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Can I hardwire my house? Or am I fooling myself?

We moved into a new house recently, and when we got our internet hookup with Roadrunner DSL, I asked if every ethernet port in the house would give access to the internet. The technician hooking up the modem said something along the lines of: No, you need a hardwire router to do that.

So right now, we have a slightly twitchy wireless, which I personally have no problem with. But, I'd still like to enable all of the ethernet ports to handle a computer plugged in, while maintaining my wireless.

Here's the scenario.
-Wires down in the basement storage, with modem hooked in there.
-Main floor computer with Wireless router.
-one computer upstairs, close to ethernet port; no internet access from the port. Very slow internet through wireless.

So, any ideas?

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What We've Done..

In reply to: Can I hardwire my house? Or am I fooling myself?

And much of this depends on how much money you want to spend and how "clean" you want it to look. Most wireless routers now have four or five port ethernet ports as well. We use such a router. We hook the modem up to the router using whatever cable is necessary (In your case, run a cable from the basement modem to the main floor router), then run multiple ethernet cables from to router ports to the rest of the house, possibly to each bedroom.. The wires can be "dropped" from the attic/ceiling/crawlspace down to a RJ-45 jack box in the wall and connected there. When a computer is placed in the room, all the user needs to do is plug an ethernet cable from the computer to the wall.

By the way, if you want to simply get better wireless reception for the upstairs computer, you do have an option of purchasing a high gain omni-directional antenna(or making one yourself) and connecting it to the upstairs computer, then point it at the router downstairs..

Hope this helps.


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Not technically difficult if your handy with

In reply to: Can I hardwire my house? Or am I fooling myself?

tools and fairly agile. You'll need the proper Ethernet cable, wall plates and keystones, basic electrical tools and maybe a "punch down" tool. I make my own patch cables and there are tools for that too if you're so inclined. Use appropriate wire types for the infrastructure. This means plenum rated ideally. Every piece of wire should converge at one point. This is where your router and, perhaps, a network switch will be placed. You'll need a good electrical outlet. It's best for your network hardware to have some electrical protection. A UPS is a good idea. You will find that basements offer access ports to upper areas of the house through plumbing routes, soil pipe vents and furnace flue openings. If you can drop a plumb line where these come through attic space, you can drag wire up there quite easily. When pulling the wire, add a string as well. This allows more wire to be pulled later if needed. You're going to need a good drill with some deeper cutting drill bits if you come down through walls from the attic area. You'll also need a stud finder and a good measuring tape to make sure you're coming through between them and not into them. If you use wall plates, I almost recommend making cutouts for these before drilling through the ceiling header. This allows you to insert a light source so that, when your drill breaks through, you can look into the hole and see it.

Anyway, getting long winded but these are tips I learned from wiring my own place. Good luck.

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Thanks for the ideas!

In reply to: Not technically difficult if your handy with

Thanks for the tips! However, there's something that the technician said that still confuses me.

He said that there was something called a "hard-wire router" that I could buy. It would come as a router with 4,8,16, or 32 ports. I could buy which ever one I needed, plug the necessary wires (All of the ports have wires going down to the basement), plug the router into the Modem, and then the system would be fine for the rest of the computers.

Now, I've never heard of hard wire routers, until now of course, but is what he said a valid statement? I'm willing to get one of these...

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Hardwire Router Is What You May Already Have...

In reply to: Thanks for the ideas!

Unfortunately, you aren't telling us what you already have set up.. Primarily, it comes down to this.. A wire from the cable or DSL service enters the house and plugs into your modem.. From there, a single cable connects to your router.. And from there, all the ethernet cables must run throughout the house and connect to selected devices in the various rooms of the house..

You have options: If your current wireless router also has multiple WIRED ports, then you could connect those ports and their associated cables to the various computers throughout the house.. If it does not have multiple WIRED ports, then you will be required to purchase and connect a "hardwired router" or "Switch" so the various cables can then be run throughout the house and connected to the computers.

From there, you only need to get creative and decide what works best for you.

Those hardwired routers/switches can be in almost any location you choose, including the basement, but an ethernet cable will need to connect it to the modem and then other cables would be run from the hardwired router/switch to the upstairs wireless router and to all the rooms in the house. See the link below for a general setup which would be similar to your needs except that you might choose to place a multiport router/switch between the modem and the wireless router.:

Hope this helps.


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The term "hard wire" just means

In reply to: Thanks for the ideas!

wired versus wireless. Some routers for home use have both but these generally have 4 ports. The router allows multiple connections to the your case, the internet. While you can get wired routers with the number of ports you mentioned, you're getting into the business class variety that have more management features. The easy way is to add a switch which is just a device with more ports that connects to one of router's wired ports. These are inexpensive and quite suitable for home use. I've a 4 port wired router and a 16 port switch. Effectively, this gives me 18 ports as two are occupied by the router/switch connection. I also have 2 wireless access points so now I'm at 16 ports for PCs, printers and other network connected devices. If you want to get really fancy, you can put up a metal rack with a patch panel but this gets to be a bit extreme for most homes. In any event, the word "hard" in hard wired can be eliminated. It's just wired versus wireless.

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Multi port device

In reply to: Thanks for the ideas!

The tech was talking about a SWITCH, tap off from existing router, hardwire {can be from wireless router since most have 4 hardwire ports) and run lines from there. Everything has to be tied to a common source (input from server) Modem,to router, to switch. As far as how difficult it would be depends on how original wiring was set up from source input.

