Many homes rely on wireless networks to extend their internet connection to various devices in their home.
The problem with a wireless network is that it isn’t as strong as a wired connection.
The longer that the wireless network extends, or the more devices that it covers, the weaker the internet.
A method you can use to extend the internet to the other devices in your home without using a wireless network is a data point.
Here’s everything you need to know about data points.
What Is A Data Point In A House?
A data point is a location in the home where ethernet cables reside and are connectable.
Those ethernet cables can connect to various devices in the home.
They’re covered by wall plates to conceal the jacks and wires.
It makes the home look tidier than having wires and cables extending from room to room.
You can plug into a data point to give your device a wired internet connection.
Electricians can run data points through the floors and walls of your home.
Tips To Install Data Points
While you can attempt to install data points on your own, it’s better to hire an electrician.
Installing a data point requires knowledge of how internet connections work.
You’ll also be working with electrical wires and need to understand how to do patching.
Hiring an electrician ensures the installation is a success.
If you want to try it on your own, then you’re going to need the following tools and materials:
- Cat 5 or 6 cable (Cat6 is the best)
- Solid cable
- RJ-45 Connectors
- Wall sockets
- Wall faceplates
- Keystone jacks
- Keystone plugs
Consider these tips when installing a data point in your home.
1. Choose The Central Location
Before you can decide where you want to install the data point, you need to decide where your central location is.
A central location is a convenient area where the internet can feed through a switch.
A switch then feeds into various data points in your home.
If you only need one data point, then the central location should be close to that particular room, if not in that room itself.
Most homeowners put their central location in the garage.
It allows them to easily connect the internet from the outside and feed it through the walls of their home to reach their data points.
To switch data points on and off, they only need to step into the garage to do so.
The central location should be a place of convenience.
It should also be somewhere off the beaten path.
You may end up having several switches which can detract from the beauty of your walls.
Placing the central location in an unused closet or garage is ideal.
2. Choose Installation Method
There are two different ways you can install a data point.
The cheapest method is to use several cables that connect to various sockets for the data points.
Those sockets, or data points, then feed to the main switch.
The main switch is where you can turn the data points on and off.
The second installation method is more expensive because it requires that you buy more switches.
For this method, you have a switch for every data point.
A wire connects to the socket.
The socket is then connected to a switch.
Each switch then connects to the main switch.
If you end up needing five data points in your home, then you’ll need five different sockets and switches for this method.
The payoff is that you have greater control over your data points.
You can turn some on or off instead of turning them all on or off.
Choose the method that works best for your budget and needs.
The rest of the installation paths are the same for both methods.
Once all the wires are connected to the main switch, it will connect to the router.
The router or modem connects to the cable provided by the utility company to deliver internet to your home.
3. Choose Cable Ends
The final choice that you’ll need to make before you can start installing the data point is the cable end.
The cable end is the termination point of the cable.
You have two choices.
The first is to terminate in an RJ-45 socket.
This socket connects to certain devices like laptops and game consoles.
It’s a particularly shaped socket that only a few devices can connect to.
It’s different from a standard ethernet port.
The benefit of choosing this cable end is that it’s the easiest to install.
You can also simply plug your device right into the socket.
The second choice is to terminate in a patch panel.
The patch panel is more complex, but it does look more professional.
Once you choose how you’re going to terminate, you can follow the installation pathway that you chose in the previous step.
4. Label Cables
Before you’re done installing the data point, you need to label your cables.
You can do this by attaching a sticky note to the cable or by wrapping a piece of paper around the cable and writing on it.
Labeling the cable will help you determine which room each data point connects to.
If you ever need to turn off your data points in a particular room, then the labels will let you know which one to turn off.
5. Follow Wiring Standards
To install your data point, you need to know which wire color connects to which pin and pair.
If you connect to the wrong pin with the wrong wire, then you could have a serious problem on your hands.
The wire may short out, an electrical fire may start, or you may not see any electrical power at all.
This is why hiring an electrician is critical.
They know which wires connect to which pins and which ones they need for the job.
To help you, it’s important to know which wiring standard you need to follow.
In the US, you need to follow the 568B wiring standard.
In Europe, you need to follow the 568A wiring standard.
A brief breakdown of the US wiring standard is as follows:
- Pin 1 uses a white/green wire
- Pin 2 uses a green wire
- Pin 3 uses a white and orange wire
- Pin 4 uses a blue wire
- Pin 5 uses a white and blue wire
- Pin 6 uses an orange wire
- Pin 7 uses a white and brown wire
- Pin 8 uses a brown wire
These wires are the connection order to terminate a twisted-pair network cable.
By connecting the right wires to their pins, you can complete the circuit by creating an RJ-45 connector for data transmission.
What Can Use A Data Point?
Data points bring a wired connection to every room it’s located.
That allows you to plug almost any kind of device into the data point, as long as the socket is compatible.
