Home Network with Structured Wiring

By Todd Fratzel on Electrical

I’ve written about the structured wiring used when we built our new home. Structured wiring is a great way to create a very stable and functional home network. My wife and I both work at home quite a bit between our real jobs and online ventures so having a home network setup is extremely useful.
picture of home computer networkSetting up a home network is really easy to do if your home has been wired with structured wiring. When we built our new home we ran structured wiring to all the bedrooms, the living room, kitchen and office. The structured wiring that we used had two pairs of RG6 and two pairs of Cat5e cables. Each room has a “home run” set of these cables that runs down to our utility room in the basement. The cable TV and phone lines from the utility poles on the street run directly into the utility room where we have set up the network router.

Network Router
In the utility room we have a D-Link Ethernet Broadband Router connected directly to the Arris Comcast Touchstone Telephony VOIP BROADBAND Modem that Comcast installed for our VOIP, Internet and CATV. The router gives us 4 ports which means you can run the internet and network to 4 rooms. However, we have a total of 8 locations around the house with network ports that a computer can be hooked up to. So I installed a D-Link DES-1105 5-Port 10/100 Desktop Switch to the network router. This creates 5 additional ports so we have a total of 9 ports available.
diagram of home computer networkOnce you get the network router set up then setting up the home network is really easy. You’ll need to connect each computer to the Cat5e connections with a Cat5e network cable. The base of our home network is the new Dell Desktop Computer that we just bought. We also have a Brother MFC-240C Color Inkjet All-in-One Printer, Copier & Fax hooked up so we can use it as a shared printer with both computers on the network. The main computer is running Windows Vista and it was pretty easy to set up the network by following the network wizard. Our second computer is a few years old and it’s running on Windows XP but both computers seem to work well on the network together.

I also installed a Linksys WRT54GS Wireless-G Broadband Router to the network port in the kitchen. This allows us to use our laptop in the house along with guests when they are here visiting.

Hopefully this article sheds some light on the ease of setting up a home network and show you the power of structured wiring. Structured wiring has many other uses which make it a great investment in your next home.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the author of Tool Box Buzz and Today's Green Construction. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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2 Comments

  1. Emanuel says:

    Wow That really is a great set-up you have got there, i have often though about redoing my house, and creating internal ethernet cables within the walls, just so much more neater.

    I wonder will you take it one step further and integrate your house hold appliances into you network. How fun would that be. Great post.

    Emanuel

  2. Todd says:

    @ Emanuel – Thanks for the compliments. No plan on integrating appliances as the house wasn’t really wired for that. There are a few more “network” things I’d like to do. I’d like to connect our computer and digital files to my stereo system. We installed ceiling speakers in several rooms throughout the house so it would be nice to set up a networked stereo situation. I suppose the heating and cooling system could be integrated quite easily if I even feel the need to do that.

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