I am planning a small house (4 rooms, 2 floors, no basement, no attic, 120 sq.meters) and I want to run a lot of LAN cables throughout because of poor WiFi experiences in my apartment.

Because the house will be built according to my wishes (including electrical plans), I can pretty much choose whatever I want. But ... what do I want?

I want to provide at least 2 LAN sockets in each room, plus some more in the living room and underneath the staircase for central infrastructure (DSL modem, NAS, WiFi, media center). I will also have at least 2 desktop computers, three audio devices, and a handful of wireless devices (laptop, smartphones). Clearly, a regular DSL modem with 4 LAN ports and WiFi won't be enough.

I have no idea what kind of Internet consumption and local network usage a family of 4 would have many years from now, and this is the only chance I'll get to make smart preparations.

What considerations should I include in my network planning?

  1. I guess it would be smart to have a switch, right? I'd place it under the staircase along with the DSL modem, WiFi AP, NAS, and other central headless equipment.
  2. Would a patch panel be useful, or is that only used in large office buildings?
  3. Is it stupid to plan 2 LAN sockets per room? I figure 1 is not enough, but 4 is too expensive.
  4. What's the recommended minimum distance between electrical and LAN cabling? We don't build using "studs" in Europe (we mostly use bricks), so an actual measurement would be helpful.
  5. What am I forgetting?? There's always something that you only learn from bitter experience. I'd like a head start.

My goal is not a show-and-tell geek project. It needs to be reasonably affordable but also future-proof for the next 10-25 years as best as possible without introducing fiber or some such.

  • 1
    @JonRaynor I'm planning 4 computers, 2 iPhones, plus a few more devices in total. Did you mean 1 socket per room? Mar 19, 2012 at 17:41
  • 3
    The advantage of the patch panel is that you don't need to terminate the long runs of cables (at the server end) that go to the outlets. Then you can just buy cheap 30 cm patch cables to connect things up. Mar 19, 2012 at 17:55
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    @Random832: Most commonly, European houses are built with bricks or prefab concrete, also for interior walls. The US "wireframe" method is very rare here. Mar 19, 2012 at 20:42
  • 2
    @TorbenGundtofte-Bruun That doesn't sound like it leaves a hollow area for cables to run in, or something you can cut into to put an outlet. Do you have to use a diamond saw to add a new outlet?
    – Random832
    Mar 19, 2012 at 20:45
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    To add on top of other answers - I would also consider wiring spots for IP Cameras (CCTV), but that depends on the area where you live, your insurance etc. IP Cams will always require some kind of power, so you cannot easily drive them with WiFi.
    – sirVir
    Mar 12, 2016 at 16:06

14 Answers 14


You have good answers so far, but I have several items that I don't think have been covered yet. I will start by recapping.

Number of Cables per room

Cat5e (and cat6) can be used for telephone, both the old school phone and VoIP phones. This makes it easier to not have to worry about running as many different types of cables. I would highly suggest going with 2 cat5e + coax to every room and maybe even more to "special" locations. I use a TV service that can run over my network and the extra switches in each room add enough delay to cause the TV service issues. Having 2 connections in each room would have allowed me to plug the TV receiver in directly with out the extra switch, unfortunately I only have 1 cable per room so I have had to be creative with my setup.

The special locations to add additional cables would be places that you plan on having lots of electronics, like maybe in your living room. In my living room I have the TV, XBox, Wii, Blu-Ray player, TV receiver, and media center PC all with network capability. 6 lines probably would have been over-kill, but 4 lines would have been nice at that location. Some people also like to add extra coax in rooms that they have TVs. This can allow you to use multiple technologies such as satellite, cable, or antenna.

In a prior house I added 3 cat5e and 1 coax to every plate. Every room got 1 plate except for the living room and the office which both got 2 plates. This setup worked out very well for me.

enter image description here

Location of the "Rack"

As for the location of the "server closet", a patch panel does make things much easier to plug in. It also makes it easier if you need to connect it to an old school POTS phone line. There are some structured wiring solutions (see examples) that will make your wiring a bit more geared toward home use over a patch panel. There really isn't and huge advantages of one over the other though.

