How to Install Ethernet Cable in a House

Written by billy brainard
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How to Install Ethernet Cable in a House
Male Cat5 Ethernet Plug (ethernet image by Emmanuel Bergère from

Wiring your house for Ethernet service will allow you to connect to your ISP (Internet Service Provider) as convenient as plugging in the cable to your computer. Networks are connected through a series of jacks and plugs that are wired together using Cat5 (Category 5) cable, which is series of eight wires twisted together in pairs. Once the cables and jacks are installed, it just a matter of connecting them to your router and the project is complete.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil
  • Stud finder
  • Dry wall saw
  • 2 ethernet wall box kits
  • Screwdriver
  • 1 roll ethernet cat 5 cable, 100 feet
  • Wire cutters/strippers
  • 2 female ethernet jacks
  • Ethernet punch tool
  • 2 ethernet cat 5 connector cables

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  1. 1

    Locate the two areas where the jacks will be mounted in the wall. One location should be where the router is located, and the other where network access is desired in another location in the home. Measure up 18 inches from the floor (at both locations) and mark the wall. Use the stud finder to make sure the interior of the wall is clear of any studs before cutting begins.

  2. 2

    Cut a hole, at each location, just large enough for the Ethernet box to slide into the drywall. Insert the boxes into each hole, and tighten down the screws (included in the box) to secure each one in place.

  3. 3

    Route the Cat5 cable from one box, through the walls, to the second box. Pull about six inches of cable out each box. For help on how to run the cable through the walls and ceiling, see the resource link below.

  4. 4

    Strip 4 inches of the outer sheathing off each end of the cable. Untwist and separate each of the eight wires at both ends of the cable.

  5. 5

    Attach one of the female Ethernet jacks to one end of the cable. Use the punch tool to press the appropriate coloured wire down between the colour labelled pins on the jack. As you push the wire between the pins, the blades from each pin will cut through the insulation on the wire and make contact with the wire, forming the connection. Trim off each excess wire away from the pins, using the wire cutters.

  6. 6

    Push the wiring back into the box, and press the clips on the jack to the back of the cover plate to attach the jack to the plate. Line up the holes on the top and bottom of the cover plate with the holes on the box. Insert a screw into each hole and tighten it down to secure it in place.

  7. 7

    Repeat Steps 5 and 6 to attach the remaining female jack to the wiring on the other end of the Cat5 cable.

  8. 8

    Plug in a connector cable with one end running into the rear of the router, and the other into the ethernet wall jack. Plug the second connector cable between the other ethernet wall jack and a laptop computer. Plug the male connector on each end of the cables into the female connector on back of each device and into the wall jack.Turn the modem, router and computer on and test for Internet connectivity.

  9. 9

    Repeat steps two through eight to install any additional wall jacks throughout your home where network connections are desired.

Tips and warnings

  • It may be helpful to purchase an Ethernet cable tester to check the cable once the jacks are installed to ensure the cable is wired correctly. They can purchased at your local computer hardware store.
  • Use care when cutting the wires as the blades are sharp and can cut your fingers.

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