Introduction: How to Wire Your House With Cat-5 (or 6) for Ethernet Networking

Picture of How to Wire Your House With Cat-5 (or 6) for Ethernet Networking

Although wireless is simpler for a lot of people, due to multimedia sharing, bandwidth on my home network and my slight paranoia about wireless security, I really wanted to use a hard wired solution for home networking.

Having a wired network allows me to have a private, high speed, network at home for Internet access, file sharing, media streaming, online gaming (console or PC), IP security cameras, or any other use of standard ethernet type wiring.

Lets get to it with considerations and planning!

Step 1: Initial Considerations and Planning

There are certain design considerations that need to be addressed based on your needs. I'll discuss this before materials because these questions will affect quantities, tools and materials needed.

1. Which room/s do I want wired?

- I have a 2 bedroom condo so I knew I wanted both bedrooms wired. I also have a TV alcove where my cable TV is so that seemed like a good location to wire as well for things like video game consoles. I have cable TV in each of these locations so it seemed logical to treat the network the same way.

2. How many ports do I want in each location?

- With a multiple game consoles and network enabled Blu-Ray player connected to my TV, I knew I wanted at least 3 connections behind my TV. Since the wall plates come in 1, 2, 4, and 6 jack configurations (for single gang), I just went with 4. Why run one cable when its nearly as easy to run 4, right? Rather than vary the number, I just ran 4 drops to each location to provide maximum flexibility with out the need for local (in-room) switches. 3 locations with 4 ports each, 12 ports total.

3. What is a good location for distribution?

- For me the logical location was my laundry room. My cable TV already comes into this room and gets split to each room. It is important to note that my internet comes into the house (over the cable) here too so if I move my cable modem here, it will be able to supply internet access to the entire network. Another thing to consider is the amount of space needed to mount a shelf to hold the network equipment.

4. What path should the cables take?

- This is probably the most difficult consideration. For me, my condo is on the 2nd (top) floor and have access to my attic. My cable TV is distributed through the attic so it seemed like a good solution to run my home network through there as well. For single floor homes with a basement, the basement may be the best path. For multi-story homes you may have to be creative. Outside may be an option or through an old laundry chute. I will not address the specifics of all the possibilities, just my own circumstances. The other consideration with cable path is cable length. The max cable length for up to gigabit speeds over copper UTP cabling is 100 meters (~300 feet). This should provide plenty of flexibility for most home applications but it is good to be aware of this limit.

5. What network speed do I need?

- This will mainly play a part in what kind of switch to get. 10mbps is still faster than most everyones home internet connection, so if you are just surfing a 10 megabit switch will suffice just fine. You can probably pick up one really cheap at a used computer store or maybe even free. You might consider 100mbps if you are planning on sharing multimedia over your network. 100 megabit switches are reasonably priced and easy to come by. Gigabit is probably overkill in most situations but if you must have the fastest, go with it. You will also likely want to use Cat-6 in this case as well. Beware, gigabit switches more than 8 ports climb in price very quickly.

Next up, tools and materials!

Step 2: Required Tools and Materials (and Costs)

Picture of Required Tools and Materials (and Costs)

Your tools and materials can vary a lot on your needs and what you already may have.


Ethernet crimping tool (only if you're putting plug on the ends) $0 True geeks should have one
Drill (primarily for drilling through wall top plates, but makes screwing faster too) $0 Already had
Paddle bit or hole saw (size will vary by how many cables you're running) $0 Borrowed Dads
Pointed hand saw (this makes it easy to cut holes for the gang boxes/wall plates) $0 Borrowed
Strong string or a fish tape $0 Had it laying around
Label Maker (optional) $0 Had it
Pencil $0 had it
Sharpie type Marker $0 Had it
Ruler $0 Had it (I'm noticing a trend)
Stud finder $0 Had it
Punchdown tool (optional) $0 Cause I used a small screwdriver
Laptop or Cable tester (to test each drop) $0 Had a laptop


