We've lived in our current house for 2 years and have been using an AmpliFi HD mesh setup since. The entire house is wired for Ethernet in every room (except the office, for some reason!), but I've really only NEEDED to have 2 things hardwired on the network, since the two nodes don't have an Ethernet backhaul. So, I just routed the coax to our loft and hooked up the modem/router there with the other two things plugged directly into the router and called it a day.

I decided to upgrade to a newer mesh setup that has a wired backhaul, as we've been experiencing a few dead zones in the house and now I'm trying to make sense of all these patch panels. Since each of the mesh points only has once LAN out - if I'm understanding correctly, I'll need a separate gigabit switch connected to the router and then an Ethernet cable plugged into each node that has a wire coming out of it? Is this correct?


Leviton panel Ethernet subpanel

Click for full size

  • This question should probably be moved to Network Engineering, probably much better support there. But I don't know how to initiate that. Jul 15, 2022 at 5:44
  • 2
    Network Engineering is for professional network administrators in a company setting. Super User would be a better choice.
    – Glorfindel
    Jul 15, 2022 at 6:54
  • Assuming each of your mesh devices is connected to the end of one of those gray (or the one blue) cables, and you don't have enough ethernet ports on your router, then yes you'll need an ethernet switch plug then into using a short patch cable for each one.
    – brhans
    Jul 15, 2022 at 8:19

1 Answer 1


As your router is in the loft, you will first need to run one ethernet cable from it, down to this structure. If that's already wired to your box, then that's lucky.

You then need an Ethernet Switch next to that panel, & a short patch cable linking each used socket to it. This will allow your router to see each end-point to assign DHCP addresses, which then allows each WiFi AP to know what its compatriots are doing.

Essentially, all you have there is a patch panel, so you need to hand off the switching to appropriate hardware. There is no issue having the router connected to the same switch as everything else, you don't have to go 'through' it, it will handle the switching internally. You can get a small basic gigabit switch small enough to squeeze in there for under $£€ 20 these days. You'll need to find somewhere to plug its wall-wart.

Scuse the 'fine art'..

enter image description here

['These' == existing cables to distribution. Drawing is for new installation on top of existing.]

  • I'll be moving the router and modem to a shelf above this panel, so I'm assuming I'd just plug the router's ethernet out into the 8-channel switch I just bought, then 7 of its outputs go into the 7 ethernet jacks that are wired on the second picture and it should be good to go? Theoretically, then I'd just pick which room I want each of the other two nodes to go in and connect it to the jack on the wall and the backhaul should work? What's up with all those coax cables? I don't have cable/satellite TV, so I don't really need them, other than the one that carries internet to the modem, right?
    – Derek
    Jul 15, 2022 at 23:47
  • That sounds good for the Ethernet, yes. The co-ax could be anything, old cable TV, RF etc. My place is full of the stuff from antiquated gear no longer in use.
    – Tetsujin
    Jul 16, 2022 at 6:33

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