In a prior house, I added network cables and a patch panel to a closet. This picture was taken way before I finished the job, but you will get the general idea of it. I dropped all of the cat5e out of the left conduit, the coax out of the right conduit, and the middle conduit was the "service" lines (ie cable from the phone company, cable company, and eventually my antenna). The conduit didn't really go anywhere other than up into the attic, it just provided a neat way to transition from the attic to the closet while being able to get above my insulation and not having it falling down into the closet. I eventually used some spray foam in the conduit to seal off the heat that I had leaking into the room from the attic.

enter image description here

I then mounted my router and wireless access point to the wall.

enter image description here

There was already a shelf that is just off the bottom of the image that I placed things like my battery backup on.

I would recommend thinking about where your electronics will be placed. Will they be able to get enough circulation with cooled air? The last thing you want is to be replacing a modem every few months because it keeps over heating. You will also want to make sure that it is some what centrally located. This will help keep the run lengths down and thus save you money. It will also allow for you to place the wireless access point near the source of the rest of your equipment while still being in the center of the area that you are trying to cover it with. The pictures I showed were in a front entry closet that was very centralized. I had great WiFi coverage, but it would get pretty hot since there was no circulation. I did have 1 router fail, but I am not sure if it was because of the heat or not.

Distance between Power and Data

This distance between power and cat5e isn't a huge deal. 1 foot apart is probably more than enough, but to be safe you could go 16 inches or more. I am not sure how your house can have no studs, but getting it to the other side of what ever is supporting your walls is typically plenty.

Future Proofing

If you are really wanting to be future proof, you could run conduit to every location that you have Cat5e running to. This will make it very easy to add new cabling if in lets say 20 years everyone is running fiber to everything. It will add more cost, but potentially you could run less of the "just in case lines" and wait to run those until you actually need them. Probably wont offset the cost completely, but at least something to think about.

Depending on your setup, a straight run of conduit into the attic might work perfectly fine, or you might need to run it all of the way back to the "rack". Whatever the case is, make sure you will be able to easily get new cable into the conduit. This may be leaving a pull line in the conduit or enough room to use a pull rod in the conduit.

Personal Thoughts

As a side note, my personal feel is to put everything wired as I possibly can. This makes the performance of my wireless devices (laptops, phones, etc) much better and the wired devices much much better. As for the switches used to get up to the number of hardwired connections you need, the rule of thumb you should follow is the less switches the better. You would be a lot better off spending some money on a single larger switch than to have a bunch of smaller switches wired together to get you up to the count you need. It will typically work having many switches, but it is a nightmare to troubleshoot if anything starts acting up.

  • Is there a fire safety hazard with all these Ethernet wires running around your house? What happens if the end electronic device draws too much current?
    – Dan
    Aug 4, 2015 at 8:06
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    All of this is low voltage with low power pulls. I wouldn't worry about devices pulling too much power.
    – Kellenjb
    Aug 5, 2015 at 3:19
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    @Dan You normally don't run power over Ethernet wires, but when you do (this is called Power over Ethernet) it's specifically designed for low current only. Mar 17, 2020 at 23:41
  • Looking back from 2021, I'm glad that Cat6 was recommended in back in 2012. It has stood the test of time and gigabit will likely be enough for this house for many years to come. Jun 28, 2021 at 6:42

First off, your cabling doubles as your telephone wiring, so 2 per room is reasonable. Put a jack anywhere you think you may need a phone, computer, or media device (TV/Boxee/game console/etc). If you know you are going to likely need a couple at some particular spot (eg, a home office, or your main TV watching area) then you can do that as well.

