Network Wiring

You’ve bought all the components and want to build your own network, but how do you wire it up?

  • Do I adhere to a standard?
  • What tools do I need?
  • How should I connect everything together?

This article explains how to connect all the different components together, to create a simple network…

Topics on This Page:

The Wiring Standard – RJ45:

There are two wiring standards:

It is also referred to as RJ45 (the connector standard), as the connector wiring configuration conforms to T568A and T568B.

Note: RJ45 was originally used in telephone circuits, so don’t get confused with…

  • RJ45 (for ethernet).
  • RJ45 (for telephones).

Both have slightly different connectors, but RJ45 (for ethernet) will often fit in a RJ45 (for telephones) socket!


T568A is the preferred standard as it provides backward compatibility to both one pair and two pair USOC wiring schemes. It is more common in Europe, Asia (and is the specified US government standard).


T568B provides backward compatibility to only single pair USOC wiring schemes. It is more common in the USA (non US government installations).

Wiring up the Components:

There tends to be two types of network wire connections:

  • Crimping (external connections) – Ethernet cables:
  • Punchdown (internal connections) – Keystone jacks fitted in Patch panels and wall sockets, etc.

Used with:


Where RJ45 (ethernet cable) connectors are crimped onto the cables.


Where the internal wire connections are pushed down into the connection block (keystone) using an insertion tool. A ‘Pundown’ Tool – See Network Tools below.

Wiring up an Ethernet Cable:

The RJ45 connectors are crimped onto the ends of the cable.

Wiring up The Patch Panel:

The ethernet cable is ‘punched down’ into the keystone jacks (termination blocks).

Wiring up The Wall Socket:

The ethernet cable is ‘punched down’ into the keystone jacks (termination blocks).

Network Wiring Tools:

Using specific tools designed for installing network components is a good idea (saving time and effort). The first two items on the list are essential.

Punchdown Tools:

The punchdown tool either comes as a cheap plastic tool, or there is a more expensive multi-function tool. Both are essential and have their place.

The cheap tool is great in tight places and is a bit more gentle (and sometimes come with a basic cable stripper), but it may wear out quicker? The more expensive tool is great if you have plenty of room, and it has useful swiss army knife tools in the handle.

RJ45 Crimping Pliers:

The RJ45 crimping tool is essential for crimping the connectors on the end of ethernet cable. The crimping pliers often come with a basic cable stripper as well.

Network Cable Tester:

The cable tester is not essential, but it gives you peace of mind and can save you time. Great for checking the network for crossed wires, breaks and short circuits.

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