How to Run Ethernet Cable Along Walls?

Ethernet cables are the lifeblood of any wired network. They transmit data at high speeds between computers, routers, switches, and other network devices. They’re typically faster and more reliable than Wi-Fi, making them a preferred choice for many tech enthusiasts.

Why Run Ethernet Cable Along Walls: The Benefits

First off, you’re probably wondering, “Why bother running Ethernet cables along walls when we’ve got WiFi?” The answer, my friends, lies in performance and reliability. WiFi, as magical as it seems, isn’t without its quirks. Interference, slow speeds during high traffic periods, and security concerns are just a few of the caveats you may encounter.

On the other hand, a hardwired Ethernet connection delivers consistent speeds, lower latency, and greater security. And for the aesthetic-conscious among us, routing these cables along walls makes for a cleaner and more organized setup. Plus, who wants to trip over cables spread all across the floor, right?

Choosing the Right Ethernet Cable for Your Needs

Now, it’s crucial to know not all Ethernet cables are created equal. You’ve got your Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, and Cat7 cables, each offering different data transfer rates and bandwidth. For most home users, a Cat5e or Cat6 cable would suffice, offering up to 1Gbps and 10Gbps speeds, respectively.

However, if you’re an ardent gamer, streamer, or run a home office, you might want to look into Cat6a or Cat7 cables. These deliver blistering speeds up to 10Gbps with Cat6a and a whopping 100Gbps with Cat7. The price is steeper, but the boost in performance can be well worth it.

Essential Tools for Running Ethernet Cable Along Walls

Running Ethernet cable is a DIY job that needs some basic tools. You’ll need an Ethernet cable (obviously), a crimper tool, Ethernet connectors, a punch-down tool, a wall mount bracket, and Ethernet wall plates. And don’t forget a wire cutter and possibly a drill if you plan on passing the cable through walls.

How to Run Ethernet Cable Along Walls? – Step by Step

  1. Plan your Route: First, decide the path of your cable. Start from your router to the device location, considering the least disruptive and most concealable path.
  2. Measure and Cut: Measure the cable length needed (add some extra for safe measure), then cut your Ethernet cable accordingly.
  3. Install Wall Mounts: At the device’s location, install your wall mount bracket. You’ll need to punch a hole in the wall, so make sure to use a stud finder to avoid any electrical wiring.
  4. Run the Cable: Now for the fun part. Starting at the router, run your cable along the baseboard, securing it with cable clips. Continue this along your planned route until you reach your wall mount.
  5. Termination: Thread the cable through the wall mount and use your punch-down tool to connect the cable to the Ethernet wall plate. Once done, snap your wall plate onto the bracket.
  6. Test Your Connection: Finally, connect your device and test your connection. If everything goes as planned, you should be up and running with your blazing fast, hardwired connection.

Avoiding Common Mistakes When Installing Ethernet Cable

One common mistake is neglecting to test your cable before installation. Always ensure your cable is functioning properly before you start drilling and routing. Also, avoid running Ethernet cables parallel to power lines. This can cause electromagnetic interference and degrade your network performance.

Lastly, don’t skimp on your tools. A cheap punch-down tool or a bad crimper can lead to shoddy connections, which in turn lead to slower speeds and frequent disconnections.

Pro Tips for Concealing Ethernet Cables Along Walls

Concealment is key for a neat and uncluttered look. Using paintable cable covers along your baseboard can effectively hide your Ethernet cables. Alternatively, using flat Ethernet cables and adhesive cable clips allows for a less noticeable setup, especially if you match the color of your cable to your wall.

Maintaining Your Ethernet Cable: Ensuring Longevity and Performance

Maintenance might seem odd for Ethernet cables, but it’s crucial for longevity. Avoid bending cables sharply, as this can damage the internal wiring. Regularly dusting your cables and connectors can also prevent potential connectivity issues. And remember, if you start experiencing slower speeds or disconnections, check your cable first — it’s the easiest component to replace.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the maximum length for an Ethernet cable?

The maximum length for an Ethernet cable is 100 meters or about 328 feet. Beyond this length, signal loss can occur.

Can I run Ethernet cable outside?

Yes, but you’ll need to use an outdoor-rated Ethernet cable that can withstand the elements.

Is it safe to run Ethernet cable along walls?

Yes, it’s safe to run Ethernet cable along walls as long as you avoid power lines and secure the cable properly.


Running Ethernet cable along walls is a skill that can improve your home network and add a professional touch to your space. With the right tools, a bit of planning, and some patience, you can master this DIY project and enjoy the benefits of a wired network.

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