Installing Network Cabling

No, the cabling part isn’t quite done yet. Outside of choosing the correct cable type or wiring them correctly, you should also know a thing or those about wiring cable runs. In the most basic sense, cable runs are the wiring that will ultimately run from your switch to the various rooms in your house. The methods that can be used here vary, depending upon how fancy you want to be.

Most users opt for the easiest solution when running wires to other rooms, namely creating one very long cable with a plug on each end. While this works, it can also be messy, and you probably don’t want loose cable running across your floor. Instead, most people fasten the wire to the wall, along the top or bottom of baseboard. But therein lies the problem – if the cable is fastened to the wall, what happens when you need to move things? The answer is simple, but not very nice – usually you would need to remove the cable and start over. One quick note here – never ever use metal staples to fasten Ethernet cabling to a wall, as you’ll likely damage it. Use little screw-in plastic fasteners instead, available at any hardware store.

A better idea is to wire your house with RJ-45 Ethernet jacks, similar to the phone connectors found in different rooms of your house. Optimally these would be fixed to the wall, with the cables actually inside the wall. However, many jacks can be wall-mounted, saving you the hassle of tearing down walls (and from the wrath of your spouse), allowing you to run the cable along that baseboard. The whole idea here is that one end of the jack would be placed in a convenient location for a PC, and the other end would terminate to another jack (or small patch panel) in the room with your switch. Then, the PC would be connected to the jack by a shorter patch cable, giving you the flexibility to use a longer cable in that room if you decide to rearrange the furniture. Changing one of these small cables is a whole lot easier than re-wiring your house. In the room with your switch, another patch cable connects the other jack (or patch panel) to the switch port. For a much longer read about wiring your home, be sure to check out

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.