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I'm living in a two bedroom apartment. The cabling from the ISP enters the house in the living room and this is where my modem/router hookup is.

The problem is that I have trouble getting decent internet speeds in one of the bedrooms. I'm not sure if this is due to the router I'm using (this one) or the layout of the house, but I've decided to try to run an ethernet hookup from the living room to the bedroom. The problem is that I'm renting the apartment and my landlord wouldn't be too keen on me doing anything to the walls or floors to run the cable discretely.

The only other option I can think of is to run the cable exposed along the walls and floors. However, I need some way to protect the cable from being stepped on, chewed by the dog, etc. The section of exposed cable would probably only be around 15ft. I'm thinking about using some cord covers like these to cover the cable up. Has anyone had experience with these? How are they?

  • Another option might be a carrier-current data link, which basically runs ethernet over your piwer lines via a set of plug-in interfaces. I have no idea what speeds I'm getting from mine; it's only being used for a bit of home automation which doesn't care about speed. – keshlam Nov 23 '15 at 5:03
  • Power-line Ethernet is, generally, not wonderful, although it does work. Bear in mind that if you plug your powerline ethernet devices on circuits that are on opposite poles (every other tab in service panel), the Ethernet signal literally has to travel through the inner coil of the big step-down transformer outside your place. – Craig Nov 23 '15 at 6:08
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I have used those cord covers. They are pretty easy to use and fairly stiff so they protect the cable. The adhesive they come with sticks pretty well. I'd try to keep them on the baseboards and moldings rather than the drywall so you can clean up any adhesive residue when you remove them.

I don't think they have the fittings you need for corners, angles, etc. They don't help at all if you have to cross a floor. For your application you'd be just as well tucking them in by the baseboard as suggested.

It's really unusual that you can't cover an apartment with one wireless router. It may be as simple as repositioning the router up high on the wall. I'd see if you can fix the wireless before bothering with the raceway and all.

  • On the other hand, all the contention (WiFi density) between you and your neighbors in every apartment within 600 feet of yours can really impact your wireless performance, but won't have any impact on performance over an Ethernet cable. You really can't beat a physical cable for transmitting a LAN signal. Not yet, anyway. In the near future there will be technology available that uses visible light and won't be subject to the same RF contention issues since RF in the visible light spectrum doesn't typically go through walls. :-) – Craig Nov 27 '15 at 23:07
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I have some speaker wires in my living room I have managed to work into the margin between the carpeting and the wood molding at the floor line. Cat5 cabling is a little fatter but you might check to see if you can force it into that same margin. Don't use anything sharp to push it in but something flat and blunt like a wood cooking spatula. It may save you a couple bucks and does no damage.

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If you're renting, I would assume the solution is temporary and you want to leave no lasting marks when you leave. An easy way to do this (if your apartment is laid out where this works) is to just go out and back in through windows.

Another trick is to re-use the holes in the floors/walls made for ventilation. Again, only works if the layout supports it. I've seen ethernet cables run THRU the vents.

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    While this works, its a bad idea. You need special types of cable for running outside or through plenum spaces, and shouldn't be run through air ducts at all - they will help spread a fire and release toxic fumes. – Grant Nov 23 '15 at 4:28
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    The Ethernet cable for outside use just has UV-resistant sheathing. If this is temporary enough, I don't know that it's all that big a deal since it's low voltage. The concern about using plenum-rated cable and avoiding running cable through HVAC vents is a big deal, though. It's all fun and games until you're trying to escape a burning building with acid smoke burning your eyes and lungs. – Craig Nov 23 '15 at 6:17
  • Really glad to know that. Wow. Will never suggest that to anyone again :( – danehammer Nov 23 '15 at 20:20

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