Looking to hire a contractor to run ethernet wiring throughout my house, questions...

Maximus96

Diamond Member
Nov 9, 2000
5,388
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Our two story house currently does not have wired ethernet. I get by with network-over-coax adapters as they do provide very close to 100mbit speed. However, we’re getting some work done in the house soon and I want to get the house wired up while we’re at it because I want gigabit. I don’t have a network closet or similar so I imaging all the wires will go the new loft where we plan to use as an office/computer area.

This is the part I’m not sure of, what’s the best way to deal with the bundle of wire that will probably come out of a hole in the ceiling. Do I connect the wires straight into the back of a switch? And what is the best way for a clean setup?

Thanks for any input
 

Anubis

No Lifer
Aug 31, 2001
78,716
414
126
plan ahead, depending on how may outlets you want you are going to need a beast of a router/switch, and yes generally they all connect into it and then run into the wall and run out to where they need to go
 
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Saint Nick

Lifer
Jan 21, 2005
17,722
6
81
I helped my Dad run ethernet in the house back in the late 90s... I think it only took a weekend.
 

Safeway

Lifer
Jun 22, 2004
12,081
9
81
When I ran ethernet, I had the cables placed in smooth conduit to facilitate replacement in the future. It will be easy to tie on and pull through new cabling in the future if, for instance, internal wiring goes fiber.

As for routing, I would have the wires routed down the inside of a wall and out of a plate around the same height as the switch you'll be using. If out of the ceiling, you can simply use a 3-sided cover to conceal the wires.

I have a ridiculous amount of ethernet wiring since I have a multi-room sound system that uses ethernet to drive the touch-panel audio controls embedded in the walls. I also have at least 2 additional ethernet ports in most rooms. Bedrooms have one on every wall. The kitchen has 6 total, including the 2 audio-controls.

It is a lot of wire, but really, it doesn't take long to do once you get going.
 

Juddog

Diamond Member
Dec 11, 2006
7,850
2
81
When I ran ethernet, I had the cables placed in smooth conduit to facilitate replacement in the future. It will be easy to tie on and pull through new cabling in the future if, for instance, internal wiring goes fiber.

As for routing, I would have the wires routed down the inside of a wall and out of a plate around the same height as the switch you'll be using. If out of the ceiling, you can simply use a 3-sided cover to conceal the wires.

I have a ridiculous amount of ethernet wiring since I have a multi-room sound system that uses ethernet to drive the touch-panel audio controls embedded in the walls. I also have at least 2 additional ethernet ports in most rooms. Bedrooms have one on every wall. The kitchen has 6 total, including the 2 audio-controls.

It is a lot of wire, but really, it doesn't take long to do once you get going.
Nice! Do you have pics hosted anywhere of this crazy setup?
 

spidey07

No Lifer
Aug 4, 2000
65,469
5
76
Go to networking forum. There's a sticky about wiring.

Make sure the installer terminates everything into a single patch panel and they test the cable. If they don't, you don't want them doing the work. Use Category 6 wiring at a minimum.
 

Juddog

Diamond Member
Dec 11, 2006
7,850
2
81
Go to networking forum. There's a sticky about wiring.

Make sure the installer terminates everything into a single patch panel and they test the cable. If they don't, you don't want them doing the work. Use Category 6 wiring at a minimum.
Is CAT6 really that much better than CAT5E though? You can save a few bucks by going CAT5E.
 

imagoon

Diamond Member
Feb 19, 2003
5,199
0
0
Check here:

http://forums.anandtech.com/showthread.php?t=2053136

Patch panel where ever all cables join, refit boxes and keystones on the walls. Pull more than you think you need.

I have a quad [6 actually but 2 are coax] behind my entertainment center. All 4 cables are in use. Directv / xbox / roku / wireless AP. I wish I had pulled 8 or 10 cables and terminated them on need.
 

Maximus96

Diamond Member
Nov 9, 2000
5,388
1
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so its better to have multiple ports in each location instead of a single port and a switch? how much difference would it make?
 

Maximus96

Diamond Member
Nov 9, 2000
5,388
1
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anybody know roughly how much it will cost to hire a pro? I read it was about $100 a drop. unfortunately my house is built on a slab and i don't have the know-how to run the wire myself thru the attic and down to the first floor, etc
 

imagoon

Diamond Member
Feb 19, 2003
5,199
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so its better to have multiple ports in each location instead of a single port and a switch? how much difference would it make?
Personally I found it:

a) Cheaper
b) less parts to go bad
c) looks cleaner

Performance wise it would vary. If you chuck a $5 switch back there it will likely suck. If you are putting good switches all over it would work fine normally.

For me I had a 48 port gig switch so pulling 2 or 4 lines per location was cheaper than going out and buying 6 1 gig switches to cover all the places I have more than one cable.

For example:

Bedroom: Directv + Roku (2/2 ports used)
Office: Desktop + network printer (2/2) ports used
Livingroom (4/4 used)
Family room (2/4 used)
Storage room [nas etc are back there] 2/2 used.

