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How to Setup Ethernet Cable Network the Right Way
Today we all live in a 'wireless' world where Wi-Fi is everything. But, still, Ethernet cables outperform Wi-Fi in quality of signal, speed, and network scalability. It's not only used in computers but also in gadgets and technologies like cameras, phone systems, sensor installations.
Having a wired network, be it at the workplace or at home, provides you with high speed, solutions to some issues with features like file sharing, media streaming, internet access, telecommunications, and many more.
In this article, we will discuss Ethernet wiring solutions in detail.
Planning an Ethernet network:
The first step is to have a detailed wiring plan. Have clarity on things like length, type of ethernet cables you will need i.e. cat 5, cat 6, or cat 7 and where your devices will connect to it.
Pro tip: Measure twice and cut once.
Step 1: Choose locations:
Answer the following questions to understand the wiring for the equipment and their placement as well:
- Where in the home or office are your devices located?
- How many ports do you need in each location?
- What sort of network speed are you looking to have?
- Where are you locating your network equipment?
- What route will your Ethernet cables take?
If you have a building plan available, then draw where you want your network cables to go and think about how many of them you might need to cover the area you want to cover.
Step 2: Choose your Ethernet Cables:
Firstly, look into different types of cables and decide which one are you going to use Cat 5e, cat 6 cable, or the more enhanced version which is Cat6a ethernet cable.
A brief note on both types of cables:
Cat5 enhanced cables is an abbreviation of Cat5e. They provide consistently high speed and reality, reduce the interference between wires within the cables, and sometimes come with Cat5 predecessors. They are the go-to solution for home networks.
Cat 6 Cable:
Cat 6 cable offers greater speed and extra interference improvements. They are not strictly useful for home networks but provide enhanced capabilities that are ideal for business network solutions. The more advanced version in Cat6 is cat6a ethernet cable.
Step 3: Choose Equipment:
Once you have selected the cables, next up is time to choose equipment i.e. other network components. Following are the things you will need:
- RJ45 modules
- RJ45 Plugs
- Crimping tools
- Back Boxes
- A cable management solution
- A router (you may already have one courtesy of your ISP)
- A switch
A patch panel is optional. You can plug a wall cable directly into the switch using RJ45 jack. But patch panels make organization and maintaining them easy. You might also need tools like drill and saw and different ways to label your cables.
The next section is wiring and installing the cables.
Step: 4: Install Back boxes
Firstly, you need to drill some holes in the walls. Make holes where you want to put back boxes and install them where you want to run it. Make sure to have one large hole so that all the Ethernet cables can fit through it.
Step 5: Wire the Cables
Follow the below step to wire your cables:
- Use a crimping tool to cut the plastic sheath and make sure to have at least 1 inch of wire exposed.
- Split out the colors and arrange them such that the same color cables are in a row.
- Cut the end of the wire at ½ an inch long fit in your connector and make sure it cuts at equal lengths.
- Carefully insert wires into connectors. Make sure that wires connect perfectly and plastic wire covers in the connector. If the wires extend beyond the connector then you will need to cut wires shorter. If wires don't end the connector then you will need to strip back the plastic sheath with a crimping tool.
Step 6: Run & Connect your Wires
Add the cables into the walls where you have created the holes and label them. Once all the cables are in the proper place, connect them in your patch panel or switch. On the other end, click jacks in their wall plates and back boxes.
Step 7: Test your Network
At last, test your network using a network cable tester or through a manual process.
If you are using a patch panel, you can plug a patch cable from the panel to each port on the Ethernet switch and turn it on. Then you can plug a laptop into each port by using another patch cable.
After each port, check your switch if it displays a link indicator then your wiring is perfect. Now you can connect your network to the Internet and have access to a faster, secure, wired network.
Follow these steps and start creating a cable network that is stable, properly secured, and provides you with the best speed.