Home Ethernet Wiring

I’ve wired my house for Ethernet and Phone. But here let’s just talk about the Ethernet wiring. Here is my problem:

There are four places where I’ve wired Ethernet around the house to places where I use Ethernet switches to distribute to multiple devices. Three cables leave the house near the Router, and then each cable enters the house at a different place. Once near the computer where I’m sitting now. One to the back of the Entertainment system, and one in the back room where there are several more computers.

I’ve wired the house for 1GB Ethernet using Cat5 Cable. This was done several years ago. But for any new installation, using Cat6 for an eventual speed of 10GB would be best. Even if your present equipment is not capable of this, it’s much easier to change equipment than doing the wiring again.

Outside Wiring

Here’s what the cable runs look like around the house. I did not run using crawl space or attic. The back portion of my house is on slab and there is no attic there. So I needed to run things outside around the house.

The places where two cables are close together are phone wires, which are all on a continuous loop. I no longer use the phone loop, since I use wireless phones throughout the house with a base station and 3 satellite phones. I suggest not wiring any phone circuits, but only Ethernet. My phone lines are carried over the same type of wire as the Ethernet.

Notice that the cable is not noticeable when it has been painted. The large black pipe is a black water pipe that I split and screwed to the house to carry the cables so that I could easily change or add more if needed. This is probably not necessary if you are doing a single run. When I had my house painted a few years ago, I had them tape the black pipe so that it would not fill up with Paint and be a mess. When the tape came off, it looked very neat and tidy.

Remember that Ethernet is run with a single point to point wire for each remote connection. The wire entries to the house are sealed with Caulk to keep out moisture and insects.

Drilling through the House

I used a drill like this to drill through the house. Be careful and stay away from outlets so that you don’t drill through a power circuit.

I used a surface mount box and modular connectors once inside the house. But there are better tiny boxes now.

Running the Wire

Direct Burial cable is the best type to use. Gel in the cable keeps it dry when it is outside in the rain over the years. You can buy it increments of 100ft online for about $30 / 100ft. And they will ship it in one roll, so if you get 300ft, you get one roll, not three. No joints outside.

These tiny little boxes screw to the wall and you use a Punch Down tool to terminate the cable to the connector in the box, which just snaps shut after it’s screwed to the wall. You can buy these boxes with more then one connection in them if you need to.

Use the staple gun to staple the wire to the outside of the house up under the eaves or wherever it will be less visible. Be very careful not to puncture the cable with the staples. There are other screw on or nail type hangers for cable too. Those might be less of an issue in terms of accidents on the cable. You might price these tools / cable / boxes locally, but my guess it’s far cheaper to buy them online, even with shipping.

From the Wall Box to Your Computer

You’ll use some patch cords to go from the wall plug to the computer. And you can run the box to the wall near the computer desk/ TV or whatever you’re connecting. Patch cords come in any sizes you need, and putting them behind and under furniture is fine. But obviously you don’t want them running on the floor where you can trip or step on them. If you need two connections on opposite walls of a room, then you can run two cable lengths around the house. Or I guess it’s possible to run to inside the house, to a switch as below, then back out and around to the other wall and back inside. You’ll use patch cords and a two outlet box on the first connection to jumper the connection back outside around the house to the second connection. It is not possible to Daisy Chain Ethernet connections. Each “Y” requires a switch.

For connecting both a computer or two and a TV or other device to the cable, just use a switch like this. Make sure your switch is as fast as you want the connection to work. Computers on the same network are not limited by the speed of the router or internet connection but by the cable, interfaces in the devices and switches.

Switches come with various numbers of ports: 5, 8 and larger sizes and are reasonably priced, as you can see.

Pretty easy to wire your house for Ethernet and these connections are much more reliable than WiFi.