So for me if I had run 1 I would have needed at least 5 ~75-$100+ switches. Pulling more than 1 cable adds nearly nothing to a pull. I buy cable often at $75 / 1000 feet. I bought a couple of boxes and just pulled them 2 or 4 at a time with the coax. When you pull them you tape them all together so the extra time is termination which takes me about 45 or so seconds a network keystone and like 10 seconds for coax.

So $350 - $500 for 5 1 gig switches or $300 to buy 4 boxes of cable, pull and terminate.

Not a huge savings in material but I also don't have 5 switches using power / warming the house either.
 

MiniDoom

Diamond Member
Jan 5, 2004
5,307
0
71
anybody know roughly how much it will cost to hire a pro? I read it was about $100 a drop. unfortunately my house is built on a slab and i don't have the know-how to run the wire myself thru the attic and down to the first floor, etc
do you have air conditioner duct work that runs from your first floor to attic? If so run the cable along side the duct work into the attic and drop down the wall frames to the desired location.
 

CPA

Elite Member
Nov 19, 2001
30,322
4
0
PM skyking, he's an expert on this and even helped me out several years ago.
 

OutHouse

Lifer
Jun 5, 2000
36,413
616
126
This is the part I’m not sure of, what’s the best way to deal with the bundle of wire that will probably come out of a hole in the ceiling. Do I connect the wires straight into the back of a switch? And what is the best way for a clean setup?
see below, imissed Jmolayal post.
 
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OutHouse

Lifer
Jun 5, 2000
36,413
616
126

Fayd

Diamond Member
Jun 28, 2001
7,971
2
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www.manwhoring.com
This is the part I’m not sure of, what’s the best way to deal with the bundle of wire that will probably come out of a hole in the ceiling. Do I connect the wires straight into the back of a switch? And what is the best way for a clean setup?
connect to a patch panel, then from there connect to a switch.
 

JimKiler

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 2002
3,521
162
106
I recently had Cat 6 run throughout the house we bought. Terminated in my office, inside a closet, and connected to this patch panel. Patch panel has 3 foot cables run to 2 gigbit switches and 1 gigabit router. Bought all my gear from monoprice and couldn't be happier.

Here's the patch panel.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=105&cp_id=10514&cs_id=1051401&p_id=7253&seq=1&format=2
That is the same patch panel i bought and i wired our 2 story house earlier this year but i cheated and did it before the builder sheet rocked. I only had to drill holes and get several friends to pull the wires through.

If you buy the material on monoprice get the stranded stuff not the solid stuff, i forget the difference but the wording makes you think solid is correct for in wall use when in fact you want stranded for in wall use.

OP get a local handyman with experience and will to let you help, thus save money. Give us your home layout, maybe you can run wires to your ceiling and down to interior walls thus not having to tear up your drywall to much. When i asked i was advised and glad i did at least two Cat6 runs in each room. The room with the wireless router should get an additional run since you will most likely put the router in a seperate location from the router. In my case the router is in the office on second floor and the switch and patch panel are in the basement, this eats up 2 ports in the office. Actually we have fiber and the TV uses cat cable as well so i wish i ran at least 3 runs to each room.

But when finding someone they should not charge you $100 a run, if you do a second run it should not cost double, if you buy two spools you can run them together.
 
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imagoon

Diamond Member
Feb 19, 2003
5,199
0
0
That is the same patch panel i bought and i wired our 2 story house earlier this year but i cheated and did it before the builder sheet rocked. I only had to drill holes and get several friends to pull the wires through.

If you buy the material on monoprice get the stranded stuff not the solid stuff, i forget the difference but the wording makes you think solid is correct for in wall use when in fact you want stranded for in wall use.

OP get a local handyman with experience and will to let you help, thus save money. Give us your home layout, maybe you can run wires to your ceiling and down to interior walls thus not having to tear up your drywall to much. When i asked i was advised and glad i did at least two Cat6 runs in each room. The room with the wireless router should get an additional run since you will most likely put the router in a seperate location from the router. In my case the router is in the office on second floor and the switch and patch panel are in the basement, this eats up 2 ports in the office. Actually we have fiber and the TV uses cat cable as well so i wish i ran at least 3 runs to each room.

But when finding someone they should not charge you $100 a run, if you do a second run it should not cost double, if you buy two spools you can run them together.
Solid is correct for in wall. Stranded is patch cord cable.
 

mshan

Diamond Member
Nov 16, 2004
7,868
0
71
I remember reading somewhere a recommendation to call up those companies that install security systems and see if they know anyone at thier company who runs wires in walls as a side business.
 

JimKiler

Diamond Member
Oct 10, 2002
3,521
162
106
Solid is correct for in wall. Stranded is patch cord cable.
your right, solid means a solid piece of copper and stranded means threads of copper which you only use for very short distances. I bought solid, not stranded.
 

LurkerPrime

Senior member
Aug 11, 2010
962
0
71
Would it not be cheaper to go the wireless route? You can get over gigabit speed wireless routers these days.
 

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