How to Run Ethernet Cables in a Finished House??

Discussion in 'Mac OS X Server, Xserve, and Networking' started by olletsocmit, Jun 9, 2015.


Is your house Wireless or Hardwired??

  1. Wireless

  2. Hardwired

Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. olletsocmit macrumors 6502


    Jun 24, 2010
    ... I was not sure of this best place to post this so if an admin can move to a better locations, please do. So, I have FIOS (300 up/300 down -- so business FIOS connection in my house). I have a 5 bedroom, 3 bathroom house with finished basement. My FIOS connection and home office are in my basement. I managed to run a cat6 cable up 1 floor to my family room (behind my main TV), where i have a Linksys (ac router) that I have made a bridge. 95% of the time i am on my MacBook Pro in my bedroom 2 (2 floors up from the main router). The bridge made a HUGE difference and gives me great wireless speeds ....but its just not enough! I want to be hardwired on every floor!!

    ...So, my house is fully finished, how the hell do i run a cable from the basement, 2 floors up...
    I thought I would push them down thru some power outlets (took the power outlet cover off and tried to push a network cable down in a few rooms and it just does not work). I have not yet made it into my attic, but not sure if that will help either. does anyone have any suggestions? has anyone else run cables with a finished house.
  2. hallux macrumors 68030


    Apr 25, 2012
    You may need to consult a pro for that. I'm sure they have ways. BTW, it is NOT a good idea to co-locate power and network cables in the same run, unless you don't mind reduced speed due to interference.

    I'm wireless but it's only a 1,000 sq. ft apartment with all the living space on one floor.
  3. steve23094 macrumors 68020


    Apr 23, 2013
    Maybe try Homeplugs? I use them and they're pretty good these days. It will save you a lot of time, hassle, money and tearing your house apart.

    EDIT: Technically I replied to the wrong person.
  4. eyoungren macrumors Core


    Aug 31, 2011
    ten-zero-eleven-zero-zero by zero-two
    My house is wired and wireless. But the wireless router is pretty much central in the house, accessible everywhere. Since we rent I can't go drilling holes so the one wired Mac I have connected in the front room has it's cable running along the baseboards.

    P.S. I work in a two story building and a few years ago the boss had the bottom floor (which has our press) wired so pros were hired. They had to drill through concrete to get cat cable passed through between the floors.
  5. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Home plugs over wireless for anything that's stationary.
  6. Dark Void macrumors 68030

    Dark Void

    Jun 1, 2011
    I use wireless. I don't do anything that would require a wired (more reliable connection) and therefore an "excellent" wireless signal is good enough for me. Of the two computers I currently own, each has a wireless antenna built in. When I used to computer game I was strictly ethernet. The method I used in the apartment I lived in at the time was cable clamps. I spent time on it, and ran long ethernet cables along the perimeter edge of the floors and over the doorways. It sounds shady but it actually turned out quite nice and looked rather professional.

    In any case, wired or wireless, I live in a wooded area with bears and the like and while the local internet is very speedy for browsing, the upload and download speeds are abysmal. Since living here I have cringed during any situation where a download occurs, such as updating an OS.

    Try the clamps. Hope this helps.
  7. nStyle macrumors 65816

    Dec 6, 2009
    Yeah, you can't just push cable through a power outlet from one floor to the next...there are floor joists there. You need a flexible drill bit to go through the joists.
  8. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Oct 24, 2013
  9. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    I'd go wireless or if you need ethernet then your only option hiring an electrician to run the wires.

    I have no experience with the homeplugs technology being recommended so I'll not say one thing for or against.
  10. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    I couldn't answer your poll as the answer is "both".

    My house is 95% finished. I ran a cat6 cable along the lower part of the wall downstairs until I got to another room where the ceiling's not done(storage only in that room), from there I followed other electrical wiring using a fisher until I could pull it out of the floor upstairs.

    From there I remove the wooden plinths I have and had the wire run alone the floor in the gap between the flooring and the wall. Once I got close to a socket used for cable(which happened to have other holes already in it, up it went into the socket so that it comes out of the wall.
  11. newellj macrumors 603

    Oct 15, 2014
    Boston, MA, US
    Both here as well. Our house was built in 1964 and obviously was not wired for ethernet. I did the wiring myself but most people would (and should) hire a licensed electrician.

    One note - in most places it's against the code and common sense to put low-voltage wiring in the same box as household mains. That's in addition to the potential speed issues mentioned above.

    Wiring the first floor from our semi-finished basement was pretty easy - just cable runs with the usual installation of a box and an appropriately-located hole in the framing.

    To wire the second floor, I made a hole at the basement/first floor level then worked from the unfinished attic to put a hole in the second floor framing. I then ran wiring up from the basement to the attic and ran wiring around the attic to the locations from which I wanted to drop the wiring into the second floor walls.

    None of this is technically all that complex in a wood-frame house but you need some specialized tools and a combination of patience and/or experience.