Run all the cables back to some main wiring closet or utility room. The "nice" way to do it is with a patch panel, but you certainly don't have to go that far. You can get away with just terminating the ends with regular jacks. In your wiring closet, you'll have a switch of some sort (either the 4-port switch built into most routers, or something bigger if you need more than 4 ports). You'll also need a small patch panel for telco wiring for your analog phones. If you want a particular jack in the house to be on your network, plug it into the switch. If you want it to be telco, plug it into the phone panel. Note you don't need every jack to be active, and you don't have to decide telco or network now.

Here's how I have my house terminated, including patch panel. Note I have a 16-port switch, then the patch panel. There's only one analog telco line (port 4), the rest of my phones are VoIP (there are two power injectors on top of the switch for a couple of those phones).

enter image description here

You may also consider running coax (RG-6) to TV areas, for use with cable or satellite, and you can terminate in the same boxes as network cables if you want. In my house, I have a box with 2 Cat5's and a coax in every room, but I would probably split them apart so there was one on each side of the room if I could. In my case, I was retrofitting most of the house and mostly just did interior walls.

enter image description here

In my opinion, Cat5e is good enough (it supports gigabit), but Cat6 works too (I personally don't think it's worth paying any extra for).

I would not be overly concerned with noise in a residential setting. Twisted pair wiring is resistant to noise anyway. Try to avoid prolonged parallel runs (less than 6" apart), but even if you do you're not likely to notice any problems.

As far as future-proofing, one word: Conduit.

Who knows what cable tech will be used 10 years from now. Install what is useful today. If you want to run a 1 gigabit network, and a couple 1080p video links to a flatscreen on the wall, then install cables that can support that. By the time 4K or holographic video or whatever is "current" 10 years from now takes over, there's a good chance there will be new cabling standards and all the most expensive cutting-edge cables you can buy now will be obsolete.

Case in point: 15 years ago, 10 Mbit was a common ethernet speed, and 100 Mbit was high-end. 802.3ab (gigabit over copper) was only introduced in 1999. 10 years ago, YPbPr component video was top-dog (HDMI only came on the market around 2003), and now it's getting hard to find gear that even has component video connections.

If you can afford it, sure, install Cat 6 or even Cat 7, but you have to realize any extra you spend on it is basically a bet that in 10 or 15 years, there is not going to be some new standard or totally different technology that makes it all obsolete. There's also a chance that you won't need it: I have gigabit throughout my house, but some of my (within 1-year-old) end-points (such as VoIP phones, and media streamers that play 1080p video) still only have 10 Mbit connections, because that's all they need.

  • 2
    nice use of wood to provide a 19 inch rack. much cheaper than steel (or aluminum, whatever they hell they use)
    – lsiunsuex
    Mar 19, 2012 at 18:32
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    @Mario was actually an old cabinet that was left there, just happened to be a perfect size.
    – gregmac
    Mar 19, 2012 at 19:44
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    If you're looking at a decade+ time-frame 10 gigabit is probably going to trickle down to consumer class hardware. Not putting in wiring known to be able to handle it is IMO rather shortsighted. If anything I'd lean towards 6A or even 7; you're paying a bit more up front, but the cost and hassle of having to pull new wire in the future if your original 'good enough' wiring doesn't work with the next networking standard is even higher. Mar 19, 2012 at 20:17
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    Really what I tell everyone is this: install only the cables you need today or in the immediate future. If you want to try to be future-proof, run an empty conduit.
    – gregmac
    Mar 19, 2012 at 21:03
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    +1 on conduit if you really want to "do it right". You can probably even get away with flexible conduit or plastic conduit if you don't want to spend the money on EMT.
    – Steven
    Mar 20, 2012 at 2:09

Before you spend too much time and money on this, buy a new wireless router. They've come a long way. When finishing my basement I added two communication drops to each room and...never used them. Wireless was fine.

What's more important than the cable is that you have an easily accessible way to run what you need at a later date. Smurf tube is a common way to handle this (blue plastic tubes that run to every A/V outlet) along with pull wires within it.

