I'm installing a patch panel using Cat 6 cable to the various rooms of the house that will require internet service. I have a 12 port punch down block, and understand how to punch down the connections in accordance with the color codes I'm using. However, I have a basic question.

There will need to be an input to the patch panel (from the cable provider) through the Modem/Router. How is that connection made to the punch down block? Is one of the 12 ports simply designated as "Input" and the rest the various locations? I do not see a separate "input" location.

3 Answers 3


Ethernet cabling isn't simply jointed together the way power or phone cables are. Each run from the various rooms should be punched down to the back of an ethernet patch panel:

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It's unclear from your question what kind of patch panel you have or how you've punched down the cables. An ethernet patch panel will expose a standard RJ45 connector for every line. Then you need to connect each run to a different port on an ethernet switch:

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In your case you will need to buy a switch with at least as many ethernet jacks as you have in the house.

A switch is a device that directs internet traffic to and from the various ports based on their source and destination. It is not just a dumb splitter. You then plug the router into one of the jacks (doesn't matter which one). Note that a modem and a router have different purposes, although occasionally they are bundled into the same device. You must make sure you have a router either built-in to the modem or sitting just after the modem.


If it's a Ethernet patch panel then one side of the block is for punching down, and the other side will be an RJ45 port.

It sounds like you are talking about a Telco bix block where both sides are punch downs. These are not typically used for Ethernet and instead are used for Telco pairs and patching those connections through.


Your question needs more details to be answered better. However, here is some general design information.

Since you don't give any details on the patch panel, I will assume it is punch-down to RJ45 ports.

Your patch panel does not have "inputs" and "outputs". Your patch panel only has wire terminations. Each wire (going to a jack in another room) will get punched down on the patch panel, and then its RJ45 port will be connected to your hub/switch. To be clear, the patch panel is not a hub or switch that connects devices together into a single network. You need an Ethernet hub or switch to do that, with RJ45 cords from each patch panel port to a hub/switch port.

Your modem/router does have inputs and outputs, but typically only one of each. Or better said, it has an "external" or "upstream" side facing your Internet service provider, and an "internal" or "downstream" side facing your household computers. If you are talking about internet service from the Cable company, your external side is coax from the street. If you are talking about DSL service, then your external side is on twisted pair wiring (which could be connected with an RJ11 or RJ45 connector, but it is not an Ethernet signal).

Many or most routers have one Ethernet port for the "internal" side where you connect your computer(s), although some have 4 ports with a built-in hub. If you have a router with 4 internal ports, and only 4 rooms to connect up, you are all set. If you have a one-internal-port router, or you have more than 4 rooms to connect, then you need an additional hub or switch, which could have 8 to 12 ports.

You plug the internal port of the router to one port of your multi-port switch, using a normal RJ45 Ethernet cord. That is the "input" port you are thinking of. Then connect the patch panel ports to the other hub ports. Those are the "outputs" you are thinking of.

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