    Once again, stay away from the household mains, both for speed and for safety.
  12. Tobias Funke macrumors 6502a

    Tobias Funke

    Apr 3, 2012
    I have wired to all my games consoles and TV but I use wireless for all my other devices.
  13. cambookpro macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2010
    United Kingdom
    I've never had great experiences with powerline adapters. Near the router and plugged in via Ethernet I get speeds of ~160Mbps, but only 50Mbps in the study upstairs. I plugged in a pair of Powerline adapters and tested it and the speeds were worse, around 45Mbps.

    Not sure if it was just something in my house (bad wiring somewhere?) causing it, but they weren't great.
  14. glenthompson macrumors 68000


    Apr 27, 2011
    Some tricks for running cables:

    • Some closets can be over each other so cables can be run in them.
    • Go up from one closet to attic to another closet
    • If a room is carpeted, push cable under the baseboard behind the tack strip.
    • If you have any unfinished space in the basement, utility or storage, it can be used to fish wires over the finished part of the basement.
    • Check out DIY sites for instructions and videos on how to run wires in existing construction.
    I'm lucky to have a one story house with unfinished basement. The builder ran some cable but I've add a bunch more to reach other places. Only devices that use wireless are the iDevices.
  15. olletsocmit thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 24, 2010
    thanks for all the tips guys. so in regards to the power line thing. this is some extra cable behind the wall. the coil is touching a power cable that does into a blue box for 2 power outlets. is this ok that they are touching?

  16. olletsocmit thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 24, 2010
    see above... the coiled cable it the cat5e cable and the thicker grey cable running horizontally and the one coming down that is white is are the 2 power cables that go to a blue box to the left that are the 2 power wall sockets, not sure if this matters.
  17. tivoboy macrumors 68030

    May 15, 2005
    I've had VERY good experiences with homeplug for the past decade. the technology just keeps getting better and faster. IF your house is on one circuit, it's a no brainer from an install and run standpoint.

    I use it mostly for the TV's in various rooms, the tivos (although at the homeplug drop near the tv/tivo areas I put a small hub in there)..

    Great to run from a basement floor to a top floor or vice versa. I've always used netgear but recently have put in tplin, linksys homeplugs.
  18. olletsocmit thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 24, 2010
    can you post a link to the ones you are using please
  19. olletsocmit thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 24, 2010
    Does anyone have any info/advice on this? a few of you said about the cat5e cable not being near power cables? please let me know. do i need to move there the extra cable is or is it fine?
  20. olletsocmit thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 24, 2010
    For the guys who said you use both, i updated the voting so you can choose both. I am not surprised, i figured most people would use wifi since its easier, but never thought that it would be 2 to 1. surprised that 1/2 of the votes is hard wired, i like it!!
  21. Altemose macrumors G3


    Mar 26, 2013
    Elkton, Maryland
    @olletsocmit When running Ethernet in general, it is best to stay away from touching power and if it must cross power lines then it should do so in a direct cross over. You should never run Ethernet parallel with power within 1 foot. Those are the rules I followed when installing the network at my school for my Eagle Scout project and it has worked well.

    As for wiring in a finished building, it is going to depend on how many floors you have. Ideally, you would have one large switch that connects to everywhere in the house, but that is not always plausible. If this is a three story house, I would run a Cat 6 line from the lowest point up either through a closet or drop it through the wall from the attic. The old rule of thumb is to keep all Ethernet connections under 100 m which I fully support. Either way, you are looking at having to go through a corner in the closet to a top floor or attic, through the walls to each room, and interconnecting the floors.
  22. tivoboy macrumors 68030

    May 15, 2005
    I've been using the older netgear homeplug units, 400Mb I think, although I still have the older 200MBs in an older home and they work fine. I have put these newer ones from TP-Link into a new appt though and they work great.. I did get a different set with a 3 port ethernet hub at the remote unit which means it's just the one unit to enable the tv/tivo/slingbox setup at that location
  23. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    There's another wiring solution that I've mentioned on a few of these threads. It wouldn't be anybody's first choice, but it's workable: run the cable outside, using outdoor-rated cable.

    When I moved into a 19th century farmhouse and absolutely had to get wired ethernet to the second floor (before any renovations began) and had to get it there the week I moved in, I simply went to where the server was, drilled into the cellar, went out the frame of a cellar window, up the outside along a piece of vertical trim, and then inside into a closet. Of course I fastened the cable to the house on the outside.

    This was in a small town in the snow belt south of Buffalo. The cable was hit with rain, snow, and ice, and functioned perfectly.

    Months later, when the inside wiring was complete, I took down the cable, filled the holes, and that was that. But it worked perfectly, was easy to install, and because it hugged a vertical, it was hardly noticeable unless you were looking for it.
  24. blacka4 macrumors 6502

    Sep 28, 2009
    as long is it is perpendicular your fine. crosstalk usually isn't a problem that way. Crosstalk or interference is a problem when they run parallel with each other

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