  • I agree, less wire is better. I think for new contruction I wouldn't even bother with the cost of wiring up every room, just maybe one or two.
    – Jon Raynor
    Mar 19, 2012 at 19:53
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    My bad WiFi experience is partly the fault of a poor ISP-provided mandatory DSL modem/router. The (locked) firmware is too stupid to handle more than 2 wifi clients at a time, so it resets itself a few times a day. Also, WiFi seems to be too unstable or too slow for handling the large files I'll be juggling across my media center and playback devices. Hence my wish to use wired network. But you're perfectly right that for "normal" and casual use, wireless is "good enough". Mar 19, 2012 at 20:27
  • I guess I am more wireless centric because we get 50+ Mps speed download and about 10+ Mps upload. But then again my cable bill is pretty expensive per month.
    – Jon Raynor
    Mar 19, 2012 at 21:00
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    I disagree with wireless being just as good as wired. Wired is much easier to debug, has much better capacity and is much more reliable. Wired vs wireless is like comparing driving a car vs driving a scooter. Sure, if you just live by yourself and the only travel you do is to the nearby grocery store a scooter might very well be a fully good alternative to a car. But for most cases driving a scooter is a solution with clearly less benefits than a car (although it is cheaper).
    – hlovdal
    Mar 20, 2012 at 17:50
  • It's not an issue of 'just as good'. It's an issue of different benefits. Cat-6 has the benefit of the theoretical highest throughput (unless you're looking into fiber optics, but that's likely not the case). That can be a big benefit depending on one's needs. 802.11n is pretty fast, though. And has plenty of benefits...you can sit on the couch, you can move hardware anywhere, new devices aren't dependent on network drops, etc. It all depends on one's needs, of course.
    – DA01
    Mar 20, 2012 at 18:25

2 Cat5e drops to each bedroom. You can put them in the same faceplate; you can also put your coax cable for the tv / receiver in that panel also (including phone) - Leviton makes face plates that accept from 1 to 6 universal connections (this can be rj45, rj11, coax, etc...)

You need a switch regardless to break out your modem (be it DSL, Fiber, cable modem)

A patch panel just makes things nice and neat. You can get a fully loaded 24 port patch panel from Graybar (if your in the USA) for a couple hundred. Get a 2u wall mount and mount it to the wall where ever you setup this "network closet"

I'd suggest against putting it under stairs; the modem will have to be reset from time to time.

As for wireless, name brand is king. Wifi N standard is pretty cheap now adays. I like Linksys and Netgear. N is good to cover the entire house for sure, but if your concerned with coverage, I'd have the builder put power and cat5e in the ceiling of the family room and then in the hallway on the 2nd floor, and mount your access points to the ceiling.

If their the same brand access points, you can name them appropriately; F1, F2, whatever. Make the WEP passwords the same and it'll be easier when you switch between networks.

I'd also say, anywhere you have a coax cable for tv, run atleast 2 cat5e there; I have a lot of "toys" and so my family room is host to all 3 current game systems and an Apple TV 2 so I have 4 lines by my tv.

We only use wifi for laptops and ipads / iphones in my house. Any desktop pcs (which are slowly being decommissioned) are hard wired over cat5e, and even when i'm on my laptop, i'll opt for a cat5e cable across the room than to use wifi. For me and my side work, its just faster and more reliable.

And make sure the electrician (I'd honestly find a sys admin or some network engineer do the drops for you, but thats just me) labels everything properly. Even simply numbering the faceplate jack with a 1 and labeling the patch panel with a corresponding 1 will make trouble shooting problems someday all the easier. There's nothing a tone generator can't find (usually) but proper labeling is key to any working network.

And yes, I'm a sys admin / network engineer, so this suggestion might be a bit biased :)



Wire is cheap, opening up walls later is expensive. I would lean towards running as much cable as you think you might need, even if it isn't terminated, and just coiled behind the wall, or in a junction box with a blank plate on it.

Another tip, not just for cabling, is to take pictures of the pipes, wires, etc, before the walls are closed. This will be useful in the future when you want to know what is there.

