I have discovered that a lot of people find it very difficult to run an Ethernet Cable through an Exterior wall, and this is why this question keeps popping up every time the issue of House networking arises.
If you belong to this category of people, I am glad to announce to you that the search is over as this guide contains simple yet effective steps to run an Ethernet cable through an exterior wall.
Before I proceed, it’s important that you take note of the tools you need to achieve this.
What Tools Do I Need To Run An Ethernet Cable Through An Exterior Wall?
Please, note that these tools differ from user to user.
1. Ethernet cable
2. Drill bit
3. Drill Machine
That being said, let’s deal with the steps to connecting an outdoor Ethernet cable.
How To Run An Ethernet Cable Through An Exterior Wall [Simple & Easy Steps]
Going forward, I will be showing you simple steps and detailed instructions on how to run an ethernet cable through an exterior wall in a safe and secured way.
Keep reading to find the answer to the question “HOW”?
Step 1: Search For Any Existing Ethernet Installation
You may or may not know that Ethernet cables are commonly run through crawlspaces and basements, so there is a possibility that there may be existing ethernet cables leading from the exterior box into your home.
That being said, before you drill any holes in the exterior of your home, check the exterior box where the cable coming from your Internet Service Provider (ISP) terminates.
If you see an ethernet cable running from the box to your home, trace the cable to find out where it enters your home, and of course, you are most likely going to enter your crawlspace or basement.
However, if there is no line leading into your home, proceed to the next step.
Step 2: Mount An Outdoor Rated Box
It’s important to ensure that where your ethernet cable connects to the line coming from your ISP remains out of rain and sunlight.
This is why it’s necessary to install a weatherproof box if there is none already installed in your home just to make sure that your ethernet cable stays dry.
Step 3: Select The Appropriate Cable
When choosing a cable to run from your weatherproof box into your home, ensure you settle for the one that best suits your needs.
You may wondering be why. It’s simply because the elements will destroy any cable that isn’t rated for outdoor use, so go for a weatherproof, outdoor-rated ethernet cable.
Another thing you should put into consideration is the speed of the internet service coming from your service provider.
For instance, older-style ethernet cables like cat6 and cat5 can deliver speeds of 1,000 to 100 Mbps while newer ethernet cables like cat8 and cat7 can handle speeds up to 40 and 10 Gbps, respectively, so select a cable rated for that speed
Lastly, note that it’s impossible for a fast ethernet cable to improve the speed of the internet coming from your provider, however, a slow ethernet cable can slow down the speed of internet in your home.
4. Decide On A Spot To Run Your Ethernet Line
If there is no ethernet line in your home, it means that you will have to drill a hole through an exterior wall of your home, however, you must choose a spot that enables you to easily run a cable into your home.
I recommend you use the same wall where the existing internet hardline is installed by your ISP.
Please, try as much as possible to avoid spots where you will drill through wiring, plumbing, HVAC ducts, or wall studs so as not to damage them.
Again, I suggest you run your ethernet cable into a basement or crawlspace instead of drilling through an insulated wall so as to rule out the possibility of drilling into unseen wall installations
Finally, employ the use of a wall scanner to detect elements in the wall when drilling through exterior walls into a room in your home.
Other articles you might like:
Step 5: Drill A Hole For Ethernet Cable
Now that you have decided on a spot to drill the hole, it’s time to drill the hole through the exterior wall using a ½-inch (13 mm) drill bit at least 12 inches (30 cm) long.
If you are running the ethernet cable directly from the exterior into a room in your home, your best bet is to drill from inside so that you can take note of the location where the cable will enter your home.
However, if you are running the cable into a basement or crawlspace, it’s more convenient to drill from the outside into your home.
This is because basements and crawlspaces are often cramped thereby making navigating a drill tasking.
Step 6: Feed Your Cable Through Hole
Here, I will be taking you through how to run the cable into your home.
To achieve this, use electrical tape to secure a 18-inch (45 cm) length of thin, stiff wire to one end of the ethernet cable.
Run the wire through the hole you drilled, then move to the other side of the hole and pull the wire through bringing the ethernet cable along with it.
Please, endeavor to avoid excessive twisting or bending the ethernet cable through the hole as this can damage the cable.
Step 7: Run the Cable To The Location Of Your Choice
Once you are done with the sixth step, it’s time to run the cable to your desired location.
If you are installing the cable through an exterior wall directly into an interior room, then you don’t have to do anything as regards this step, just start installing a wall jack at this point.
However, if you are running your cable through a crawlspace or basement, measure and find out the point where the cable should come up within an interior wall.
The advantage of running your cable up into an interior wall is that it enables you to install an ethernet jack in any room of your choice.
Step 8: Install A Wall Jack
The safest and long-lasting way to run an ethernet cable from the exterior of your home to the interior is to wire the outdoor cable to an RJ45 wall jack, and then, plug interior ethernet cables into the jack.
Note that some installers would rather run an ethernet cable through a wall directly into a modem or router, however, using a proper wall jack is the best way to go about this.
Step 9: Seal The Hole Around Your Ethernet Cable
If you have securely installed and ran your ethernet cable from a weatherproof box to an interior wall jack, the next step is to weatherproof the hole you drilled in your home.
This can be done by using silicone caulk to fill the hole around the ethernet cable, and the most suitable place to seal the hole is on the exterior of your home.
The reason for this is not far-fetched. Sealing the hole on the exterior of your home will form a weatherproof, waterproof, bug-proof protection to ensure that nothing aside from your ethernet cable enters your home.
In case the need for repair or replacement of the line arises, simply remove the plug of silicone caulk with a utility knife.
Advantages Of Running Ethernet Cables Along Walls
Let’s take a look at some of the advantages of running ethernet cables along walls.
1. Access to more bandwidth with a direct connection through ethernet.
2. You don’t have to worry about messing with your building’s cabling because running these wires along the walls is non-intrusive
3. You can easily remove Ethernet wires that go along the walls any time you wish, so if you are living in rental homes, this comes in handy.
4. The Ethernet cable in the room enables you to connect to any device of your choice.
5. You can coax cable the gadgets that require more bandwidth if you wish to bypass the difficulties with Wi-Fi.
Commonly Asked Questions About Running Ethernet Cables
1. How Far Can I Run Ethernet Cable From My Router?
It’s important you note that Ethernet cables are designed to sustain a run of 328 feet (100 meters) at most, and as such, cable runs greater than 328 feet will lead to a decline in signal thereby causing poor internet access.
That being said, ensure that you are not running above 328 feet of cable when planning to install an ethernet cable through an exterior wall.
Please, endeavor to take the fastest reasonable path from the exterior box to an interior wall jack.
2. Is A Flat Ethernet Cable Better Than Round?
When compared to round ethernet cables, flat Ethernet cables have lesser shielding and weatherproofing thereby making round ethernet cables a more durable choice for outdoor use.
However, irrespective of the one you choose to settle for, ensure that it is rated for outdoor use and is categorized as weatherproof.
If you choose otherwise, it will break down easily which will require you to replace the cable as a result of a service outage.
I have exhaustively explained how to run an Ethernet cable through an exterior wall, giving you the benefits of doing this, and also answered some of the frequently asked questions about the topic under discussion.
I bet that having gone through this guide, you should be able to do the same with ease.
Let me know if this guide was helpful to you in the comment section, and please, kindly like, comment, and share with your family and friends.