It’s truly astonishing how over 20 or so years, the internet has penetrated every aspect of our lives. What used to be relegated to a clunky machine in the corner of your living room now exists in your pocket, on your wrist, maybe even in your fridge.
Naturally, your home should support the internet-connected devices – and humans – that inhabit it. So if you’re building a custom home, you should definitely consider asking your builder to hard-wire it!
Why Do It?
Firstly, we should establish how you connect to the internet. Most homes use coaxial cable internet access, which is run through a modem that converts it into a signal your computer recognizes. This signal is passed along a type of cable called ethernet, which looks like an extra-wide phone line.
Once it’s put to ethernet, the signal goes through your router, which can either physically wire the connection to other computers or convert it to Wi-Fi.
You’d want to hard wire a home for a few reasons. The first is because wired connections are always more stable, and often faster. This is particularly important for gaming or streaming movies and TV. Secondly, wiring ethernet can expand your wireless range through access points.
Hardware You’ll Need
Obviously if you’re inexperienced with DIY or have to work around high-voltage electrical lines, you should hire a professional. Your home builder can also contract with an electrician. If you are DIYing, you’ll need:
- Bulk Ethernet Cable. Use CAT6 cable, as it carries more data and will keep up with future technology.
- A Crimping Kit. Kits like this on Amazon include everything you need to put actual plugs on the cable.
- A Drill and Flexible Drill Bit. Essential for drilling through wall studs.
- Wall plates. The cable in your walls will connect to these, which you can plug devices into.
- (Optional) Access Points. If you want to expand your Wi-Fi network, you’ll either need dedicated Wi-Fi access points or another router in access point mode.
How Do You Do It?
Well, that depends. If you have a single-story home, the easiest way is to run the wires underneath your crawlspace. Cut holes in the drywall for your jack plates, then use the drill to drill through the floor into your crawlspace. Run cable underneath, and rinse and repeat as often as needed.
If you’re running between floors, things get a bit more complicated. You have to drill through the wooden beams between the floors, and fish the wire down. Also, be careful to avoid electrical connections in the wall if possible, as they cause interference. Interior walls are also easiest due to lack of insulation.
Are you looking for a beautiful custom home in the Triangle? Tingen Construction brings experience, knowledge, and regional expertise to the table. Contact us today to talk about your dream home, or check out our available homes.