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    This works when the walls are built using studs covered by sheets. That's very uncommon in Europe; we mostly use brick walls. Mar 20, 2012 at 10:04

Lots of other good answers here, so I only have a little to add:

Conduit is the only way to ensure that you won't regret the wiring choices you make today. Oversize it if you can, so it's easy to pull, including Cat6 that's already terminated. Leave a pull string in.

If you can't run conduit to all locations, run to a few key spots. For me, that was crawlspace to attic. From one end of the home to the other may be enough to solve Wi-Fi problems, since you can put an AP at each end.

If you're not sure what to pull, pull a bunch of Cat5e. It can do almost anything: network, phone, video. Most people should have a pair of RG-6, but I don't watch TV; I pulled 1 anyway.

Be sure to label each wire. I label my pull box with a number (1, 2, 3, etc.) and put that many stripes on the end of the wire with a Sharpie. I make the same mark 2' back on the wire, so if I cut the end, I don't lose the mark.

Before pulling from a room, I write the room name on each cable ("BED 1", "KIT"), so I'll know which is which in the wiring closet.

After I do a pull, I make those the stripes again (4 times now) and cut in the middle.


I just want to throw this out there -- you may want to consider running HDMI over Ethernet if you've got a central location for your home theater equipment. It takes two cables per TV (way cheaper than HDMI) and one adapter at each end. These adapters work beautifully and save tons of money on long HDMI cables.



I have a serious amount of tech, and my old 1900s UK town house made WiFi a nightmare, so I tried something that I was very sceptical about at first, but has turned out to be an absolute dream.

My cable internet enters my house downstairs, which is where my router is. The router is wireless, but I'm not using it for the wireless capability. An ethernet cable is used to join the router to a Netgear Powerline port, which simply looks like a normal power plug. What it does is modulates the ethernet signal into the house's mains power.

Before laying expensive cabling that could quite easily go out of date very quickly, seriously consider this option because all houses already have a fully isolated wired network into all rooms: the mains power.

I won't go into details of how the ethernet is modulated into the power cables (as I don't really understand myself). All I can say that is even in my pre-1970s dodgy UK wiring, I have had absolutely no problems with speed/packetloss/etc.

My network setup:

The router sits downstairs, and it's first ethernet port goes straight into a cheaper model Netgear Powerline.


Then in every room I require an ethernet connection, I have purchased a Netgear Powerline switch, which requires only one cable! It's own power source also acts as its network source, so by simply plugging the little device into the power, it automatically works as a network switch.


That's about it really. I now have a fully wired network house for less than £100, and I can't fault it at all.

BONUS: I also have a network point in my garden shed, as we wired power there a few years ago for the lighting. :)

  • 6
    This looks like a great way to net-enable an existing house, but given the chance to do it right from the start, I wouldn't go this way. Mar 24, 2012 at 19:37
  • What is the network speed and how reliable is it? What network devices are in your garden shed?
    – wallyk
    Aug 10, 2014 at 22:55
  • 1
    @wallyk ha, I haven't actually used the network from the shed, but I could... Regarding speed & reliability, it's 2 years on from my answer and have had no problems whatsoever. Speed-wise, I get the full 100Mbps provided by the switches but I'd be skeptical over using gigabit with newer powerline switches.
    – Greg
    Aug 11, 2014 at 10:36
  • In terms of how it works, I believe the data over powerline works just like ADSL. It sends the data over the powerline at a much higher frequency, thus it works and there is no disruption,
    – Dan
    Aug 4, 2015 at 8:36
  • Just one thing, how do you know this is secure? If the data is going over the powerline, then theoretically couldn't the next door neighbor access your internet?
    – Dan
    Aug 4, 2015 at 8:37

Some follow-ups and extensions to Greg and Mario


You can not in any way build LAN-infrastructure, which will not be outdated for 10-15 years in future, you can only decrease gap and frequency of upgrades, using top-tech today's solutions.


Because upgrades are (will be) severe necessity, don't hide wires under the wall - cable channels are usable, easy and cheap re-mountable (comparing to concealed wiring) and better-looking (comparing to open cable harnesses on plinth) solution.