1000' spool Cat-5e or Cat-6 (more or less based on your need) $0 Free from a friend
Single Gang Retrofit Boxes (the kind that clamp to the drywall, open back) $0.25 each
RJ-45 Jacks and plates (get what you need, maybe an extra or two) $0.35/plate, $14 for 12 jacks
RJ-45 plugs (optional) $0 I didn't use them
Plastic grommet (optional, makes the cabling look professional) $0.60
Patch panel (optional, another professional touch) $0 Dragged out of the dumpster at work
Ethernet Switch $0 Given by a friend
Router/Firewall (optional, may be required by you ISP) $0 Already had one
Velcro strips for cable management (optional) $3 for a roll
Short patch cables (optional) $5 This will vary depending on length

Now that we've (hopefully) got all the stuff we need, lets mount the wall plates!

Step 3: Mounting the Wall Plates

Picture of Mounting the Wall Plates

Since I knew the path my cable TV took and they were in all the same locations that I wanted my ethernet jacks, I just located my cable TV jacks to start. Using the stud finder I was able to tell which side of the cable jack the stud was located on. Studs are located 16" apart in almost all homes and I knew I wanted my ethernet to go in the same wall cavity as the cable TV.

Now that you've decided where to mount the box, you need to draw the lines on the wall to fit the new box and cut the hold with the pointed hand saw. The pointed saw should be able to push through the dry wall pretty easily without the need to drill starter holes.

Once you have the hole cut in the wall, you can put the single gang box into the hole and screw the clamps with hold it in place by clamping to the back of the dry wall.

Repeat this for each location that you want to run to.

For now we'll leave the wall plates off.

At this time you'll also want to cut a hole in the wall in the distribution room. Here you want to cut a hole that the plastic grommet will fit into.

Now we can run cables!

Step 4: Measuring and Running the Cables

Picture of Measuring and Running the Cables

There are a number of ways to do this, you can estimate, measure from floor plans, run one, etc. I used the run one method.

To find the lengths required for each run I ran one cable to each room from the distribution room, pulled it out, and made 3 more like it. After that, you can run all 4 together. You'll also want to label both ends of each cable with a sharpie. This way you can label the ports on both ends.

Before you can do this however you need to drill through the wall top plates so that you can drop the cables into the walls where you have cut your holes. Finding the right place to drill in the top plate (to make sure you get in the right 16" gap between studs) can be tricky. This is another reason I decided to follow the coax cables for cable TV. I traced down the cable TV through that attic and then drilled new holes in the top plate right next to the cable TV holes. You'll want a powerful drill and either a paddle bit or a hole saw for this. The hole saw is easier but the paddle bit is cheaper. I used a 1 1/4" paddle bit and it was hard to control and strained the drill at times. You can also opt to drill multiple small holes and use one for each cable although this makes running them a but harder since you can't tape the bundle together.

Once you have the top holes drilled you can string out some cable to measure how much for each run and then cut 3 more equal lengths per run and then re-run the cables. Be sure to make them long enough that you have some extra from stripping and crimping accidents. Its always easy to tuck extra length into the wall.

Next, making connections.

Step 5: Connecting the Wires to the Jacks and Patch Panel

Picture of Connecting the Wires to the Jacks and Patch Panel

Now the we've got the cables run we can punch down the the cables to the patch panel and the to jacks!

I noted in the materials that a patch panel was optional. You /can/ take the raw cable directly out of the wall, put a RJ-45 plug on it and plug directly into the switch. I feel that for permanent installation it is much more professional to mount a patch panel.

This is pretty easy. Most patch panels and jacks have diagrams with wire color diagrams for the common T568A and T568B wiring standards. To be honest I don't know if either would work. I have seen "A" used for ISDN before but, in looking at the T568B color guide I recognized it as the same as the tons of patch cables I have made before so I went with it. Make sure you use the same on both ends. You can use the punch down tool or a small screw driver to punch the individual wires.

Once you have all the cables connected you can mount the patch panel to the wall and click the jacks into their respective wall plates on the other ends. You can also screw the wall plates into the gang boxes.

Now we can check that things work!

