How to Extend an Ethernet Cable

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An Ethernet cable, or local area network (LAN) cable, carries data that is transmitted by computers within a network and forms the bridge that physically connects all computers within a wired network. The cable is typically composed of a Cat-5, Cat-5e, or Cat-6 cable terminated by an RJ-45 plug or an RJ-45 jack. There are times when you need a longer cable, such as when moving your computer to a more convenient spot. Replacing the entire cable can be costly and time consuming, but learning how to extend an Ethernet cable can save you time and money.

Things You'll Need

  • RJ45 coupler
  • Cat-6 cable
  • RJ-45 connector
  • Ethernet cable crimper
  • Cable stripper
  • Measure the length of cable that you will need to add to the existing Ethernet cable to extend it, and add around six to 12 inches to allow for some slack.

  • Measure and cut an equivalent length of Cat-6 cable. Terminate it with an RJ-45 connector at both ends by performing the following procedures:

    --Strip off half an inch from the outer cover of the cable using a cable stripper.

    --Straighten out the eight color-coded wires.

    --Look at the RJ-45 connector of the Ethernet cable you wish to extend and note how the color-coded wires are lined up.

    --Arrange the color-coded wires of the new cable side by side in the same order as the existing cable.

    --Get a new RJ-45 connector, hold it (clip facing up) and insert the wires into its cavity while maintaining the same arrangement of wires as the existing cable.

    --Insert the connector with the attached cable into the Ethernet cable crimper and squeeze the handles tightly.

    --Perform the same procedure on the other end of the cable.

  • Plug the RJ45 connector of the existing Ethernet cable into one end of an RJ45 coupler. Plug the RJ45 connector of the new Ethernet cable into the other end of the RJ45 coupler.

Tips & Warnings

  • Most cable crimpers have a cable stripping function included in its features.
  • The best way to increase the length of an existing Ethernet cable is to run a new line and replace it with a longer one in order to minimize any signal loss.

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References

  • Photo Credit ethernet cable 4 image by BlueMiniu from Fotolia.com
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