Upgrade Your Network to Support Faster Speeds

Ethernet Wiring
March 17, 2021

My neighborhood is very frustrated with the Internet service available to us today and very excited about options we hope to have available in the near future. I wrote about it in Internet Options in Loreto Bay Today and Tomorrow. When you look at the prices for service, keep in mind that they are in pesos and there are approximately 20 pesos to the dollar right now.

Because we are expecting faster service in the near future, I’ve been looking at ways to make sure the new speed will be available throughout my home. One big upgrade I’ve already covered in ASUS ZenWiFi AX Tri-Band Mesh System Delivers Strong Signal. Since that post was written, I’ve continued to tweak the settings to give me even better overall performance with the lousy service I have right now.

Now let’s look at some other things that could be helpful in allowing high-speed Internet to work throughout your home or office. I’ll include some Amazon links that allow you to purchase at the lowest possible price while also getting me a tiny commission. I didn’t receive anything else for writing about these products.

Ethernet comes in different speeds and having an old, slower part in the mix can slow down everything to that speed. If you bought wiring or a switch years ago then it likely was a “10/100” part. Meaning that it supported both 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps. At the time, those speeds were awesome and we had no complaints. Computers have gotten faster and fiber optic can offer at least “gigabit” connections in some locations. So that old equipment and wiring will mean you can’t get the full speed.

TP-Link 5 Port Gigabit Unmanaged Ethernet Network SwitchMost WiFi routers have a built-in switch. That may be all you need. I have a wiring closet where Internet is distributed throughout the house and it has an ancient switch. So I got a TP-Link 5 Port Gigabit Unmanaged Ethernet Network Switch so that one potential slowdown can be eliminated. I’ve got two more of them in rooms of my house to split the signal and connect multiple devices. If you need a much bigger switch, look at the TP-Link 24 Port Gigabit Ethernet Switch.

Next up are the Ethernet cables. If you have Category 5 cables, they can only go to 100 Mbps in theory. Yes, sometimes they will go faster, but you shouldn’t count on it. To learn the nitty gritty about Ethernet cables, check out Are you using the right Ethernet cord? Based on that info, getting Category 6 cables is probably your best bet going forward. Below are links to several different lengths of cable. If you need more than one, those pages do sell them in packs as well.

One challenge may be replacing wire that is already in the walls. In our neighborhood, the best answer may be to run wire from a window on one level to one one another level. This would require drilling a couple of holes through the window frame. Not ideal, but not the most difficult thing to do (and hide). Below are links to two outdoor cable options. The first includes RG45 connectors while the latter would require installation of connectors after putting the cable in place.

Some of these pieces are easier to replace than others. But they are the building blocks that will allow you to get the fastest speed to all of your devices throughout your home or office.

Photo by Lars Kienle on Unsplash

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