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How to create home network from cat5 cables leading to the outside of a house?

Last response: in Networking
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February 27, 2014 1:33:01 PM

I recently purchased a newly built house that was wired with cat5 cable. I don't think it was necessarily built with a home network in mind, but apparently, some builders use cat5 for their phone lines nowadays. All 6 lines lead to the outside of the house, a 'home run' type of cabling. There is no internal panel/hub (wish that were the case).

Is there a way to create some sort of home network with this arrangement? Most of what I've read requires a powered switch/router, which would be difficult to create on the outside of the house.

Could I splice some cables together so that essentially one socket now leads directly to another?
February 27, 2014 1:54:32 PM

You could indeed use ethernet cable to transmit power, cheap way would be this way:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iSC9yXxVVc

I think is tip number 3 in that video (4 tips total)

The other way would be to buy a PoE capable switch which would power via ethernet a 2nd switch or whatever device you intend to place outside the house.
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February 27, 2014 3:00:29 PM

In conjunction with RaDiKaL suggestion of using POE above, this switch on AMAZON http://www.amazon.com/POEmax-8000-PoE-Powered-Ethernet-... supports powering via POE. I can't find any specs on the temp range it supports. Outdoors normally requires an extended temp range device.

Use a POE injector or POE enabled switch inside the house, feed power to the POE Max switch in the weatherproof box outside and connect the other cables to the network ports to create a network. Your internet gateway would be inside somewhere and daisy-chained to the POE switch outdoors.
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February 28, 2014 2:57:12 PM

Thanks to both of you for the ideas! I was totally unaware of the PoE technology. Adding the above to a weather-resistant box installed on the side of the house, I should be good to go.
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June 4, 2014 11:31:50 PM

kanewolf said:
In conjunction with RaDiKaL suggestion of using POE above, this switch on AMAZON http://www.amazon.com/POEmax-8000-PoE-Powered-Ethernet-... supports powering via POE. I can't find any specs on the temp range it supports. Outdoors normally requires an extended temp range device.

Use a POE injector or POE enabled switch inside the house, feed power to the POE Max switch in the weatherproof box outside and connect the other cables to the network ports to create a network. Your internet gateway would be inside somewhere and daisy-chained to the POE switch outdoors.


Just as a final update, I purchased the exact item listed above. These PoE-powered switches are actually quite hard to find! The one suggested worked very well. The only drawback is the switch is rated 10/100, so it is the 'bottleneck' in my otherwise gigabit home network.

I put a review on the amazon product page of what I did, but in short, I bought a ethernet cable kit/tester, put RJ-45 tips onto the cat5e cables outside the house, attached them to the switch outside the house which conveniently fit inside the existing Comcast cable external enclosure, put the PoE injector in the house, and attached one of the inside sockets to my home network via PowerLine. The last part wasn't idea, but not every room had an ethernet socket, including my office/study. I could theoretically move my cable modem to a cable outlet that was adjacent to an ethernet socket, but no need at this point.

Within the wired networks I was getting ~80 mbs which I believe is close to what can be expected!
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June 5, 2014 1:51:07 AM

Here's a step-by-step guide to wiring your home with Cat5e or Cat6 ethernet cable.
Step 1: Initial Considerations and Planning
Step 2: Required Tools and Materials (and Costs)
Step 3: Mount the Wall Plates
Step 4: Measure and Run the Cables
Step 5: Connect the Wires to the Jacks and Patch Panel
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