Networking Question

I know this is beyond the scope of this community’s purpose, but it is still related to ST connectivity. We have Verizon Fios, and I am looking to move the router / ST hub so I have greater coverage throughout our house. When installed, the Verizon rep connected the line-in directly to the network outlet for our router, which means no other network outlets in the house work. Asking what I have to do in order to connect the rest of the network outlets throughout the house. Pictures show the direct connection to the “living room” outlet, as well as the other cables for the other outlets. I am hoping I don’t have to move the router into the same location as the board, as this is my HVAC closet in the basement. Thanks in advance.

Looks like you have a smart panel similar to mine. I keep my fios router in the smart panel and have separate access points throughout the house (1 on each floor). You would plug the Ethernet cable coming out of the ont into the wan port on the router and then connect an Ethernet cable from a lan port in the router into that switch that appearance built into the smart panel.

Thanks for the reply. Do the boosters on each level work? I am concerned with the router/modem being in the garage around all the HVAC metal.

If I do this, I can then plug my ST hub into any network outlet connected to the smart panel, correct?

Finally, cable coming into the house would go in my router, then a cable from my router into the smart panel where it says “pass through” - “in”, correct?

I’m assuming that’s correct regarding the in port. My cables weren’t terminated so I had to terminate them myself and I just connected them to a small gigabit switch I put in the smart panel.

I have a UniFi ac-lite on each of my 3 levels. Works quite well.

The SmartThings hub should be able to go into any room with Ethernet once you do the smart panel wiring.

Yes from the looks of things, that device is for phones more than data. I think it will cause more problems than it’s worth!
Hence buy an 8 port Ethernet switch, then connect all those cables to it which are currently plugged into the metal plate, and put the cable modem/router where you currently have the cat 5e coupler (net/wan takes the cable from the road, and the output lan cable is into the Ethernet switch).
Alternatively if you don’t need all of those rooms enabled you can probably just plug 4 of the important ones into the modem/router (output lan sockets). Then in this important rooms you can put a wireless access point (with dhcp server disabled) and the smart things hub.
Hope that makes sense!

Ugh. Sorry, I am a network engineer and I loathe home runs terminated RJ-45 male (plug). With age, those little clips that keep the wire into ports get brittle and break off and then the wire keeps falling out of the port and then you have to re-terminate the run and that results in the wire getting shorter and shorter with each failure of the plug. Seriously, if a wiring contractor sneaks doing that at any of my locations, I bring them back out to do it right. I will unplug them from network switches.

I know it is more expensive to do it that way, but I urge you to take all those home runs and re-terminate them into either a RJ-45 patch panel or female jacks. You will have to match the other end. 568-A or 568-B. A is Green/white, green, Orange/white, blue, blue/white, orange, brown/white, brown. B, which is used more often is just that with green and orange reversed, so orange/white, orange, green/white, blue, blue/white, green, brown/white, brown. Sometimes you can borrow a Cat-5 tester to make sure that your pinouts are right and work end to end. Test them and label them. 90% of network problems are physical cables and your time is worth money when trying to figure this stuff out.

Use patch cords to connect these home runs in patch panels or landed into jacks into your network switch. If a clip breaks off, you can easily replace it.

It is always outside connection, be it cable, DSL or fiber, into a router or modem of some sort, often supplied by your Internet provider. After that, take it into a network switch. From that switch, distribute it to the rest of your network jacks. If all your runs terminate into some corner of the basement, then put the switch there. It does not care. The only network equipment where location matters is your wireless access points.

Standard wired Ethernet has a length limit of 333 feet (whatever 100 meters converts to). Anything longer than that, and you might run into problems. In business, that typically means the connections in that far area are fed by another switch in what would be a network closet and the uplink from that closet goes to your main closet, if it is too long, it goes over fiber. There are no “boosters” in the networking world. Repeaters, yes, but switches do the job much better.

And I do like an Ethernet backbone on your wireless network instead of using Mesh if you can do it.


Appreciate all of the feedback and support. This turned my ‘simple’ update into a full blown project now - so my wife appreciates it as well. After some light research based on everyone’s feedback, I am thinking access points on each level is the way to go, with direct wiring to a switch for entertainment center / ST Hub, and Phone. Here is what I think I need to complete the project:
1.) Ubiquiti Networks Unifi 802.11ac Dual-Radio PRO Access Point (UAP-AC-PRO-US) - one on each of my three level home
2.) Ubiquiti US-8-60W Unifi Switch in the HVAC room with the Verizon FIOS router
3.) Cat 6 Ethernet Cable Black 150 ft Flat cabling - this will be the hard part, as the house only has a few cables already run in odd corners, so I need to run to every level for the access points. Any suggestions to make this easier? I have experience running electrical cord, so assuming this is the exact same.

Thanks in advance for letting me know if I am missing anything!


Invest in a fish tape. If you need to pull multiple runs up a location with an existing run, cut the existing and use it as a pull-string.

The silver lining is that Cat-6 is easier to run that Romex!

Make sure you get plenum grade if it is behind walls. That is usually code. Less toxic in case of fire.

Test the hell out of your wire once you run and terminate them. Good luck.

This is mine. Cable/DSL Router then cable modem below it that also serves my phone lines. Work router on the bottom next to the cable modem. Patch panels in the middle going to my network switch on the right. Those long wires are to PoE injectors I have not mounted, yet. I think I need more board.