Step 6: Testing Your Connections

Picture of Testing Your Connections

Now before you start connecting most of the network components you want to test all the connections and make sure things are working. This can be done a number of ways. If you actually /have/ a network tester then you probably know what you're doing. You're on your own. However the method I used was a little different.

I plugged a short patch cable from my patch panel to each port on my switch and turned it on. Since it is a managed switch I set each port to be "up/up" and "auto negotiate" Unmanaged switches will not need to configure anything.

The next step is to take another patch cable and a laptop and plug it into each port in each room. Check the switch after each port and verify the "link" indicator is on. Being able to establish a link tests the physical layer (i.e. no broken wires, all tight crimps, no crossed wires), as well as the data link layer (i.e. negotiation between network card and switch port). No IP addressing or anything needed for testing.

This is also a good time to make sure your labeling matches on both ends. For example you can make sure that "Master Bedroom Port 2" on your patch panel actually goes to the second port in the master bedroom.

To the internet, and beyond!

Step 7: Connecting to the Internet

Picture of Connecting to the Internet

Now that we've got this fancy network, we want to connect it to the internet right?

First the cable modem setup. Since I moved my cable modem from my second bedroom (office) to the distribution room I needed to change the way my cable was split. Rather than the main cable into the house being split 3 ways I split things a little differently. I split the incoming cable with a 3-way splitter first. 1 to the main TV, 1 to the 2-way splitter for TV in the bedrooms and the other into the cable modem. I connected the splitters using a male-male barrel connector.

Now that the cable modem is in the right place we can continue with our network setup. Depending on your internet provider some of this setup may vary. I'm going to discuss the specifics of my environment only. I'll provide tips for others when possible.

From the cable modem ethernet port I plugged into the "Untrusted" port on my router/firewall. From the "Trusted" port, I connected to the first switch port on my switch. If your switch has one, plug into the port labeled "Uplink" instead. Depending on the switch or cable modem and or router, you may need (or already have) crossover cables for these connections. With my router/firewall set up as a DHCP server I can now provide each port access to the internet. In addition my entire network is protected from outside access by the firewall.

Although it is not integral to this instructable, I also plugged a wireless access point into my switch so that I can have wireless access as well. Since my wireless is both encrypted and has MAC filtering I feel comfortable with it on the "trusted" side of my firewall. If for some reason I wanted to provide open wireless access but still protect my network I would need a different configuration of connections. I won't go into detail about these changes but I wanted to note them depending on what your network goals are and how they might incorporate wireless access.

In summary, my firewall receives my single, static IP from my ISP cable modem. It also acts as a router and provides DHCP IP addresses to all other hosts on my private network via the switch and cabling we just installed.

What the hell do we do with it now?!? NEXT!

Step 8: Cool Options to Make You Geek Friends Drool

There are some cool additions that you can make to your home network that will make your geek friends drool!

1. File Server or NAS

- I added and mounted a 1U file server in the distribution room that holds all of my multimedia. This includes a mirrored RAID with 1TB of storage for music, movies, TV shows, etc. (RAID is NOT a backup, but I feel better about not losing my media if a hard drive takes a dump) With this I can stream media to any computers on my network! A SOHO NAS device such as Netgear's ReadyNAS also works well here but I've found that their network performance (of NAS devices, NOT specifically the ReadyNAS which I've heard is tha' bomb) doesn't approach the gigabit speeds their network interfaces can negotiate.


- I have both of my XBOXes (yes the originals, no 360 YET) soft modded with XBMC loaded on them. They are also configured with the DVD remote receivers for XBOX so I can control them from the Harmony. This allows me to stream all the multimedia on my server to either of my TVs! No more is watching Hulu or other media limited to just my computer screens. Girls like to watch TV and Movies on the TV. They don't care if you have "The Notebook" on your laptop, they only want to watch it on your TV!

3. Gigabit Switch

- I touched on this before, but upgrading to a gigabit switch allows SUPER FAST file sharing between machines on your home network. It's probably overkill but so is a Bugatti and we all want one of those. If you can't afford one with enough ports for your entire network, you can segregate 2 networks. With the patch panel you could plug port 1 and 2 from each 4 port location into the gigabit switch and the other 2 into the slower switch. But come on, you might as well blow the money and get the whole she-bang!

