Neil

Do You Need a Punch Down Tool to Terminate an Ethernet Jack?

While a punch down tool is really the best way to get perfect terminations consistently there are a couple of alternatives that one might consider, especially if he or she only needs to terminate a small number of locations. These alternatives are using small installation tools that are sometimes included with Ethernet jacks or using an included dust cover and a pair of channel lock pliers to push the conductors into the pins of the jack.

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How to Terminate Ethernet Jacks on Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Cat 6A Cable

Probably the most common task that I have performed over the years in networking is terminating Ethernet jacks. Almost every project I have ever worked on has required me to do at least one of them so it is a skill that almost everyone who builds or maintains a network will need to learn sooner or later. The good news is that, while terminating Ethernet jacks can feel intimidating, it really is not that difficult of a thing to do. With the tips and instruction in this article and bit of practice I am confident that you will have no problem at all getting the job done.

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How to Terminate RJ45 Connectors on Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Cat 6A Cable

While terminating an RJ45 connector can be an intimidating task anyone can quickly learn everything that they need to know about the process simply by following the instructions and advice of someone who has been doing it a long time. In the remainder of this article, you will find the advice that was given to me more than a decade ago along with some little nuggets of information I have found since then. I hope that the information is as useful to you as it was for me. 

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How to Run Ethernet Through a Wall Horizontally

You may need to run your network cable through a wall horizontally because there is no usable utility space above or below the room you are working in. You may also choose to use one of the methods in this article because the distance that your cable needs to travel is not very far and it does not make sense to run the cable to the attic and back again just to extend a network across a room. Whatever the reason you may need to run an Ethernet cable through a wall horizontally, here are a few of my favorite methods for getting the job done. 

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How Far Can You Run Ethernet Cable?

The maximum length of an Ethernet cable from one network device to another is almost always 100 meters or 328 feet. This effective max distance of Ethernet is the same from category 5 through to category 8 Ethernet cable but can be reduced because of a hand full of external factors. These factors included electromagnetic noise in the area, the quality of the installation, cable temperature, and the number of terminations across a single cable. Anyone who needs to extend their network beyond this limit can do so by using a network cable type designed for the increased distance or by installing a network device at some point along the run to boost, or extend, the signal.

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Types of Ethernet Connectors

While browsing through all of the available Ethernet connectors on a vendor’s site this morning I was struck with just how many different styles are available today. I thought that it may be helpful to some people if I took a few minutes to list out some of the most popular styles, what they are used for, and some of my options on if they are worth using or not. In no way do I intend this to be an exhaustive list of all of the available options. Instead, I intend to create an overview of many of the different types of Ethernet connectors available on the market.

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Can You Plug a Phone Line Into An Ethernet Port?

Most of the connectors that are commonly used in phone networks can be used to plug a phone line directly into an Ethernet port. This is a great option for anyone who would like to send phone signals down an Ethernet cable. However, you can not send Ethernet signals down a phone line. Ethernet cables are backward compatible with most phone equipment but Ethernet equipment will not work well over a voice-grade cable. It is also important to know that you should never plug an active analog phone line into any Ethernet network equipment as this can damage the Equipment.

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TIA/EIA 568A VS 568B, Choosing an Ethernet Color Code.

caused by having multiple wiring standards in the same building so in most situations it is best to just match what is already there. If you are starting a brand new project that does not already have any cable in it I recommend that most people follow the TIA/EIA 568B standard. There are however a few situations where you may choose to follow the other standard.

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Do Electricians Run Ethernet Cable? Choosing a Contractor to Build Your Home Network. 

While it is common to find an electrician who knows what he or she is doing when it comes to networking, you do not need to know anything about networking at all to get an electrician’s license in most states. A much better way to know that you are hiring the best contractor for your home network is to find someone who carries a certification specifically targeted at networking, such as those provided by BICSI. Another great way to make sure you hire a competent contractor is to ask them a few key questions before you hire them.

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Determining if You Need Plenum or Riser Cable for Your Home Network

One of the best ways to save money when installing a physical home network is to use riser-rated cable rather than plenum-rated cable. In most homes, there is no reason to use anything but standard riser cable as long as it is installed correctly. There are however some situations where plenum is not just recommended but required by building fire code.

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