I personally have been using WiFi for years with my video game systems, always thinking it would be impossible to get a wired connection from my gaming room all the way down to my basement and back up through to my hallway. That is, until last week when I decided to take the plunge and give it a shot. I bought myself 500 feet of ethernet cable (CAT 5E) and run it myself, the processes took me under an hour with very minimal work. While this might not always be the case for people, I have decided to share with you a few things I have learned in the process and help clear up any confusion you might have before setting up your own wired internet connection.
Your Internet and What it Means to You
First of all, you can have the best equipment in the world, but if you are paying for 10/10 (which means 10 megabits per second download and upload) that is as fast as you are going to get no matter what. If you aren’t sure how fast of speeds you are paying for now, I suggest talking to your ISP (internet service provider) about what your speeds currently are and the available internet plans they have in case you would like to upgrade to faster speeds.
Wireless Vs Wired Internet
So, you currently use your PS4, Xbox One, PC and just about anything else you can load on your WiFI, what’s the point of wiring anything? Well, you kind of just answered your own question. If you have all of these things on your WiFi, each one leeches off of your wifi a bit until your Router starts taking what was once a great signal and now sharing it between 10 devices. In easier terms, think of it as a hose in your garden. With one thing hooked up to it (say a sprinkler) it works great! However if you hook up another sprinkler, and another, and another the water pressure just won’t be there anymore. This is the same thing with your internet connection, with so many devices bleeding your WiFi dry, your game console just might suffer. This is where your router from your ISP comes in, the back of your router should have up to 4 LAN (NOT WAN, this is something different) inputs for wiring your gaming room. With the right equipment, you will only have to run one wire to your gaming room.
Which cable should I use?
There are three cables that are popular to use with internet Cat5 (up to 100MBps), CAT5e (up to 1,000 MBps or one gigabit per second) and CAT 6 ( up to 10,000 MBps or 10 Gbps). Right now you are probably thinking “CAT6 here I come!”. Not so fast! While CAT 6 is great, you will probably never see these speeds at least for the next few years. Right now, most internet connections are well under 100mbps, but just to future proof, I would suggest buying CAT 5E, it is Gigabit (1 Gbps) and holds that speed for up to 300 feet (100 meters). Not only that, but CAT 5E is much more affordable than CAT 6. I bought 500 feet of cable for $50, while the same cable at CAT 6 was over $100 since I’ll never see 10 Gbps in my home I decided CAT 5E was the way to go and I think many people will think the same way. However,my if CAT 6 is still your thing you can still follow these tips as the connections are still exactly the same, the only difference is the amount of twists on the inside of the cord. Everything else is very much identical.
There aren’t any Clips On My Cable!?
Don’t fret! Many cables of these sizes (200 feet and longer) often do not have the connectors on the ends (RJ45 connectors to be exact). This makes it easier to snake through walls and floors. You can buy these connectors in bulk just about anywhere, and once you have a lot of extra cables you can make any size ethernet cable you need. All you need for the creation of your ethernet cable is the cable itself, the connector, wire strippers and I highly recommend a crimping tool. This site is exactly what you will need to get started making your own ethernet cables, this is the site I used and now I can make cables blindfolded!
How do I run the wire through my walls?
This is just something that is all based on personal preference and your home. One thing I always recommend is looking for two things, either your cable line behind your TV, (usually coming straight from the floor) or your duct work, this requires a drill and drill bits. Firstly, the cable wire is fairly easy to do and with my recommendation, this should lead directly to where your router is located just above. Just take a small elephant clip (or unfold a paperclip) so your CAT cable is held onto your Coax cable coming from the floor are hooked together. Now, gently slide your CAT cable down the same hole as where your coax cable is coming out of. Check periodically to see if you can see your wire wherever your coax wire is coming from. Once you see it, simply take your CAT wire and make the connection to your router based on where your router is. Now, make the connectors as the site I directed you to explains and you will now have a wire going from your gaming room to your router wherever you have it.
How do I set it up on my router?
This one is simple, all you have to do is plug one end into the router and the other into your game system. If you have a newer router (within the last 10 years or so) you will be ready to go and get gaming.
I need more plugs than just one!
One again, this is a simple solution. Simply buy what is called an “Ethernet Switch”. These switches take one CAT cable and split that signal into 4 or more ports. I recommend the TP-Link TL- SG1008D, its an 8 port ethernet switch. It’s less than $20, is Gigabit compatible (good for your CAT 5E cable you installed) and is very much plug and play. all you have to do is plug that one CAT 5E cable you ran into any one of the ports, you now have 7 ports to work with in your room! It’s as simple as that.
I Need Extra HELP!
No problem, just comment on this article or send us a message via Twitter and I will try my hardest to help you in any way I can. As long as you have a long ethernet cable, the tools I listed and a few hours of your time you will have the fastest internet your ISP can provide. Not only will you have a smoother multiplayer connection with almost no ping, you will also have faster download times and be able to have the advantage over all WiFi users on the Battlefield. Thanks for reading and I’ll see you in the comments section!