4. DVR Anywhere

- With a file server set up, you can also install a bunch of DVR cards in it. Each card can record different shows from your cable and store them on the file server. You can then watch your recorded shows on any TV in your house with XBMC. Assuming you set up the routing and or VPN access you can access those shows from a laptop with decent bandwidth ANYWHERE!

5. IP Phones

- Some manufacturers are making IP based telephones that can connect to the internet. Who still has a home phone!?! But if you need one, at least you can skip the phone company bill.

6. IP Cameras

- You can put security cameras in any room which you've run network drops to and record them to your file server. No more worrying if the babysitter is shaking your kids or snooping in your bed room. Your wife or girlfriend might not like your sex lives on the internet though!



connieDIY (author)2017-03-27

Great presentation - Very informative and easy to understand.

stiphani102 (author)2016-09-30

thank you for this great article

my web site :electrical circuit

aundrea.larocque (author)2014-11-29

Help! I've run the cat5e cables and plugged them into my switch whic is also connected to my modem/router. When I plug my laptop into the jack, nothing happens. Should my jacks be T568A and T568B ?? I've wired them all as B but I'm not getting any connection. I tried plugging my laptop into the switch and I connect right away...what am I missing? Thanks in advance for your comments!

Capsos (author)aundrea.larocque2016-09-10

The way to remember is A=AMERICAN and B=BRITISH make sure you have your colour codes in the correct order and the you haven't had it as a crossover connection. Colour connection should be as


and if no connection after checking then I would advise testing this as your most likely find that on of the connections hasn't been punched down correctly, this can happen when using a screwdriver as it pushes the cables down but also spreads the blades. so maybe invest in a cheap Krone tool.

Did you test your connects with something other than a laptop? (with a tester)

EthernetP (author)2016-07-25

You've shared very nice information here but we have some more tactics to perform this task easily, you must have a look on this web page this will definitely help you and others too.

cpw7922 (author)2016-07-13

Can you post some more info on the hardware/software you used for the DVR setup?

FaizK3 (author)2016-05-26

FYI: you may also checkout this post for the related information this might help you too. Thanks!

LindaB9 (author)2015-01-27

hi. I have CAT-5e line in several room of the house. I have a fios router. when i plug one end into the router, and connect it to the jack from the office, it doesn't work. do i need a switch?

AllanJ9 (author)LindaB92015-10-14

No you need to find where the distribution is in your house and plug the router to that. Your plugging into a line that most likely empty at the other end. Think of the power line going into your house as your router and the electrical panel as the ports on the back of your router. Right now you don't have any power going into your panel. What your doing is plugging in an electrical source into an outlet with if you were to say plug into another outlet in your house you wouldn't have power there.

daniel_alexan80 (author)2015-09-15

Video helps too. I'm a little more confused with configuring the routers and switches. The cabling I'm fine with.

CkWeb (author)2015-07-13

My new place has several single RJ45 outlets, which look promising in terms of internal networking, but they may be part of an ISDN install. I've looked unsuccessfully for the termination. I'll be exploring the attic over the garage this weekend and hopefully figure out what the wiring is there for.

I'll also test the outlets to see if they speak to one another, and if they do then I'd suppose that there'd have to be some type of switching appliance someplace. It's an interesting development, since I've only used wifi for laptops and tablets, and then a powerline bridge to a home theater server tucked into a utility closet. I also have a roku on wifi streaming to an old tv set.

My big project this summer is to convert the loft into a big home theater using the light fixture sockets to run the video over a powerline connection with a 3D HD projector and a streaming video appliance like roku. I'll either paint the wall or hang some painted flooring material to use as a screen.

Once I get the hardware and complete the install, I plan to create my first instructable of it, although I'm sure I'll find many similar to this on the site already.

You have definitely amped me to max out my ethernet wall wiring now for sure, thank you for a exceptional and very detailed instructable!

