at 08:19 PM
#7
Quote :
I work from home currently and wireless is not an viable option for that.
could you please explain this part?
Ones I worked for company that disabled internal wireless card, i just bridged two routers.
my final setup was -> modem - (wired) - router - (wireless) - repeater ( router with dhcp off) - wire to laptop.
With N Router network, your home network is not a bottle neck. what is the reason for wired?

if you need to run wires, why do you need to run wires in every room? You need to wire your office room.
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Last edited by dude2000 October 10, 2015 at 09:17 PM
#8
Ultimately, assuming you have an unfinished basement you can easily add wires in the future. Some planning will help this go much better, but until you decide to finish the basement installing on an as needed basis is all you really need to do.

Runs to office spaces, each floor, and tv locations would be adequate for most people.

Also your cable modem needs to connect to a router before you can connect a switch, the wireless router does something called NAT that allows multiple devices to share the connection.
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Last edited by jkee October 10, 2015 at 11:30 PM

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#9
someone above said power adapters, I have used them and they worked OK but not great. if you got coax (TV wire) you can run moca adapters from the different rooms. I use old fios routers set up in each room and get my full speed and little latency (the issue with the power adapters I had)
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#10
okay, after reading the comments, here's what I'm coming up with: cable Internet modem, connected to a wireless router connected to a switch, centrally located, with runs to each location. listening to the advice, and intend to do a couple more to each location than planned. at the main living space, will use a wireless router also.

so looks like I'll need:
couple wireless routers, maybe one is just wired to connect modem to switch,
network switch 16 or 24 port,
1000 ft Cat6,
wall boxes, covers and network plugs, cable ends for both sides

missing anything?

recommendations on switches? netgear or?
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#11
Quote from gmorris View Post :
okay, after reading the comments, here's what I'm coming up with: cable Internet modem, connected to a wireless router connected to a switch, centrally located, with runs to each location. listening to the advice, and intend to do a couple more to each location than planned. at the main living space, will use a wireless router also.

so looks like I'll need:
couple wireless routers, maybe one is just wired to connect modem to switch,
network switch 16 or 24 port,
1000 ft Cat6,
wall boxes, covers and network plugs, cable ends for both sides

missing anything?

recommendations on switches? netgear or?
I doubt you need that big of a switch to start with, use a patch panel connect only the ports you need.
Start with just 1 wireless router, if you need more you'd be setting them up to function as access points only.

You might be better off with (2) 500' boxes as you can pull 2 wires at a time. It's nice to have 2 different color cables.

I wouldn't use wall boxes, it's too easy to over stress the cable. Use mud rings like this, there's also a metal bracket: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Carlon...wall+plate

Use a patch panel like one of these:
http://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=7304
http://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=7253 + 1U swing out bracket http://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=8623

J hooks to support cables that run parallel to joists.

110 punch down keystone jacks & wall plates (many color choices), cat-6 http://www.monoprice.com/product?...1&format=2

2 cables to each location is probably enough. The office might deserve jacks in 2 locations on different walls with 2 cables each.

Patch cables between wall jacks and devices and patch panel and switch
http://www.monoprice.com/search/i...t%20Cables

110 punch down tool, flexible drill bit, fish stick, drill, drywall saw, stud finder, velcro cable ties/wraps, diagonal cutters to cut spline in cat-6
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Last edited by jkee October 11, 2015 at 02:11 PM
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#12
Quote from jkee View Post :
I doubt you need that big of a switch to start with, use a patch panel connect only the ports you need.
Start with just 1 wireless router, if you need more you'd be setting them up to function as access points only.

You might be better off with (2) 500' boxes as you can pull 2 wires at a time.

I wouldn't use wall boxes, it's too easy to over stress the cable. Use mud rings like this, there's also a metal bracket: http://www.homedepot.com/p/Carlon...wall+plate

Use a patch panel like one of these:
http://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=7304
http://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=7253 + 1U swing out bracket http://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=8623

J hooks to support cables that run parallel to joists.

110 punch down keystone jacks & wall plates (many color choices), cat-6 http://www.monoprice.com/product?...1&format=2

2 cables to each location is probably enough. The office might deserve jacks in 2 locations on different walls with 2 cables each.

Patch cables between wall jacks and devices and patch panel and switch
http://www.monoprice.com/search/i...t%20Cables

110 punch down tool, flexible drill bit, fish stick, drill, drywall saw, stud finder, velcro cable ties/wraps, diagonal cutters to cut spline in cat-6
ok, now something new: patch panel? please explain
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#13
Quote from gmorris View Post :
ok, now something new: patch panel? please explain
I'll quote wikipedia:
Quote :
A patch panel, patch bay, patch field or jack field is a device or unit featuring a number of jacks, usually of the same or similar type, for the use of connecting and routing circuits for monitoring, interconnecting, and testing circuits in a convenient, flexible manner. Patch panels are commonly used in computer networking, recording studios, radio and television.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patch_panel

I linked to a couple patch panels in my last post. You would use this in your wiring closet to terminate the cables and keep things organized and labeled. DIY punch down connections are more reliable than DIY modular plug terminations.
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Last edited by jkee October 11, 2015 at 02:12 PM
#14
When it comes time to actually run the cables, give yourself some extra cable at each end. This will save you if you mess up any of the terminations or if any give you problems in the future and you have to re-terminate them.

In the wall, give yourself 1-2+ feet of extra cable that stays in the wall. In the wiring closet route the cables in a neat organized manner that creates some extra by going down from the ceiling below your equipment / patch panel and back up on the other side for example.
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#15
Quote from jkee View Post :
I'll quote wikipedia:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patch_panel

I linked to a couple path panels in my last post. You would use this in your wiring closet to terminate the cables and keep things organized and labeled. DIY punch down connections are more reliable than DIY modular plug terminations.
ok I've been reading on this since your last post.

so all the runs go to the patch panel. then smaller cables ( like one footers) will go from one plug on the patch panel to one of the plugs on the switch; this will allow me to run solid Cat6 from the patch panel to each room and then if equipment fails it's easier to replace the components? and it keeps it simpler and cleaner to install? did I state this correct?
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