I did think you may have complicated this a bit early, if you already have an AP/router and it covers your house then there is no need for so many bits of kit just yet. If I was you I would start with a cheap 8 port switch (to plug all the Ethernet cables into) and a decent wireless AP to connect on the Ethernet port that is closest to the middle of your house (could also be two if that doesn’t cover your house, hence would be one front and one back, or one top and one bottom - but perhaps see how you get on with one). The switch can cost 20USD and the AP about 50USD and that will probably be all you need.

Yes it would be nice to have properly terminated patch sockets, but I don’t think they will be repeatedly unplugged so you’re almost certainly fine for now. I love my patch panel under my stairs, but it is overkill for most!
Yes you can buy an AP for every level and run new cables for it, but the listed problem was just how to move kit around for ST coverage! Unless you want a fully blown project to learn extra new stuff, then get stuck in, but it might not justify the extra effort for you personally!

Come over to my house, let’s run some cat 6 to every room, even bathrooms. Seriously, I hate wifi, especially extended be it moca, panoramic whatever, ethernet is king :crown:! Also, this info would’ve been nice to find about 10 years ago.

Appreciate all the feedback. I think I am finding a good medium for what I need / want (more so want at this point). cjcharles - you are accurate when you mention wanting to learn extra new stuff. Thinking I can set-up a switch and the router in the garage HVAC closet. Then run cables to the projector room in the basement (easy run) and to the middle level closet (easy run through ceiling / floor). Plan on mounting the first AP on the wall (not ceiling)directly outside the closet located in the middle of the level.

Worst case, one AP does not provide enough coverage and I need another AP in the:
1.) basement theater room - can run similar network cable as the projector and simply place the AP on top of the crown molding. From what I read, it is obviously best to place on ceiling in the middle of the room, but I should still accomplish what I need if I have it in the room on top of the crown molding (only if first AP does not provide enough coverage
2.) Third level - I can plug the AP into the existing cable in the master bedroom and place it on the one night stand. Again, not ideal, but should work as the AP transmits an orbit and not directional.

We will probably bi-pass the connection end upgrades and just make sure there is enough cable to repair if ever needed in the future.

Thanks again! Now if I can only get my one ZWave fan switch to stop disconnecting on a daily basis…

I’m also a former network engineer, and if the devices are static (not being moved around) I tend to prefer direct runs with male RJ45 plugs on each end. The reason? It eliminates a number of potential failure points. If you have a patch panel at your “network closet”, and a wall jack at your termination point, you now have to have perfect execution of:

  • two jack/cable terminations (= sixteen separate wire-clip connections)
  • four plug terminations (= thirty-two separate wire-to-pin connections)
    in addition to the deterioration of four, rather than two, plugs.

I’ve seen thousands of patch panels where the cable was cut as short as possible, then terminated… the jack goes bad or the termination was not good, and now you have zero cable available to re-terminate.

The reason for patch panels is to be able to shift things around quickly as needs change. Which in a business environment is often the case.
This is not often the case with a typical home network.

Of course, I agree with your implied point that the average homeowner is NOT going to be too good at plug terminations of Cat6 cables! Most won’t have the tools available in the first place, and most won’t have the feel (yes, it comes to that) to successfully terminate the cable. In that case, indeed they are far better off with a small patch panel and a handful of store-bought patch cables.

@matt: I did run cat5 (back then) to every room, to multiple points in the room where possible.
It irritates me that current home hub/switch/accesspoint devices only have four or five Ethernet ports. I have to have an additional hub online to handle it. Indeed, all my main gear is hardwired: TVs, disc players, AVRs, computers, Apple TV device, ST Chamberlain and Hue hubs, etc.

NO. We ain’t dating and you did not give birth to me. LOL.

If you are stuck running 1, run 2 is what I always say.

Pure Genius!

I do that with 20amp homeruns already if there’s room on the panel. You’ll find a use for it later.

1 Like

I remember my first go, stripping each strand, nicking the shielding, no connectivity and on and on. It takes practice, tools, and extra length. Now I’ll quickly reterminate on site if any run is even a little suspect. I’m not a big fan of couplers if they can be avoided. I think ppoe will make a huge comeback with cameras and such using so little power vs enormous size of dc converters.

Plus the average homeowner doesn’t have to pay an electrician to run romex up the wall for cams, just to have shotty wifi speed for the camera. Two birds, one run.

Most new(er) houses use Cat5/6 for phone connections. So make sure you have RJ45 ( Ethernet ) at both ends of those cables instead of RJ11 ( phone ). What it also means is don’t forget to change the wall plates in every room.

Unless you plan to make your own Ethernet cables from now till the end of time, I would suggest you get someone to do it for you. All the tools will cost you $$ which you will never use again. More than that, you will have to spend a whole lot of time and energy figuring out how to terminate those cat5 cables. As someone already mentioned earlier, they do not leave much cable to work with, and more mistakes you make, the shorter those cables get. A patch panel helps in those cases, but then terminating properly the first time reduces one less thing you need to buy and get acquainted with. For someone who knows what they are doing, it is a very easy task, you can get the whole thing done in a couple of hours. For someone working with cables and networking in general for the first time, this is a very daunting task. I am not trying to scare you, I would suggest you consider all above before you jump in.

If you are planning to use the existing panel, you need to make sure you know if it is using 568A or 568B. The second one is the most commonly used but I know of some panels that uses A. Terminating the room end to B will cause a lot of confusion, head scratching and wondering why there is no signal.
My 2 cents.

And yes, I do plan to make my own patch cables till I die :slight_smile:

Hope this helps.