I strongly recommend to have internal net on fiber in order to have a larger reserve of bandwidth for growth (local and Big Net): 5e is "sometimes gigabit, under greenhouse conditions", 6 is "only gigabit", while we have 10G in real life even now. Fiber will free you also from having to worry about the noise and interference.

All your network-equipment must/better if have to be now IPv6-ready (dual-stack isn't in a must-list)

For LAN-sockets per room I, in order to avoid headache, will think maybe about (micro) patch-panel per room, from which cables laid (in cable-channels) to sockets (and amount of sockets can be increased, when needed)

  • You're probably totally right that it's not possible to future-proof using copper and that fiber is the way to go... but it won't be reasonably affordable. Mar 20, 2012 at 8:43
  • 1
    @TorbenGundtofte-Bruun - "Single-mode optical cable, one fiber" $82.71/Km, "Cable installation in buildings, attics, and other technical facilities, four optical fibers SM G.657A, reinforced by bearing element" $519.76/Km. Deep province of Russia, not too hight even for casual user Mar 20, 2012 at 9:17
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    Okay so the cable is not too expensive. What about having to buy optical switches etc. instead of cheap (used?) copper-based ones? A reference would be very helpful! Mar 20, 2012 at 9:38
  • @TorbenGundtofte-Bruun - you can have media-convertors (Fiber-Copper, SFP-RJ45) as "cheap solution" and use customer-class switches, or, for 6 PoPs: D-Link DGS-3100-24TG (overkill: 8 10/100/1000Base-T + 16 SFP) $728.83 or 3Com SuperStack 3 Switch 4900SX (12 SFP ports) $200.00 - $232.00 or JumboSwitch 6-Port SFP Gigabit Ethernet Switch Card + chassis Mar 20, 2012 at 10:30
  • @TorbenGundtofte-Bruun Part 2 - Transition Networks - 8-port 100/1000 Dual Speed SFP Managed Switch (6) 100/1000BASE-X SFP + (2) Dual Speed SFP/RJ-45 Combo Ports or just in "perfectionist mode on" Eltex MES3108F (4 1000Base-X(SFP), 4 combo 10/100/1000Base-T/1000Base-X(SFP), 2 - 10GBase-X(SFP+) or 1000Base-X(SFP)) $1,427.46 and mc240.ru/en/catalog-category/ethernet-switches in common Mar 20, 2012 at 10:42

An answer for the space between data and electric would be keep it a couple of feet apart. I have nothing to base that on, but it is pretty logical when you don't have stud bays. I recommend that you use ENT, Electrical NON-Metalic Tubing for running your cables in. It will protect your data from disturbances from power. A good rule to follow is that when you cross electrical and power to do at 90 degrees.

I recommend that you run extra ENT for future wiring. It can be used for both power and data, but not both in the same conduit.

Also see here and the comment @gregmac gave original poster.


Remember to check network specifications (ccna stuff etc.). Such as max. cable length (100 meters for cat5 I think, been a while since I looked at this stuff), minumum radius for turns etc. I think they have also distances between data and power cables.

Mark both ends of a cable with an id so you won't have to guess which end belongs to which cable etc.

Keep in mind that due to use you will eventually have to replace the sockets (that break) in the rooms. So set that up in a way that you don't have to keep cutting the cable bit by bit as you attach the new socket.

And since you're in charge of the specifications, you can consider if you want the power/data sockets a bit higher at desk height if you find that more comfortable or useful. (I personally hate having to kneel and play under my desk to plug and unplug stuff).

  • Good idea about sockets in desk height! Of course it'll depend on how you're going to place the furniture; if there's no desk near, then it might be prettier to have them ask close to the floor as possible. Mar 21, 2012 at 7:42

Have you considered powerline networking, for example BT Homeplugs? This uses the electrical circuit in the house as the network cabling.