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There are 3 kinds of routers;

In reply to: Thanks for the ideas!

hardwired, wireless, and combo. The purpose of the wiring in the wall is for hardwire. Since you are using wireless now, I would suggest getting a router with wireless access point (which is for both wireless and hardwired).

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Sounds like you're almost set to go!

In reply to: Can I hardwire my house? Or am I fooling myself?

Do the wires in the basement have connectors? If so you are ready.

As I se things, you have as connected:
1. Main PC
2. Short network cable from the PC (plugged into one of four Network (LAN)ports on the router)
3. Wireless router
4. Another short cable (From Internet port to the wall)
5. #4 connected to the DSL Modem

Be aware that moving your router may really degrade your wireless connectivity!!!

1. Disconnect power from the router
2. Unplug the cable from the wall
3. From the back of the router, disconnect the cable leading to the PC (should be numbered 1-4)
4. Take the router (leaving the short cable connected at the Internet port, to the basement (Don't forget the routers power supply!(And, Yes, I have done this too))
5. Disconnect the cable From the DSL modem that runs to the Main PC
6. connect it to the port you disconnected from upstairs.
7. Connect the cable (from the routers Internet port) to the DSL modem
8. Connect power to the router.
9. At this point you should be able to have internet access from the main PC
10. Now you can connect three more cables to the router and have internet access for those rooms.

If you have more Cables than connections, then you MIGHT want to purchase a network switch.


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SOmething else you can do

In reply to: Can I hardwire my house? Or am I fooling myself?

If you don't have a Cable or phone jack in your basment you can run it back down to the basment using any wall jack. But when you do this that room will not have access to the internet as the wall jack will be going down to the basment. In the basement you just have to find out which feed is live. Something else to point out, in my house for example all the phone jacks are made using cat 5 cable. When making your cat 5 wall jacks you only need 3 of the 5 twisted pairs of wires. Blue is most likly your phone line and Brown can be used to add another phone line. Or vice versa depeding on which color the builder used for your phone line. This is how i do my setup and it was fairly easy to setup. Home Depot sells a crimper kit that comes w/RJ45 and RJ11 connectors and a punch down tool for around $20. Its a great deal and has just enough connectors so you don't have to buy extra.

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We note this also in our Networking Forum. See link.

In reply to: SOmething else you can do

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Some excellent replies

In reply to: Can I hardwire my house? Or am I fooling myself?

I to had to refit my modem cable last week,as I live in brick built home(Liverpool ,UK)it's a lot more differcult than stud walling.When Virgin fitter came to upgrade to broadband last year I said would fit myself as wanted cabling hidden so left me about 100 yards of cable and modem and happily went home early.So last week decided to alter cable placement as building new bay window cupboard and incorporating new wiring so all behind tv now.Cable for modem comes into bay area,so take from there to hall,so drilled hole in bottom of the wall,then take up to upstairs bedroom through trunking in corner where central heating pipes,with floorboard removed took an hour to get cable up,by using stiff single core cable down and pulling up cable ,then connected across bedroom to computer cupboard,and Motoroler modem,while boards up dropped usb cable down so when next year buying new computer,going to but old computer in bay cupboard to connect to tv,and getting dual connector for modem so both computers hardwired,which is always the best way to connect with others,so just a day in my simple live.If you are have good grounding in DIY or rich it will be the best way to go,and another idea is your neighbours houses similer,then ask around if they have done the same ,they could give you best ideas in the way to job.

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(NT) You might want to add a fish tape to your tool box

In reply to: Some excellent replies

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Supplemental Information

In reply to: Can I hardwire my house? Or am I fooling myself?

Judging from your question, you may want to know something more about the various devices you're using.
Somewhere in the system you need to have a switch/router which performs NAT (Network Address Translation) and is a DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol)server. These services MAY be in your modem; if not, you need a device to supply them.
If your wireless has any additional ports, it may be the unit supplying these services.
It sounds like you need only to:
1. bring all your wires together at one place (extend as necessary)
2. Attach everything, including your wireless unit, to the LAN ports of a router
3. Attach the modem cable to the WAN port of the router.
4. In the router, enable NAT and DHCP. You may have to set the WAN address (connecting to the modem), or, if the modem has DHCP, enable the router WAN port as a DHCP client.
You should then be in business.

When setting the address ranges for the router DHCP, it makes no difference what settings you use (with a few excptions; e.g. refers to the local machine). BUT- you will always do better using the reserved local address range -, subnet mask Most user appliances are pre-set within this range.
I'm sure there are a hundred other things I've learned in the course of wiring and wirelessing my home, but feel free to ask if you have any problems.
(For example:If you make your own cables, VALIDATE EVERY CONTACT. Just because the computer/switch LAN port light comes on doesn't mean the cable's good.)
Good luck.

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COnsider ethernet over mains products

In reply to: Can I hardwire my house? Or am I fooling myself?

Easiest way and very realiable if only for 2 or 3 devices is to go for Lan over Mains.

Plug in the adapter to any mains socket and connect LAN cable to the device. You need one per device - so can become prohibitively expensive for larger number of devices. Your case, put one beside the modem and put one in each room whre you have a PC. Works straight out of the box and does what it says on the tin Happy

Works great and much easier for the novice to install clearly.

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