Network Cabling

There are several different specifications of ethernet cable. To get good speed, decent performance and compatibility you should always use good quality CAT6 cable or above.

Click on any image to find the product page on Amazon for more info..

You might choose to install the cables yourself, or enlist the help of a professional network or AV installer. If you are having your house rewired, it is a good idea to ask your electrician to install CAT6 cable at the same time.

Electricians are excellent at threading cables through buildings, it is what they do. As professionally competent as most electricians are when it comes to electrical wiring, be aware that they are not usually specialists in networking.

Insist on specifying the type of network cable to be used. I have known electricians to (perhaps innocently) fit out buildings with dreadful cheap CAT5 or lower cable, which they’ve picked up from their builders merchants or wholesales yard. This cable can be of a very low standard, slow and completely incapable of some applications.

It is possible to acquire decent quality CAT6a network cable which meets the standards for installation relatively cheaply, such as this 100m length on Amazon. Follow this link…. Or click on any other image for further information on the product…

If you are taking the opportunity to fully wire your house for the future then it is good practice to put in more cables then you currently need. Plenty of cables will give you more flexibility and options for the future. As well as extending and improving the capability of your network, CAT6 cables can perform other duties too such as:

Carrying video data over distances longer than is possible with HDMI cables
Carrying data and power to and from security/cctv cameras
Carrying data and power to remote WiFi access points, to extend WiFi coverage.

It is worth having at least four cables going to each room in the house, from the place where you choose to locate your networking equipment. Rooms which are likely to have the most equipment, such as the office, home cinema or living room should have as many as 6 or 8 cables.

You should also have a cable running to anywhere where you are likely to need a security camera or WiFi access point, or anywhere where you might consider adding one of those devices in the future. You could also run a couple of cables to your front door, if you are likely to consider an entry system or intercom.

As well as having CAT6 cables running from your network hub to the various rooms, also consider anywhere in the home where you are likely to need to carry a video signal, such as between an AV-Receiver and a TV/projector. Even if you are sure that you will use HDMI leads for this purpose, it is worth running a CAT6 cable there too, especially if you are going to plaster the HDMI lead into the wall.

Not only is a length of CAT6 cable considerably lower in cost than a spare HDMI lead, it is also more likely to work with future video standards. More info on using CAT6 to send HDMI video can be found here.

While in the process of installing network cables into your home, it might be a good time to also install:

Make sure that you clearly label all of your cables so that you know exactly where each one goes. You may choose to number the cables or name them for each location.

Choose a place in your house that the cables will run from. This is usually a cabinet which houses your router and other networking equipment.

This now brings onto the next section. The network cabinet..