How to Install Ethernet Wall Jack

Written by raul avenir
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How to Install Ethernet Wall Jack
RJ-45 connectors plug into an RJ-45 wall jack. (network cable image by Leonid Nyshko from

An Ethernet or Local Area Network (LAN) uses an RJ-45 keystone jack to connect each computer to a network of Cat-6 cables. RJ-45 keystone jacks are standardised snap-in packages for mounting into a keystone wall plate, and are interchangeable and replaceable. Each jack has eight colour-coded slots that accommodate the four pairs of wires in a Cat-6 cable and a punch-down tool is used to embed the wires to their slots. Ethernet wall jacks are not difficult to install once you learn the basics.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Diagonal pliers
  • Wire stripper
  • RJ-45 jack
  • Screwdrivers

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  1. 1

    Pull the network cable carefully out of the outlet box and strip off 2 inches from the sheath of the network cable using diagonal pliers, but be careful not to nick or damage any of the inner wires. Untwist and straighten out the four pairs of twisted wires.

  2. 2

    Get an RJ-45 keystone jack and pry off its snap-on cover to reveal two colour-coded wiring schemes printed on top or at the side of the jack. Choose any of the schemes to be used for connecting the wires as long as the same scheme is used on the other end of the cable.

  3. 3

    Place the keystone jack sideways on an even surface with the opening pointing toward your right. Place the wires on top of the RJ-45 jack with the tip of the cable's jacket touching the end of the jack and the tip of the wires pointing toward your right.

    Divert the wires one by one to its matching colour-coded slot following the colour scheme you chose earlier. Embed each wire to its slot by punching it down firmly all the way to the bottom using the punch-down tool that came with the jack.

  4. 4

    Cut any excess wire around the jack using diagonal pliers. Put back the jack's snap-on cover, and mount the keystone jack onto the slot on the back of the faceplate. Push the jack firmly against the faceplate until the jack snaps into place. Attach the faceplate onto the outlet box using the screws included with the jack.

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