Ethernet in the Walls

It was a chilly fall day when me and my wife were taken by our amazing realtor to see our first homes on the market. We saw old homes, new homes, and homes that were in between, and just needed a little TLC to come alive.

There were a few houses that stoked my interest more than the others, though, and they had Ethernet wired throughout. Particularly, we saw this in the newer residences. Oh, the possibilities that came to my imagination: super-fast Internet and networked devices at all of the key places in our new home. We could stream music and YouTube in an instant, and load our home videos from the Synology NAS like it was connected right to the TV.

The homes we saw, though, were missing other key aspects that were more important to us in a home: location, cost, school districts, and the like. The home we chose is only missing one thing: Ethernet in the walls. (This does not mean I regret our decision — not in the least!)

I’ve looked at a few ideas to wire up these walls with sweet, sweet network performance: converting the phone lines to Ethernet, installing new network cables, exploring the inadequacies of power lines and coaxial network infrastructures, and the like. And purchasing a server only stoked these flames, as it was now running in our office.

No one really cared much where the server was. It was really only ever loud when I had to reboot it. But a hot office room in the upcoming summer heat does not bode well with my imagination.

So, I had to think up another idea to put my server tech in the basement, at least. And then it hit me: why not move the modem to the basement, and use Wi-Fi (at least for now) throughout the house? Unfortunately there was only one live coaxial connection in the house, and it was in the office upstairs.

Xfinity, bless their corporate hearts, did not charge us a penny to come out and move our live coax connection to the basement. Now, our primary infrastructure will live in a place that is isolated but accessible in the house, while feeding Internet, streaming home videos and the like via wireless. For now at least, we’re using Eero wireless access points, which seem to work well. Eventually I’d like to test and potentially replace them with Meraki wireless access points.

But, one small victory a day is adequate.

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