Rogue Agent (author)2015-07-13

Ok guys, take your politically hypersensitive conversation back to Tumblr. I didn't assume anything about my audience but was merely writing from my own perspective. The statement was made in jest to begin with. If it is offensive to you to have to think about putting that into terms that fit your particular situation to understand my statement, maybe you should get off the internet. Kindly feel free to ignore any posts I make.

darin.meddaugh (author)2015-01-30

not to bad guys nice work!!!

aundrea.larocque (author)2014-11-29

Help! I've run the cat5e cables and plugged them into my switch whic is also connected to my modem/router. When I plug my laptop into the jack, nothing happens. Should my jacks be T568A and T568B ?? I've wired them all as B but I'm not getting any connection. I tried plugging my laptop into the switch and I connect right away...what am I missing? Thanks in advance for your comments!

akhan128 (author)2014-07-20

FYI: you may also checkout this post for the related information,Patch Panel For LAN Connection with CAT5/CAT6 | touchtechblog this might help you too. Thanks!

jbingham4 (author)2014-07-19

Wireless is no longer a convenience but a necessity. In the 90s this info was invaluable and common place but in the new millenium... well, show me an Instructable for add in networking cable plugs to my phone and tablet that won't void my warranties.

Alex Brown (author)2014-01-10

Cat5e network cable television can be used to carry impulses. Most of these type of cabling are generally used by networking infrastructure in addition to getting potential to be able to offers large swiftness & suitable for this 10Gbps Ethernet cabling podium.

ychandolu (author)2013-12-11

I have 4 phone outlets in the house. But behind the rj11 jacks, the house is wired with cat 5. I am planning to install rj11 and rj45 combo jacks by splitting cat 5 cable so I have both data and phone in al lthe 4 places. My cat5 are terminating in the cable company box out side of the the house. How do I go about enabling the internet and phone in all the 4 jacks? what is the best way for me to do so?

WestDover (author)ychandolu2014-01-08

Assuming that you know this already but each CAT5 Cable has 8 wires in it and only 4 of them are being used. You could run Data with the Phone but there is a down side. By doing that the phone lines will interfere with the Data lines and bring down performance by a lot. You are probably better off running CAT5e or CAT6 next to the CAT5 cable if you are hardwiring for speed. If not then look in the Cable box outside for 4 of the wires that are not being used.... Then you will need to install a network switch around that location because unlike phone you can't just split the data wire into 4. If you want the speed I highly suggest that you run a second cable.

ychandolu (author)WestDover2014-01-08

Thanks for the reply. I already completed the splitting part in the wall outlets and now I have both rj11 and rj45 in my house. From your suggestion, my next plan is to buy a network switch and install it some where near the cable box, but inside of my house. Any suggestions on a good basic network switch that is popular for easy install? any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

rocket_nova (author)2013-09-28

Thanks for a great instructable! It was very clear and inspiring. I wanted to say, though, that I thoroughly enjoyed this instructable and was getting really psyched about wiring up the office of my small business when I got to the second to last sentence "Your wife or girlfriend might not like your sex lives on the internet though!" It was suddenly and forcefully revealed to me that the author likely assumed the audience for this post was straight and male. That's a real bummer.

Like all my experiences when it is revealed to me that I am in the minority of those expected to benefit from posts like these, it was a really isolating and alienating experience. I believe statements like these work, generally unintentionally, to reinforce gender norms in which women are socialized to believe they are incapable, unwelcome, or uninterested in fields that involve technology of any sort.

In addition, I was quite offended by the lighthearted treatment of what many women would consider a nonconsensual violation of privacy. I think the most generous reading of that sentence would be that the author wanted to gently remind his male audience that posting sex videos of their partners without their consent is often received negatively by those partners. Even so, I think the comment was offensive in its treatment of the issue.

pepetito (author)2013-02-12

Well when my dad comes home from work he is required by the government to have a wired connection for security soooo... there more secure i guess is the only use for thi

TNThieding (author)2011-07-25

Thank you for the very useful information. I have a huge spool of Cat5 cable a friend did not need and they gave to me. I am planning of setting up booster routers in the rooms with ports that have wi-fi dead zones to give internet to my "wireless-only" devices". I have random devices and computers scattered through the house and I prefer wired over wireless like you.

