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The Right Way to Set Up Home Ethernet

ethernet
Installing ethernet cable can free up Wi-Fi bandwidth for mobile devices.
(LanaStock/Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Wireless connectivity has certainly made life more convenient over the past 20 years, allowing us to easily download and upload data from our devices without the need to plug in a cable. That comes in especially handy when you’re not at home.

A problem arises when Wi-Fi home networks and routers can’t distribute data efficiently from room to room. This can cause a meeting on your tablet in the kitchen to glitch up or a movie playing in your daughter’s bedroom may suddenly stop.

The solution? Consider hardwiring essential non-portable devices, when possible, via ethernet cables that connect back to your router or modem.

Hardwiring devices that depend on higher speeds (such as your home media server or smart TV) or extremely low latency or transmission time (like a telephone or device that makes calls over the internet) can overcome many of the inherent weaknesses of wireless, according to Mark Rapley, director of operations at Ontario, Canada-based KWIC Internet.

“The family room or rec room is an ideal spot for hardwiring with ethernet. For example, you can hardwire your TV, receiver, streaming device, and game console to an ethernet patch panel or a multi-port ethernet switch that’s connected to your router,” he says. “This frees up valuable wireless spectrum for devices that can’t be hardwired, such as smartphones, tablets, and Wi-Fi security cameras.” Other areas that are good candidates for ethernet connectivity include home offices, kitchens, areas with a desktop computer, and basements or attics where a Wi-Fi signal may not penetrate sufficiently.

To install, you’ll likely need to drill holes through walls to get the cable where it’s needed, and then secure the cable. This process needs to be done carefully and safely, so consider hiring a professional.

If going DIY, be sure to purchase quality ethernet cable, as cheaper cables are more prone to failure. Pick a color that matches the color of your baseboard, where you will secure the cable.

-CTW Features

Contact us with comments or questions at hotproperty@latimes.com


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