Get wired ethernet in your apartment.

Many apartments have wired ethernet in every room, but it is either not used at all, or used in a limited and annoying way.

If you have cable modem service, it is likely not used at all. Your internet comes in via coaxial, goes to your router / WiFi access point, and that’s it. You can usually use the ethernet ports on the back of your router to give a physical connection to a few things nearby, such as a TV streaming box (one of the most important things, in my opinion, to get off WiFi). But that’s it.

Even if you have something else, such as fiber, it is likely that your ethernet wiring is not being fully used. At my old place, for instance, one and only one ethernet jack was live. That’s where Verizon puts its router. The others were dead. Presumably, you could move the router somewhere else, near the networking panel, and then run some ethernet cables into the unused lines, but for space reasons I never tried.

At my new place, I first realized that I could get ethernet in one other room, with a short patch cable. Ethernet out from cable modem, into the wall, run one patch to connect up one other port. Helpfully, they are labelled.

Handy room labels.Handy room labels.

This amounts to just a long single ethernet cable.

One patch cable gives you ethernet in one extra room.One patch cable gives you ethernet in one extra room.

But what if I wanted more than that? Well, I’d need a switch. And there is no mains power in the telecom panel.

Well, there is a solution. First, I attached a power-over-ethernet injector between my cable modem and the wall.

Power injectorPower injector

This makes it so that you have have a teeny-tiny ethernet switch right in the telecom panel, that gets its power from ethernet itself. (Powered ethernet does not zap non-powered devices, if you were wondering. And of course you don’t need such a thing if your router itself outputs powered ethernet; mine does not.)

Then I installed such a teeny-tiny switch. And presto. Now both bedrooms have wired ethernet and WiFi is reserved mostly for mobile devices, not computers and set-top boxes that just sit there all day.

Tiny switchTiny switch

In conclusion, ethernet is a land of many contrasts. Here’s a diagram:

I’d do this as proper ASCII art but the CMS keeps mangling itI’d do this as proper ASCII art but the CMS keeps mangling it


May 7, 2023