Thank you for posting this valuble instructable for assisting others and I. This is a really good and rewarding project.

jschmidt20 (author)TNThieding2012-04-11

Remember.... Cat5 is adequate for 10/100 mbps, but NOT good enough for 1 gbps. Learned this the hard way. It simply won't cut it. Must use Cat5e for 1 gigabit connection, and, of course, have a gigabit router and a gigabit nic card.

jobard (author)2012-03-30

I'm sorry, I couldn't understand why you think cables are better than wireless connection. On the former you have to break walls, you are limited to the end of the cable, so if I want to bring my laptop from my desk to my bed, either the cable should be long enough, or there should be another connection point close to my bed, and in this case, the connection will be lost for disconnecting one point and connecting to the other. Not to mention the expense for buying up to 100m of cables and installing them. The latter, you just have to use a router or two, and I'll be able to use my laptop even in the toilet, if I want, although this idea sounds bizarre.... Regarding safety, that's what firewalls are used for.
What do you think?

Rogue Agent (author)jobard2012-03-30

Cables are ALWAYS going to be more secure and provide faster and more reliable bandwidth than wireless. You clearly didn't read the entire thing because I do discuss the possibility of adding wireless to the mix as well. Sure wireless is VERY convenient, especially for renters, or for laptops, ipads and devices that you move to different locations. But the benefit of distributed cabling should be obvious. Even if you wanted all your endpoints wireless, there is still benefit in that you could get better signal connecting an access point to the cabling on each floor of a 3 story house.

Sure there are cost and convenience trade offs and I think I address them very well. Some people like to "break walls" and have a built in solution.

About your comment "that's what firewalls are for", you might want to brush up on your understanding about what firewalls do. Firewalls do not protect wireless. Firewalls are like a gate to your network - but if you use wireless the gate kinda doesn't work because your traffic flies through the air. Yes there are security methods to protect wireless communications, and yes they've improved since I originally wrote the article. But you still never achieve the same security you would with a wired network.

Thanks for reading! Hopefully I've made it more clear.

pfred2 (author)Rogue Agent2012-03-30

What they meant to say is that is what Faraday cages are for, as in put one around your whole house :)

Shelby S (author)2012-03-30

Awwww man this is GENIUS. I've never thought about this. Great idea. I hate wireless connections, not only because they're a little slower than wired, but because, at least in my situation, they're obstructed. I'm currently running on an old PC (that's soon to change), and the only options for internet are to haul it right in front of the router, blocking the TV, or use a wireless card.. I only have USB ports on the back, and no extension cables. So my wireless card is cornered, and gets a crappy signal.

Computothought (author)2012-03-30

Cool article. I am not a wifi fan either. Though I do use ethernet over power to connect the two major computer areas in the house. Did enough wiring as a tech.

bblackmoor (author)2011-07-02

I found this write-up very helpful and informative. I am going to wire our house for ethernet, and this instructable brought to mind several things I had overlooked. I appreciate the complete lists of parts and supplies. Very helpful.

(Some people have commented on the lack of prices, but I would expect prices to change, anyway, so I really don't think that's a big deal. Besides, this documenting the author's project, and if he got something free, then he got it free. I don't see the issue there.)

PeterDL (author)2011-05-24

QUESTION - we are currently wiring Cat-6 and replacing Cat-3 into the rest of the updates we have done on our 1953 home. Having no issues and coming along nicely. The idea is to keep up with FiOS we have had with Verizon for several years. Our house needed the update and we want to be up to 'speed' for changes in cable/TV industry when we figure in a few years time, all one will need is an ISP for computer to replace set-top boxes in populated areas. NetFlix runs on our big TV screen just fine through the X-Box on a nice big monitor.

We figure that in short order, competitive ISP vendors will offer (ala Hulu) will run the TV and all the devices that are currently entering each home - like - iPad and wireless ways of watching anything that traditional TV/Cable once ruled. The telephone is almost a hang-nail bundle now because it is digital and we have consumer choices outside cable company bundling. With Vonage, Magic Jack, Skype, etc - phones will probably be dropped in bundle choices and just be part of ISP services?

