Ethernet Cabling Questions

Will Rickards

Storage Is My Life
Jan 23, 2002
So I bought a couple new routers, amplifi alien, to upgrade my network and have one be a mesh point. I may add a third later.
While I've got wire in the walls now for the existing router, I want to make it to be more professional with actual jacks in the wall instead of just little holes.
I did a jack with two female ends in the living room so that isn't that bad but the others are just holes in drywall. And I need to run at least two new drops.

The existing cable I have been using is this and this.

So a few questions:
1. Cat 7 or Cat 8?
I'm leaning cat8 even though that is overkill for the router and my internet speed. I gather I'm looking for solid core rather than stranded like I used before.

2. How hard is it to learn to terminate these cables properly?
I've watched a few videos and it doesn't seem too bad but I've never done it before.

3. What keystones do I need? Recommendations?
What kind of cost for tools and keystones?

4. Source for the cable that is CMR rated? That is rated to go between floors. I think this is but is way more than I need.
I probably need like 200 feet at the very upper limit. I've measured about 165 feet in runs so that with a 20% buffer is just under 200ft.

5. Should this be in conduit between floors? It is running parallel to an electrical run now, the one for the router itself.

6. Router placement in basement recommendations?
I have fluorescent lighting. pipes, heating ducts, and electrical runs in the area above the drop ceiling.
I was just going to have it be in a joist up there. But is there something I should avoid most of all?

7. Can I mix cables? I don't want to replace one of the runs to the living room. Will having that be a cat6 cable affect the network speed of the other connections?



Wotty wot wot.
Nov 8, 2006
Gold Coast Hinterland, Australia
Apologies for the brief replies, but:

  1. Only bother with CAT7/8 if you want 10Gb+ (CAT6 is rated to 1Gb at 100m / 328ft), and even then if re-cabling and you want 10Gb+, I would consider going fibre. (10Gb fibre is cheaper than 10Gb copper and far easier to work with).
  2. Cable termination just takes practice, however note proper CAT7/8 termination is tricky (and a royal pain in the arse to get correct due to the spec).
  3. Depends on what is easily available, but make sure it matches your cable type. (if using CAT7 cable, then ensure CAT7+ rated sockets). Also some sockets require specific tools (eg Krone), others just require a simple punch-down tool. Speak to your retailer...
  4. Depends on the building code in your state/county, CMR may only be needed for commercial premise. Residential may not have this requirement.
  5. See 4. It's never recommended to run LV cable next to MV/HV cable due to interference. Australia standards (S009:2006) denotes 50mm separation for non-related LV cables, and 450mm separation between MV/HV and LV cables unless barriers (as per the spec) are used. Conduit may or may not be recommended due to fire hazard. (conduit in some circumstances can aid in the spread of fire). Again see your local building code for details.
  6. Only recommendation is to ensure proper electrical grounding and enclosure to minimise dust/moisture and to avoid heat.
  7. No issues mixing cable types in an installation, as long as you're not joining cables to make it a single run.
Final note: Cabling is a royal pain in the arse, and would be something I would consider paying someone else to do, even though I can do it all myself.


Jan 13, 2002
I posted this on another site so I'll copy and paste my advice for wiring your home here:

Here's what I did for my house about a year ago. Please bear with me...there's a bunch of parts to go over.
CAT6A Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) CMR in-wall rated.
Edit: I highly recommend CAT6A versus any of the other standards. For now and the foreseeable future this will meet almost all needs up to 10Gb speeds at 100meters in length per-run. If you really need more than 10Gb speeds...let's have a different discussion and consider fiber optics. On the same point, the cost savings to go lower than CAT6A really isn't worth it considering the time and investment you will make to get this all installed. There are exceptions but we can have discussions if you have other concerns in mind.
Check pricing at Amazon or monoprice...get whichever is cheaper after shipping. I bought my wire from Amazon via monoprice because it was cheaper at the time with Prime shipping.
I got two spools of 1000 feet with different colors. The amount you buy is obviously up to the project you're working on.
There is a relation (standard) to the color of the cable and the intended purpose. If you want to follow this, give this a read. If you aren't that picky, you can be like me and use your own colors to differentiate the runs.
Pulling wire tips
When you pull the wire, there are measurements on the actual cable in 2-foot increments. Pull multiple runs at the same time at the same length using those measurement markings. Once you estimate the length, add some additional slack to make sure you have enough when pulling through walls. I write down each measurement on the cables and then use a permanent marker to write a unique identifier on each end of the cable. You can use something as basic as a letter for each group of runs. I usually run 4 cables to each room, so I label A-1, B-1, C-1, D-1 on both ends. Make sure to label both'll appreciate it later.
Use electrical table and join all lines of runs together into a group that is going to a single location. Then attach the group to your fishing wire or pull cord also using lots of electrical tape. Document the group of cables to identify the room it goes to so that you have an easier time wiring this up to your central patch panel later.
Since the wire is on a spool, I used two saw horses and a coat hanger pole from my closet to feed through the spool making it easier to pull the wire.
When pulling the wire to my second floor, I actually sacrificed an existing cable run to the attic. I then used that to pull the new wire up to my second floor. Every house is different so this may not work for you.
Wall stuff:
CAT6a toolless keystones:
I got a variety of colors, that's up to you how you want to organize your pulls. This way you can segment cables to each room for various tasks identified by the color. Again, that's up to you how you want to organize.
1-gang low voltage mounting bracket (old construction)
Blank wall plate inserts:
F Type RG6 (cable) inserts
You can often combine new runs of CAT6 with existing RG6 into the same wall plate. Optionally up to you.
6-hole wall plate for keystones:
I use 6-hole since I run four cables plus me one extra to fill with a blank tile.
Patch panel stuff
Patch cables for your switch:
CAT6A Rack patch panel:
Get the patch panel with the number of ports appropriate for your project.
8U Network wall rack:
I run all my cables to a central location.
Rack tray:
Good for free-mounting devices like cable modem, etc.
Rack mount screws
You may likely need additional screws to mount items into the 8U rack. These will work great.
Optional tools
Steel pull line:
Wire Noodler:
DryWall saw:
Wiring pinout info
I should have also pointed out that when wiring up the toolless keystones, you will need to pick a wiring pinout for both ends of the cable. There are two standards for this, many often pick T568B as the wiring standard. You will see on the CAT6A cable each wire color described in that article. The keystones will even tell you the two standards and have wiring colors listed to make it easier for you.

Will Rickards

Storage Is My Life
Jan 23, 2002
I finally got around to doing this and used cat8 preterminated cables from monoprice.
I did run conduit, plastic, between the floors in the wall along a staircase but not above the drop ceiling in basement.
Mostly because I had some conduit leftover from when I ran the hdmi cable behind the wall for the TV in the living room.
I used netgear switches for multiple clients off a single in wall port and to expand the ports available to the alien router.
Finally got rid of the cat5e cable my son bought that was just laying on the floor of the office to his workstation.
And the wires are properly secured in the joists up there in case I decide to finish the ceiling instead of having the drop ceiling.
Just one wire is the older style at the moment and that is the for the Tivo in the living room. I'll get to that eventually.
I had to do some electrical for this as well since there was no outlet in the drop ceiling close. The one I thought was an outlet was an outlet not connected to anything in that junction box.

You were correct in that running the wires was a pain and took longer than I had anticipated. It took a couple weekends to complete the work.