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My wife and I recently moved into a new apartment. We've had it for just a few days.

When our internet company came to hook up our landline, I had them hook it into one of our bedrooms and set up my home office.

Now my wife wants to set up her home office. She'd like an Ethernet cable connection off our internet router, but there isn't enough space for both of us in the one bedroom - so I'd like to feed the Ethernet cable into the adjoining bedroom.

Since we don't own the place, I want to feed this cable into the other room without causing permanent damage to the wall or door - if I need to keep my door open a small crack, that's fine, but if possible I'd like to keep it mostly shut sometimes.

How can I feed a connecting internet cable from the router in my office to the adjoining room so that my wife can have an Ethernet cable connection, while causing minimal permanent damage to the two doors and wall between the two rooms?

I'll try to upload a picture of the walls/doors later, but they essentially form a "Y" shape so that the two doors open out into the hallway of our apartment, with the bottom of the "Y" being the wall between them. The walls themselves are wood, but it's fairly thick wall, and the doors are old wooden doors. The flooring is hardwood. I'll try and get a better picture of the framework for the door later today.

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    I have never had any landlord object to a 10mm hole in a wall that can easily be closed once you move out. Maybe make your life easier and ask? – PlasmaHH Mar 22 '17 at 16:36
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    @PlasmaHH the landlord might also agree to a permanent, well-installed infrastructure upgrade such as Ethernet wiring connecting two rooms. – phoog Mar 22 '17 at 17:45
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    The coaxial plates probably do not even have boxes, so you essentially have two very large holes available on either side of the wall if you take the face plates off. Patching quarter inch holes in painted drywall is trivial... You might just put an Ethernet cable through the wall with minimal sized holes instead of messing with plates/jacks/boxes. Remember you can put the connectors on afterwards – user9248 Mar 22 '17 at 17:47
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    First see if a standard coax cable won't fit under the door. – Hot Licks Mar 22 '17 at 18:23
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    Use Wifi. I've been telling my clients not to run new wires in old buildings for fifteen years. – user207421 Mar 23 '17 at 6:20
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You can buy flat Ethernet cables. I'm betting you could get one under the door and still allow it to be closed.

Another option is a powerline Ethernet adapter. This is a set of modules that plug into your power outlets and allow you to transmit network signals over them. You run a patch cable from the router to a module in the same room, then plug in a second module in the room the second PC is in.

Also, if the rooms are next to each other, look around ducts, pipes that might pass through, etc. You might get lucky and find a gap big enough to fish a cable through.

Another option is to install low voltage boxes in the drywall with RJ45 jacks. Wire the jacks together, color to color, and use patch cables from the router to jack one, and from jack two to the second PC. Just leave them when you move and it will look like any other jack in the wall.

And lastly, have you considered WiFi?

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    @Zibbobz If ping is an issue then power line adapters might not be the right solution for you. Sometimes they work great but in some cases you get a lot of latency (increased ping time) introduced via that method. – Sean Mar 22 '17 at 15:35
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    Power line adapters a heavily dependent on the state of the power signals in your home, which in turn are very dependent on signals coming from your power company. I have been in several places where these have been very noisy and not fast at all. Even given that, I prefer at least gigabit ethernet in my own network (I think 5 and 10 gigabit will be at commodity prices soon, for the hardware in your own network, not for service, as they are appearing on some non-enterprise motherboads). 600 isn't bad and this certainly could be a good solution for the OP, I suggest posting it as an answer. – ttbek Mar 22 '17 at 15:47
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    @Zibbobz: This is not the right site for this, but: ping is generally not an issue with wifi or powerline adapters - the issue is packet loss. Small packet-loss is typically unnoticable for web-browsing or Netflix, but has a big effect on video games. – BlueRaja - Danny Pflughoeft Mar 22 '17 at 18:34
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    +1 for WiFi which is surely the obvious answer. – abligh Mar 23 '17 at 8:47
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    Wifi isn't always possible, depending on what else is in the walls (once lived in a place with steel-reinforced concrete walls, zero signal). Powerline might not work either; I've had it failing in some rooms, because they don't work across different power phases, so it depends how the house is wired and fused. A single Ethernet cable is the least likely to have problems, but if you find the flat one is more expensive, you can always run a normal one to the doorframe, then inline coupler (costs little), flat cable for a short distance, another inline coupler, and then back to normal cable. – flith Mar 23 '17 at 12:30
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If the room is adjoining, drilling a hole big enough for an Ethernet cable may not be considered "major damage". If one of my tenants asked me if they could do it I would say yes and consider it normal wear and tear, unless the hole was like 1 inch in diameter or something.

If you DO drill through a wall, make sure you don't drill into a power line; if you're unsure, it's better not to do it.

If you don't want to drill, you can get a flat cable as suggested and also run a thin plastic conduit with a cover on it. Many of them have double sided tape so you can run them around a door or along a floor and when you leave, you just pull them off the wall. The double stick tape doesn't do any major damage.

  • This is what I was thinking. Ethernet will fit inside a 1/4" hole. Drilled near the floor (where power wires are less likely to be), away from outlets, it should work – Machavity Mar 23 '17 at 12:49
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    That's a good point. I figure if you just run the cable through and put jacks at both ends once the cable is run, you would only need to drill a very tiny, tiny hole. – Tensigh Mar 23 '17 at 16:06
  • Done nice with wall plates and jacks this might even qualify as improvement, or at least will be the least noticeable or objectionable change. – Arluin Mar 23 '17 at 16:19
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If the floor in and between the two bedrooms is carpeted, you can probably push the ethernet cable into the "crack" between the carpet and wall. The cable will then run along the wall in the first bedroom, around the door jamb, along the wall in the hallway towards the second bedroom (if any), around the door jamb of the second bedroom, then along the wall to your wife's computer. Whether you can push the cable into the crack, depends on how firmly the carpet is pressing the wall and the size/shape of the ethernet cable.

  • Hardwood floor, but not a bad suggestion for those who have to contend with this in a carpeted place. – Zibbobz Mar 23 '17 at 18:35
  • Too bad. I suppose you could adapt this to your floors, by running the cable along the same path, but use a little sticky stuff (not sure what that might be, maybe silicone caulk) to hold the cable in place. You could test the caulk (or other sticky sutff) in an inconspicuous place to make sure you can remove it without damaging baseboard or floor. – Χpẘ Mar 23 '17 at 18:48
  • Cable clips can be used to make the cable hug the baseboard along its run, which may help. One minor nail hole, which can be spackled. – Joe McMahon Mar 24 '17 at 1:32
  • When I rented, we always pulled cable under the carpet. Pretty easy to unhook from the tack strips and set it back down. – Aaron McMillin Mar 24 '17 at 16:49

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