While the popularity of wireless networks and Wi-Fi continue to grow, it still cannot beat the satisfaction one gets out of a secured wired network connection. From offering the highest speed to the most amount of security, these wired ethernet connections leave no stone unturned to provide your homes with a stable network connection.
With so many benefits and more, learning how to run ethernet cables through walls is crucial.
What is a Wired Ethernet Cable Network?
Before you learn how to run ethernet cables through walls, it’s essential to first understand what they are. Ethernet is a type of local area network connection. It includes a set of hardwired cable connections to the internet using ethernet cables such as the Cat5, Cat6, Cat7, and so on.
Although wireless WiFi connections are replacing old-fashioned ethernet in several homes and offices, opting for a wired ethernet cable network has its benefits. It is not only faster, stable, and secure but it also does not rely on radio waves to transmit signals like wireless connections do.
That may be why ethernet cable connections are still preferred over wireless ones, especially where intensive tasks like virtual communication and video streaming are considered.
Continue reading to learn more about how to run ethernet cables through walls.
Is Learning How to Run Ethernet Cables Through Walls Hard?
Whether or not learning how to run ethernet cables through walls is difficult has to do with the type of walls you have and why you plan to lay down a wired network connection. If you have drywall, installing ethernet cables is relatively easy. However, houses or rooms with brick walls can be tricky to work around.
Knowing how to run ethernet cables through walls allows you to have several ethernet outlets and assures you of a stable connection. With a bit of research and knowledge about cables and your wall structure, you can quickly learn how to run ethernet cables through walls yourself and make it a DIY project, thus saving on hefty installation costs.
How to Run Ethernet Cables Through Walls: A Step-by-Step Guide
If you’ve decided on a wired connection for your home, the following steps will help you understand the basics of how to run ethernet cables through walls.
From planning to execution, we break down the process into six simple steps, making it easier for you to run the ethernet cables yourself without any professional help.
Step 1: Planning
What room will have the ethernet cable?
Planning is the first and foremost step in learning how to run ethernet cables through walls. You need to determine the rooms or spaces which will have ethernet cables. This may include your house or office already having an ethernet cable wiring that you are planning to extend to other rooms, or when you don’t have any wiring and are planning to install it.
In either case, it is essential to plan the enclosures or rooms, learn about the structure of the walls, and determine how many outlets you need.
Where to set up your ethernet distribution point?
Now that you have a preliminary plan of where you plan to set up the ethernet cables, the next step involves setting a path for the cables. Start by deciding where you intend to have the starting or the distribution point for the connection.
This could be anywhere in the space where you can easily place the modem, router, or ethernet switch. The ISP cable will end up here. Since the wires running from all the other rooms and points will end up running to this point, try to pick a distribution point in a place with the shortest path.
Which cables are you going to use?
The next step is to choose what kind of cables you will use. From CT5/5E to CAT7 and even CAT8, there are several worthy options. The type of cable you pick largely influences the transfer speed and the distance the wires are going to run.
Gearing up with the required tools?
The last step in planning how to run ethernet cables through walls involves equipping yourself with the necessary tools so that you can efficiently run the cable through your drywalls. For this, you will need to prepare two sets of lists, one involving tools required for the wiring and the other with tools for the ethernet.
The tools needed to set up the wiring include:
- An electric drill (preferably cordless)
- A saw
- A stud finder
- Electrical tape
- Fish tape and wire strippers
- A label marker and
- Velcro straps
The tools needed for ethernet are:
- Ethernet switch and wall socket
- Cable concealers
- RJ45 crimper and plugs
Step 2: Planning How to Run Ethernet Cables Through Walls
Now that you have a proper plan and covered all the bases, it’s time to start the process. While these steps aren’t universal, they serve as a reference point to learn how to run ethernet cables through walls.
Having a rough plan for the wiring is extremely important and makes the job easier. Take out the blueprints and use them to assess the space’s dimensions. This will allow you to estimate the length of cable required.
You can also use online tools to draw up wiring plans. While doing so, try to identify the cable’s path and assess whether the wires will go through the gaps in the wall, the attic, or the crawl space. Draw up a rough map of everything to be sure.
Step 3: Setting Up the Distribution Point
Setting up your distribution point is one of the most important steps in learning how to run ethernet cables through walls. You are likely to place your modem or router at this point and it’s also the endpoint for all the ethernet cables. To properly set up this point, start by switching off any power running through the walls you are about to drill.
Now with the help of a stud finder, find the studs on the wall and set up the network panel between these two points. To help make the process easier, drill a small hole in the center. This will allow you to peek behind the wall and ensure no obstacles are in the way. Continue cutting the drywall as planned in the first step.
You can also use a wiring panel at this point. This will allow you to place the cables in an organized manner. Drill the drywall to fit the board and terminate the cables.
Step 4: Start Drilling
Depending on the room or space where you’re installing the ethernet cables, start cutting or drilling the required holes. These can be in the walls, the floor, or even the ceiling. Begin with drilling the hole above the network panel and continue according to your planned path.
While making the necessary holes, remember to attach the ethernet wall sockets as you continue further from the distribution point. Also, remember that these holes should be near the devices requiring an internet connection, like your PC, TV, or gaming console.
Step 5: Label and Run the Cable Through the Drilled Holes
Now that you are done with cutting and drilling all the required holes, the next step in learning how to run ethernet cables through walls includes feeding the cable through it. By now, you may have quite a few holes so it’s important to label the cable with a label marker.
This helps in eliminating any confusion. You can also give labels like office, TV, gaming, etc., to make the process easier.
Step 6: Secure the Cables
Once you finish running the cables through the holes, crimp the cables using a punch-down tool. Next, wire the cables to the ethernet wall sockets. Once you are done, use cable ties or straps to secure the cables.
Wireless connections may be the newest kid in the town, but it certainly isn’t enough to outweigh the benefits of having a stable wired connection.
From durability to increased speed and performance, learning how to run ethernet cables through walls yourself is worth the effort. It’s also an excellent DIY for almost anyone who knows their way around the tools and can read blueprints.
To learn more about cables, simply follow the step-by-step instructions mentioned above and set up your ethernet connection. Good luck!