Verizon has changed downwards to 'digital' phone bundle, and we like having a land line. With FiOs we enjoy a highly effective WiFi environment with the old wiring. I promised the CAT-6 will make it even better.

THE QUESTION came up with my wife when she asked me - as I had said to her that the old CAT-3 defeats high speed price tiers after enters the old wiring in the house. I told her my readings indicated we were around 10Mbps once the service hit our house wiring regardless of how fancy the box to the house and pay tier promised. Thus the upgrade is timely now to CAT-6.

If all we were getting was the low speed high speed - WHY were we paying for higher priced, 25Mbps 'faster' tier selections all this time?! In summery, if the house has old wiring, what good is it for a consumer to pay for the highest speed FiOS offers when the CAT-3 wiring does not allow it to do it's thing?

When we are finished converting - CAT-6 should up our bang for less buck if we switch to lower tier pricing? We have good speed and wireless and wired interaction with our computers and devices with the CAT-3.

Should we change our package for the lower speed price selection from our ISP with the CAT-6, and not blink in the 'speed' if we pick the Thanks ahead of time for helping weed out fact vs. fiction vs. wallet!

DavidMR (author)2011-03-28

I have been reading and collecting information for a while on this exact topic. I intend (with help) to complete the wiring / cabling this Saturday - April 2nd. After reading your well written and informative instruction, I will be using CAT 6 and I will be running 4 cables to all outlets. I also intend running some Coax - Satellite - RG6 to some select locations.

I have one question though, Is there any other cable(s) that I should consider running now that I will be cutting into the walls? I have thought of Speaker Wire but not really sure it would be beneficial?
I have a plan to add CCTV at some stage but with (my limited) knowledge, I beleive I can use the CAT 6 for that purpose so.. no need that I am aware of for specific CCTV cable?

The house is 3 story so I want to do this once in] my lifetime!

TechPaul (author)DavidMR2011-04-01

Don't worry about CCTV as you will probably go IP cameras soon anyway.
IPcams can have better resolution and integrated into a VOIP pabx to allow camera attached to door stations etc

DavidMR (author)TechPaul2011-04-09

Advice taken. I started this job and with the usual interuptions of work and life, I estimate that the cabling will not be finished til May! BUt as I am in no rush, it is giving me good time to collect information for the final network design.

iweiting (author)DavidMR2011-04-01

My buddy and I are building neighboring houses, and we are doing cat 5e and quad shielded RG6 to all bedrooms, as well as any sitting/activity areas as well as my theater. We are also dropping 7.1 speaker taps into my theater and his TV room as well as 5.1 speaker taps into the basement rumpus rooms.

Simplest approach is simply find a good central post build accessible spot and run mainlines to there, and then hub/splitter the network and coax lines to everywhere you want em. This gives you an all purpose point away from the main panel to deal with your low voltage stuff and also allows you to expand later if needed, i.e. I am not finishing my basement immediately, but when I do I will be adding 3 more coax/net cable panels to accommodate my lab, another bedroom and the poker/tv area.

So really unless you are planning to add a projector at some point (then you need to run composite,component and hdmi cables through the celing and receiver wall to keep it clean) then you really only need to do net/coax/speaker.

illegal3alien (author)2009-11-06

I've always dreamed of a house with 2 gigabit ethernet hookups in each room and a little alcove up high somewhere for a switch/modem/router that would also offer a good spot for wireless. I bought all cat6 cables when I needed new ones, but I still have a mbit router and there's only one gbit computer.

TechPaul (author)illegal3alien2011-04-02

during your upgrade look for native IPV6 switches/routers. You don't need to cover the entire house/complex with 1 wifi base, use 2-3 and put them in infrastructure mode. Well run and terminated Cat 5e can reach GB speeds, at least over normal size house runs. The next big challange is 10Gb. I had my last house completely cabled and then had to find uses for it(2001), now I have many devices ready and able to be networked.