I recently ditched the WiFi in my three-story house. I now have the broadband router right beside where the phone line main socket is, flooding the downstairs in lovely WiFi. I then have a LAN cable from that into a BT Homeplug, and more homeplugs upstairs where I need them. Works like a charm at high speed and saves you having to dig trenches in walls and run cables.

Unless the electrical wiring is ancient you should be fine.

  • 1
    This is for a new house so the electrical wiring would have no issues. I don't think you really answered his question though.
    – Kellenjb
    Mar 20, 2012 at 14:23
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    Kellen is right, those powerline network devices exist because they solve a problem: how can I get a wired network without pulling new wires. But in my case, I can plan those wires ahead of time, and that's bound to be more efficient. Also: wall warts, eww. Mar 20, 2012 at 14:29

When people come over to my home, they expect a wireless hookup, so we have one. We also have other devices such as a Wii that use the wireless network as well. This will accomodate the smartphones and mobile devices they bring over. We have a hybrid type of system. We have a hard line to our main computer and one to our media room. Everyone else uses the wireless access point (router). That keeps them off of our computer as well. My setup is pretty simple, we have a cable modem coming into a netgear N900 wireless router. The router has 4 hardline slots which is more than enough for our needs.

I think at most you will need one hookup per room, 2 or 4 seems like overkill. Switches and patch panels seem to be overkill as well.

A standard cable or dsl router usually has 4 open slots, that should cover the rooms you want hard line access to. If you need more than 4, then more heavy duty equipment is needed. I don't know your needs are, but ask yourself how many people or devices will be connected at once with hardlines?

Also, keep in mind more and more companies are building WIFI into thier products instead of a hard connection. I know you had a bad experience with WIFI but they make range extenders to help with the connection.

I would focus on having a good WIFI system in place with hardlines as needed. I am not sure of the minimum distance required, but your local electrical code(s) should have details.

  • 1
    I'll have WiFi for sure, but for reliability and data-throughput I am going to want wired LAN as well, and a normal 4-port DSL-router combo just won't be enough - and even if it were, I'd still need a plan for how to connect the rooms with the central location (staircase closet). Mar 19, 2012 at 18:57
  • Agreed, if you need more than 4 hardline slots, this will not be suitable for you.
    – Jon Raynor
    Mar 19, 2012 at 19:50

I would use at least 6 Cat5e/6 outlets per room as a min, using PoE certified and plenum cable. With all the devices using the Internet these days even 6 per room might not be enough in the long term. Think about what the entertainment area looks like today. TV's now plug in for updates or web content. Blu-Ray players need it for updates and interactive content. I use 12 ports in my bedroom alone. Fridges are starting to get Ethernet ports too. Just think about the Washer which will be able to email you that the cloth are done. The conduits is def the best advice given here so far. But don't cut short on the outlets to each room. You don't need to need a switch port for every port in the house until you are using it. Having partial PoE can be handy though for security cameras and future devices that can run on PoE to avoid power outlets. And plenum is just for safety so if you had a fire in the house the cables would not help it spread from room to room via the conduits.

  • 1
    I cam imagine how you'd need 6 sockets behind the TV for all the media appliances. But my imagination fails me at how a kid's room needs 6 sockets or more. And 12 in your bedroom...? Wow. Mar 20, 2012 at 6:49
  • 1
    @TorbenGundtofte-Bruun I've seen people put what amounted to full entertainment centers in every room of the house. While a dozen ports in one room screams "Gadget Junkie!" to me, it's not something I'd consider beyond the realm of the possible. Mar 20, 2012 at 12:43
  • @DanNeely: I'll quote my reasonably affordable clause again... :-) Mar 20, 2012 at 12:56
  • "Washer which will be able to email you that the cloth are done"? This must be a joke... even if some clown company actually builds one, some executive obviously doesn't have a sense of humor & didn't get the joke, and actually said "yeah, let's build it! Who wouldn't want an email or social media post saying their underwear's finally clean again?"
    – Xen2050
    Mar 30, 2016 at 15:48

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