How to Install Network Cable
Updated: Apr 10
If you are on a tight budget, you may want to install your own small business network cabling.
Here is a general overview of the steps involved in installing network cable:
Plan the installation: Determine the location and route of the cable, the type of cable required, the necessary tools and equipment, and any permits or permissions needed for the installation.
Prepare the workspace: Ensure that the area where you will be working is clean and free from obstacles. If necessary, install conduit, raceways, or other cable management systems to protect and organize the cable.
Measure and cut the cable: Measure the length of the cable required, add some extra length for slack, and cut the cable to the appropriate length using a cable cutter.
Strip the cable: Strip about 1-2 inches of the outer jacket from each end of the cable using a cable stripper. Be careful not to damage the inner wires.
Untwist the wires: Untwist the pairs of wires and arrange them according to the wiring standard you will be using (T568A or T568B).
Terminate the cable: Use a crimping tool to attach a modular connector (RJ45) to each end of the cable, following the appropriate wiring standard.
Test the cable: Use a cable tester to verify that the cable is properly wired and functioning correctly. Test each wire pair individually to ensure that there are no cross-talk or other issues.
Label and organize: Label the cable at both ends to indicate its purpose, and organize the cables using cable ties, Velcro straps, or other cable management tools.
Following these steps should result in a properly installed network cable that provides reliable connectivity for your network devices. However, if you are not confident in your ability to install network cable, it may be best to consult with a professional installer or network technician.
Network Cable Choices
Twisted pair network cable is a type of cable used in Ethernet networks to transmit data between devices. It consists of two insulated copper wires that are twisted together to reduce electromagnetic interference and crosstalk between pairs. Network cables consist of 4 twisted pair wires.
There are two types of twisted pair cables commonly used in Ethernet networks: Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) and Shielded Twisted Pair (STP). UTP is the most common type of twisted pair cable and is typically used for shorter cable runs within a building or between nearby buildings. STP is less common and provides greater protection against interference but is also more expensive.
Twisted pair cables are typically available in various categories, such as CAT5, CAT6, and CAT7, which indicate the cable's capabilities and performance levels. Higher category cables provide higher bandwidth, faster data transfer rates, and better protection against interference.
Twisted pair cables use RJ45 connectors to connect to network devices such as computers, switches, and routers. The cables are terminated using a crimping tool to attach the connector to the cable's wires. The wires are usually color-coded and arranged according to the T568A or T568B wiring standard to ensure compatibility with other network devices.
Overall, twisted pair cables are a popular and cost-effective solution for Ethernet networks, providing reliable data transfer with minimal interference.
CAT5 or CAT6 Cable
CAT6 cable offers several advantages over CAT5 cable, including:
Higher Bandwidth: CAT6 cable has a higher bandwidth capacity than CAT5 cable, which means it can support higher data transfer rates. This is especially important in modern networks, where large amounts of data are being transmitted over the network.
Faster Speeds: Due to its higher bandwidth capacity, CAT6 cable can support faster network speeds than CAT5 cable. This is particularly important in applications such as video streaming or online gaming, where high-speed data transfer is critical.
Improved Crosstalk Performance: CAT6 cable has improved crosstalk performance compared to CAT5 cable, which means that it is less susceptible to signal interference from adjacent cables. This results in a more reliable and stable network connection.
Better Signal-to-Noise Ratio: CAT6 cable has a better signal-to-noise ratio than CAT5 cable, which means that it is less susceptible to signal degradation due to external interference. This is particularly important in high-noise environments, where signal quality can be a challenge.
Longer Cable Runs: CAT6 cable can support longer cable runs than CAT5 cable, which makes it more suitable for larger networks. This is because it has a lower attenuation rate, which means that the signal can travel further without losing strength.
Overall, CAT6 cable provides a significant performance advantage over CAT5 cable, making it the preferred choice for modern networks that require high-speed, high-bandwidth data transfer.
How to Terminate Cable Ends - Installing RJ45 Modular Connectors
There are two primary network cable wiring standards: T568A and T568B. These standards define the pinout (wiring order) for eight-pin modular connectors (RJ45) used in Ethernet networks.
T568A and T568B are both widely used, and both provide the same performance and capabilities when correctly terminated.
However, it is important to use the same standard consistently throughout a network to ensure that all devices can communicate properly.
Here is a brief overview of the T568A and T568B wiring standards:
Pin 1: Green/White
Pin 2: Green
Pin 3: Orange/White
Pin 4: Blue
Pin 5: Blue/White
Pin 6: Orange
Pin 7: Brown/White
Pin 8: Brown
Pin 1: Orange/White
Pin 2: Orange
Pin 3: Green/White
Pin 4: Blue
Pin 5: Blue/White
Pin 6: Green
Pin 7: Brown/White
Pin 8: Brown
How to Test Your Network Cable Installation
To test a network cable, you will need a cable tester. A cable tester is a device that can check the continuity of the wires, verify the correct wiring configuration, and detect any faults or problems in the cable. Here are the general steps to test a network cable:
Disconnect the cable: Unplug the cable from both ends to ensure that no devices are connected to it.
Check the cable: Inspect the cable for any physical damage, such as cuts, kinks, or crimps, which could affect its performance.
Connect the cable tester: Attach the cable tester to both ends of the cable. If the cable is longer than the tester, you may need to use a patch cable to extend the connection.
Turn on the tester: Turn on the cable tester and follow the manufacturer's instructions to initiate the test.
Verify the results: The tester should display the results of the test, indicating whether the cable is functioning correctly or if there are any issues such as a short circuit, open circuit, or reversed pairs.
Troubleshoot any issues: If the cable fails the test, use the tester's diagnostic features to identify the problem. Check for issues such as incorrect wiring, poor connections, or damage to the cable.
Re-test: After making any necessary repairs, re-test the cable to ensure that it is working correctly.
Testing network cables is an important part of network maintenance and troubleshooting. It can help identify issues before they cause problems, and ensure that your network is operating at peak performance.
CCR Technology Group can provide all the cable installation supplies and testing equipment for your DIY network installation.
We can also install your complete network at an affordable price. Please contact us for a free installation consultation.
(204) 666-9790 1-800-913-3242