Duchateau (author)2011-03-13

It is amazing how much hate you got for this one. I think it is awesome. I know how google works and can look up prices myself. I think it was well written and really made me think about some things i hadn't thought of. Good Job!

ElvenChild (author)2011-02-10

Umm... Dude I dont want a bugatti and I still have a home phone

carniemechanic (author)2010-04-04

 Why write anything at all about costs knowing you'll say nothing informative? Most of us have tools, I'm sure; subscribing to Instructables implies this. Few of us have access to so much free material and components.
 Please make the article you write as informative as it is instructive. I find incomplete information frustrating.

There's plenty informative.  Even if I don't list all the costs, the proper tools and materials listing is helpful.  I listed what it cost me, some of which was $0.  But I'm not going to research costs on everything for your convenience.  If you find my instructable frustrating, move along and don't read it. 

Costs are relative. Will you buy or scrounge every bit of this? I have friends that do this for a living. With nearly empty spools of wire and a scrounged connector or two I bet i'd get down to zero cost. If you hire the job done then it could cost thousands. Cat5 wire is cheap here in the USA i'd bet in some parts of the world it is difficult and expensive to find.

Rogue Agent - You've done a very good job at presenting a project that many would never attempt without that little nudge from someone who has already done it and documented it so they could see the potential pitfalls. Kudos! As to those who feel the need to criticize what they couldn't do themselves, well, just let them go about their way without trying to retaliate. You can never truly "get even." More and more I find myself applying the old saying - "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." When we are so quick to defend what doesn't need defending we create the appearance that it needs defense. Just shake your head, smile and let it go. Don't make their frustration yours.

.  Amen!

rrrmanion (author)carniemechanic2010-11-14

i think you'll find other people would not find him(/her listing the prices useful anyway, the prices would have been in dollars, and prices in the US, instructables is available all over the world, i live in the UK, and we use pounds, so you might just have to put up with it, and think how at least most of the instructables are listed in your currency.

dragonfly_blue (author)2010-10-18

As if the house wasn't already handling Mr. House just fine, now we've got to start from scratch on alternate universe 67 ley lines, which are not even compat flavours of the *BSD devices and the ant build scripts will be about as useful as a punch-drunk donkey clicker, you mother caressing chicken clucker you. :-)

dancmarsh (author)2010-10-14

update on the readynas servers

don't mess with it and it won't break. It appears to have been a PICNIC (look it up)

Seriously though, its a linux box, they are designed to just carry on running without interference. Once setup, should be fine. Ours appears to be amazing now it's stable

Avoid the buffalo terrastation though, awful interface.

narnboy1 (author)2009-09-04

The reason for type a or type b is to create a straight-thru you use one type on both sides. To create a cross-over cable is use one type on one side and the other type on the other,

thezman78 (author)narnboy12009-11-06

 That's not accurate. T568B is an older standard that is still widely in use mostly in large office buildings where the building was originally wired as T568B and therefore would be too expensive to rewire to T568A. T568B is still a viable option (and most network professionals people choose it because of its wide usage and its what they already know).

T568A is the STANDARD as EIA/TIA sees it and all new wiring schemes are supposed to be wired by T568A. Most aren't the because as mentioned above basically "can't teach an old dog new tricks". The difference in B vs A is that A allows for backward compatibility with analog telephone lines in a 2 line phone run and/or structured wiring in a home (mostly structured wiring in a home). This allows you to use a T568A wired jack for either telephone or data depenending on what signal you have patched at the other end.

If you decide to place phone signal on the line, the orange and blue pairs will carry the signal for both lines so when you plug in an RJ11 phone cord, you can now support a phone with 1 or 2 lines. If you decide to run data, just pull the phone cords out at the other end and patch data into it.

T568A is the current Standard over T568B which will be completely phased out by 2012 if not sooner. However, most contractors do it like this:

T568A = Residential

T568B = Commercial (unless otherwise requested for A)

About This Instructable




More by Rogue Agent:How to Wire Your House With Cat-5 (or 6) For Ethernet Networking
Add instructable to: