In order to run ethernet cable in your home, first, locate where the ethernet hardline is. This will be in a box inside or outside your home. Then, create a home wiring plan that includes the location of your router, as well as the list of rooms where you will need an ethernet wall jack. Once you’ve created your plan, select the best cable type for your installation. Cat 6 is great for small houses while Cat 6a provides more reliable speed for large installations. Determine whether to run your cable through a basement, crawlspace, or the attic. Then, safely run your cable through the chosen space and into the walls in the rooms that need ethernet connectivity. Finally, cut a hole in the wall where your ethernet wall jack will be and connect the cable to the jack.
Can You Install Ethernet Yourself?
You can safely install ethernet cable in your home without hiring a professional. Ethernet cable carries a very low voltage current so it is safe to work with. If you have experience with power tools and the patience to learn a few new skills, you can install ethernet cable in your home.
- It is safe to install ethernet cable yourself because it is very low voltage and not dangerous to work with.
- Installing ethernet cable in your home can be simple or complex, depending on how many rooms you want to run ethernet to.
- Installing ethernet cable requires you to use power tools and use some specialized tools for installing wall jacks.
The difficulty of installing ethernet cable in your house depends on your home and your installation plans. For instance, running ethernet to the second floor of a two-story home will require more work than running ethernet cable through an exterior wall to a nearby room. The amount of work involved depends on how ambitious your plans are.
How Much Does it Cost to Run Cat 6 Cable in Your House?
The cost of running Cat 6 cable in your house ranges from $35 to several hundred dollars, depending on your wiring plan. This 100-foot length of Cat 6 cable is inexpensive and suitable for creating an ethernet connection to a single room in your house. If you need a longer cable—or if you need multiple cables—the cost will increase.
- You can run Cat 6 ethernet cable to a single room in your home for $35, if you find good deals on cable and wall jacks.
- If you need more cables and wall jacks to add extra cables in your home, the price will increase.
- You will save money by doing the cable installation work yourself, instead of hiring a contractor.
Running a Cat 6 ethernet cable yourself will almost always be less expensive than hiring someone else to do the job. You’ll often save hundreds of dollars by choosing to add your own ethernet connections, rather than paying someone else to install the connections.
7 Steps to Run Ethernet Cable in Your House
You can run network cable in your house to provide a reliable internet connection and faster internet speed to your home office or gaming area. Here are the steps you need to take to plan and install a reliable network:
Locate Your Ethernet Source
Find where your ethernet hardline is housed to begin planning your own installation. This is where the line coming from your ISP (Internet Service Provider) is accessible on your property. It may be inside your home, inside a wall panel, or it may be inside a box on the exterior of your home. It is essential that you know where this is, since your wiring plan will begin here.
Decide Where to Place Your Router and Switch
Your WiFi router and ethernet switch should be placed in a central location in your home, in an elevated area that is not obstructed or close to electronic devices. Choosing this location is essential to your wiring plan. A central office or living room, away from a TV and other electronics is a great place. You can even plan to place your router on a shelf to elevate it off the floor and increase the WiFi range.
Determine Which Rooms Need Ethernet Connectivity
Do you need hardline ethernet connections in your living room, office, or another room? It’s essential to run ethernet cable and install wall jacks in rooms that require the fastest, most reliable network. Plan to run ethernet to rooms where you will need ethernet connectivity for work, gaming, or streaming video.
Select Your Ethernet Cable Type
There are many types of ethernet cable, with some providing faster connectivity than others. Cat 6 cable is the common standard, since it allows speeds up to 10 Gbps and has a bandwidth of 250 Mhz. However, if your house is large, Cat 6 may not be enough. If you’re running cable over distances greater than 180 feet (55 meters), Cat 6 loses speed and reliability. For sustained speed over long cable runs and 500 Mhz bandwidth, step up to this Cat 6a cable.
Choose the Best Space to Run Your Ethernet Cable
It is best to run your ethernet cable through a basement, crawlspace, or attic for a safe and reliable installation. There are several reasons you should not run your ethernet cable through your air vents, including the risk of fire. Attic and basement installations allow for easy servicing and let you run your ethernet cable at a safe distance from electrical wiring. Running your ethernet cable to close to electrical wires can cause signal interference, which degrades your internet connection.
Run Your Cable Safely
Once you choose to run your ethernet cable below your rooms (in a crawlspace or basement) or above your rooms (in the attic), you can follow our detailed guide to attic ethernet installations. It’s essential to drill through the 2x4s in your wall and fish the cable inside the wall. Then, cut a hole in the drywall and pull your cable through. By this point, you’ve got ethernet connectivity in your desired rooms.
Install Wall Jacks for Ethernet Connectivity
Once you’ve cut a hole in your wall and fished your cable through, it’s time to install an ethernet wall jack. Wall jacks with multiple ports allow you to connect several devices to your network, which makes your ethernet network far more useful. Follow this video guide to installing an RJ45 wall jack. Installing a wall plate allows provides a professional look to your installation. With your wall jacks installed, you’re ready to plug in your devices.
What is the Best Way to Run Ethernet Cable Through Your House?
You can create a reliable in-home ethernet connection by following these steps:
- Locate the source of the ethernet hardline coming from your ISP. This will be in an indoor or outdoor box.
- Determine the best place to locate your router and ethernet switch, for optimal connectivity.
- Select the rooms that need ethernet connectivity.
- Choose the correct cable type for your installation—Cat 6 is perfect for most homes but Cat 6a is recommended for networks with long cable runs.
- Choose to run your cable through one of the following locations: basement, crawlspace, or attic.
- Run your ethernet cable from the hardline connection to the basement, crawlspace, or attic, then down into the walls of the selected rooms.
- Cut a hole in the wall, fish your ethernet cable through, and connect it to an RJ45 wall jack.
Although running cable through your attic or walls may seem daunting, we have detailed guides to help you through the process. What is essential is to create a wiring plan and to run your cable safely through the basement, crawlspace, or attic.