Here are a few devices that can plug into a data point and the benefits of doing so.
If your computer or laptop isn’t connected to the router with an ethernet cable, then you’re not receiving the performance that you could be receiving.
The further your laptop or computer is from the router, the weaker your internet connection is.
That can have a huge impact on your performance.
If you’re a gamer, then it can interfere with your game’s performance.
You may see a lot of lag or an inability to render textures quickly.
It may even drop you frequently as you game.
It can impact your work performance, too.
You may end up spending more minutes than you realize waiting for a page to load.
It can impact how fast your email loads or the speed of sending an email.
It can even impact the quality of video calls.
Using a data point is beneficial because it gives you a stronger internet connection.
Connecting your device to the data point feeds internet data directly to your computer or laptop.
As a gamer, you’ll be able to load faster.
As a professional, you can be more productive.
The best aspect of a data point is that you can install it anywhere.
Even if your home office is on the other side from where the router is, a data point can connect you to it.
2. WiFi Printers
Data points can also connect to WiFi printers.
If the printer has an ethernet port, then you can connect it to the data point.
Without a wired connection, a WiFi printer can take a long time to download the data it needs to print.
If other devices are also using WiFi, then it can be even slower.
Using a data point to connect your WiFi printer to the internet makes it faster.
Instead of waiting for a half-hour for something to finish printing, you can get it done in minutes.
This benefits both professionals and students.
It can also extend the life of your printer.
It will work more efficiently and reduce the wear and tear on its parts.
3. CCTV Cameras
It may surprise you to learn that CCTV cameras can also connect to data points.
This is important if you want to improve the visual quality of your cameras.
If security is important to you, then you don’t want your CCTV camera to rely on wireless networks.
It can impact the quality of the feed and even drop.
The last thing you need is to lose data because of a faulty internet connection.
Connecting the camera to a data point keeps it wired to the router.
You’ll experience fewer drops and fewer instances of missing data and footage.
4. Home Security
This also goes for home security.
Whether you have cameras, motion detectors, or other smart security devices, you need a reliable internet connection.
Wireless networks don’t provide that reliability.
Using data points throughout the house allows you to connect each security device to your router.
They’ll have a strong internet connection that ensures they never miss a moment of protecting your home.
5. Gaming Consoles
Gaming consoles, like computers, can also enjoy data points because of the performance they offer.
It’s a common situation for a player using a wireless network to lose connection to a game.
This can happen at the worst possible moments.
A game console can connect to a data point in the wall and receive a wired internet connection.
Reduced internet drops can make playing a game more enjoyable.
For streamers, it can also increase visual and auditory clarity.
One final device that can connect to a data point is your TV.
As long as your TV has an ethernet port, it can connect to a data point.
All smart TVs should have this port.
Connecting your TV to a data point is beneficial because it can improve the speed of your streaming.
If you use your smart TV to watch shows on Netflix or other streaming apps, then your internet connection is important.
A weak wireless network can lose connection.
You may be halfway through a show or movie and suddenly experience it buffering.
A slow internet connection cannot keep up with the demands of streaming services.
Plugging your TV into a data point provides a strong and consistent internet connection.
Your movie or TV show won’t face interruptions from buffering again.
How Do You Connect A Device To A Data Point?
Plugging a device into a data point is easy.
First, you need to find the socket or port on the device where an ethernet cable can attach.
Then plug the cable into the port and extend it out to your data point.
The other side of the ethernet cable will plug into one of the slots on the wall plate.
The wall plate covers the wires that connect the terminate socket to the router.
It’s also responsible for safety.
A wall plate keeps you from touching the electrical wires behind the socket.
It’s similar to an electrical outlet.
When you need electricity, you plug the device into the outlet.
You’re doing the same thing here except it’s for an internet connection.
Do You Need A Data Point In Your Home?
Some homeowners may argue that data points are unnecessary.
With the expansion of 5G internet networks, wireless networks will become more powerful.
However, it will take time for 5G to make it to every home in the country.
You need a solution now.
Data points are a great solution.
They’re helpful for both professional and recreational uses.
Professionals can experience a strong internet connection to increase their performance.
They can have better call quality with their employees and employers.
Their software will run faster and more efficiently.
By increasing their efficiency, they can become more productive.
Recreational users will enjoy a reliable internet connection.
They’ll experience less frustration over slow smart home hubs, streaming services, and gaming.
They’ll also experience fewer drops in activity.
While a wireless network mesh can sometimes help improve a connection, it won’t help much if the internet is slow in the first place.
Data points are a clear winner and useful for everyone.
Data points allow you to connect a device to a wired internet connection no matter where you are in the home.
The data point connects your device to your router through a switch.
Installation of data points is difficult and complex, which makes hiring an electrician a necessity.
Homeowners and professionals can enjoy several benefits with a faster and stronger internet connection provided to them by their data point.
Consider the information above to decide whether or not you need to have a data point installed in your home.