If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re trying to figure out how to run Ethernet cable through walls in your home or office. Maybe you’re trying to set up a home network, or maybe you’re trying to extend your existing network to a new part of the building.
Whatever the reason, running Ethernet cable through walls can seem daunting, especially if you’ve never done it before.
But fear not!
In this article, I’ll walk you through the entire process step by step, from planning and preparing to drilling and crimping. By the end of this article, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to run Ethernet cable through walls like a pro.
Before diving into the step-by-step instructions, let’s start by discussing some of the things you’ll need to consider before you start.
Planning and Preparation
Before you start running Ethernet cable through walls, there are a few things you’ll need to think about:
1. Where do you want to run the cable?
The first thing you’ll need to do is decide where you want to run the Ethernet cable. This will depend on where your router is located and where you want to extend your network.
Make a rough sketch of your home or office and mark the locations of the router and any other devices you want to connect to the network. This will give you a good idea of where to run the cable.
2. How long is the cable going to be?
Once you know where to run the cable, you’ll need to measure the distance between the router and the device you want to connect. This will tell you how long the Ethernet cable needs to be.
Remember that it’s generally a good idea to add a few extra feet to your measurement to give yourself some slack. This will make it easier to work with the cable and give you some flexibility if you need to make any adjustments later.
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3. What type of cable do you need?
There are a few different types of Ethernet cables to choose from, and each has its advantages and disadvantages.
The most common types are:
- Cat 5: This is the older, slower type of Ethernet cable. It’s generally only used in older homes and offices that haven’t been upgraded to faster cable.
- Cat 5e: This is a newer, faster version of the Cat 5 cable. It’s the most common type of Ethernet cable and is suitable for most home and office networks.
- Cat 6: This is the fastest type of Ethernet cable currently available. It’s generally only used in professional or enterprise-level networks that require the highest speeds.
4. How will you run the cable?
There are a few different ways to run Ethernet cable through walls:
- Through the attic: If you have access to your attic, running the cable there can be the easiest and most discreet way to do it.
- Through the basement: Running the cable can be a good option if you have a basement. Just be sure to watch out for any pipes or electrical wiring that might be in the way.
- Through the walls: If you don’t have access to an attic or basement or prefer to run the cable through the walls, you’ll need to drill holes and fish the cable through them. We’ll talk more about this later in the article.
5. Do you need any special tools or materials?
You might need special tools or materials depending on how you plan to run the cable. For example, if you’re running the cable through the attic, you might need a flashlight, a ladder, and wire strippers.
If you’re running the cable through the walls, you’ll need a drill and fish tape (more on that later). You’ll also need some Ethernet cables, some connectors, and a crimping tool if you plan on making your cables.
How To Run Ethernet Cable Through Walls?
Step 1: Gather Your Tools and Materials
Before running the Ethernet cable through walls, ensure you have all the necessary tools and materials.
Here’s a list of the most common items you’ll need:
- Ethernet cable
- Connectors (optional)
- Crimping tool (optional)
- Fish tape
- Flashlight (if running cable through the attic)
- Ladder (if running cable through the attic)
- Wire strippers (if running cable through the attic)
Step 2: Decide on the Best Route
Once you’ve gathered your tools and materials, the next step is deciding on the best cable route. As mentioned earlier, there are a few options to choose from: the attic, the basement, or the walls.
If you’re running the cable through the attic or basement, the process is fairly straightforward. follow the path of least resistance, avoiding any obstacles like pipes or electrical wiring.
Things get a little more complicated if you’re running the cable through the walls.
Step 3: Mark the Locations of the Wall Plates
If you’re running the cable through the walls, the next step is to mark the locations of the wall plates. These plates will cover the holes you’ll be drilling in the walls. You’ll need one wall plate for each cable end, one at the router, and one at the device you’re connecting to the network.
To mark the locations of the wall plates, hold the wall plate up to the wall and mark the location of the top and bottom mounting screws. You’ll need to drill holes to run the cable through these locations.
Step 4: Drill Holes and Fish the Cable
With the locations of the wall plates marked, the next step is to drill the holes and fish the cable through them.
Here’s how to do it:
- Start by drilling a hole at the location of the top mounting screw of the wall plate. The hole should be large enough for the Ethernet cable to fit through.
- Once the hole is drilled, thread the fish tape through it and into the wall.
- Slowly pull the fish tape through the wall, using it to guide the Ethernet cable.
- When you reach the other side of the wall, drill another hole at the top mounting screw of the other wall plate.
- Thread the fish tape through this hole and pull the Ethernet cable through.
- Repeat the process for the bottom mounting screws.
Step 5: Install the Wall Plates
With the Ethernet cable fished through the walls, the next step is to install the wall plates.
Here’s how to do it:
- Hold the wall plate up to the wall and align the holes with the holes you drilled.
- Insert the mounting screws and tighten them securely.
- Repeat the process for the other wall plate.
Step 6: Connect the Cable to the Router and Device
With the wall plates installed, the final step is to connect the Ethernet cable to the router and the device you’re connecting to the network.
Here’s how to do it:
- Start by finding the Ethernet port on the back of the router.
- Take one end of the Ethernet cable and insert it into the port, ensuring it’s securely connected.
- Find the Ethernet port on the back of your device connecting to the network. This could be a computer, a printer, a smart TV, etc.
- Take the other end of the Ethernet cable and insert it into the device’s port, ensuring it’s securely connected.
- Turn on the device and check to ensure it’s connected to the network.
- If the device is connected to the network, you’re all set! If not, check the connections and ensure everything is securely plugged in.
Optional Step 7: Make Your Own Ethernet Cables (optional)
If you don’t want to use pre-made Ethernet cables, you can make your own using connectors and a crimping tool.
Here’s how to do it:
- Start by cutting the Ethernet cable to the length you need.
- Strip about 1 inch of the outer insulation from each end of the cable, exposing the twisted pairs of wires inside.
- Arrange the wires in the order specified by the connector manufacturer (usually something like “orange-white, orange, green-white, blue, blue-white, green”).
- Insert the wires into the connector and use the crimping tool to secure them.
- Repeat the process for the other end of the cable.
Running Ethernet cable through walls might seem daunting, but it’s relatively easy with the right tools and patience.
Just be sure to plan, take your time, and follow the steps outlined in this article, and you’ll be able to set up a home or office network in no time.