ethernet cables provide a stronger and more secure internet connection than wi-fi. cables are also inexpensive, easy to find, and easy to use. connect one end to your router and the other to your device. it doesn’t get any easier. sometimes you need more length than a single cable provides, and instead of buying a longer cable, you may be wondering if you can simply connect two shorter ethernet cables that you have on hand.
To connect two ethernet cables, you can use a simple rj45 coupler. using multiple of these couplers can start to degrade the signal, so if you need more than one, you should consider buying a longer cable or cutting your own ethernet cable to length.
with an rj45 coupler, you can easily connect two ethernet cables, but it’s not always the best idea for a couple of reasons, including degradation of not only the cable itself, but also the strength of the connection. Simply put, you’ll get better performance with a longer cable, and they’re cheap and easy to make.
ethernet cable connection
It’s pretty simple to connect two ethernet cables; all you need is an inexpensive RJ45 coupler like these blue Azda couplers (on Amazon). It has two ethernet ports, one on each end, so that it can bridge the gap between two ethernet cables forming one much longer cable.
Sometimes you get lucky and the cables are just the right length, however this doesn’t happen very often so it’s great to have these couplers on hand. By the way, that’s why it’s hard to buy just one, since they usually come in packs of 2 or e5.
Your other option is to make the wire the correct length, in which case you’ll need a coupler, along with a wire cutter and crimping tool.
This may sound a bit intimidating, but cutting and splicing the ethernet cable to the exact correct link is a simple matter that can be accomplished with an inexpensive kit like the preciva rj45 crimper tool kit (on amazon).
how to make an ethernet cable the perfect length
A quick and cheap way to connect ethernet cables is to start with a single long cable. you can find cheap cables in different lengths; just choose the one that is long enough for your setup.
by the way, there are different types of ethernet cables. the most common at the moment is cat5e, but cat6 is becoming more and more common. both work exactly the same but have different data transfer speeds.
Also, most ethernet cables are not shielded, but shielded ethernet cables offer a bit more emi protection. it’s good to know the differences between shielded and unshielded ethernet cables and what will work best for your situation.
a kit like this one (on amazon) has 500 feet of cable and all the tools needed to terminate the ends of an ethernet cable.
In our five-step process below, you can see that it really isn’t difficult if you choose to go this route. you just need the right tools. here is a simple video on how to complete this process as well:
- measure the cable length. you don’t have to get an exact measurement. it is a good idea to leave the cable a little longer. once you have the length, use the wire cutters to cut it off.
- use the crimping tool. remove a couple of inches of the protective outer casing with the crimping tool. you want to leave the wires exposed. when removing the cover, be careful not to damage the thin cables.
- separate the cables. this is the most time consuming part, separating the four pairs of wires. When you’re done, you’ll have eight individual wires.
- Prepare the wires for crimping. there is a precise order in which the cables must be with the ethernet cables. Both sides of the cable must have the wires in the same order. most people use the t-568b method to wire ethernet cables. the order is orange/white > orange > green/white > blue > blue/white > green > brown/white > brown.When the wires are in order, start to tighten them closer together. when they are lined up straight, with no gap between them, cut off the excess leaving about a half inch behind. be sure to cut them so they are taut and not at an angle.
- place connector. With the clip portion of the connector facing out, carefully slide it over the wires. each wire will fit into a slot. when all the wires are at the edge of the connector, use your crimping tool to tighten the rj45 coupler.
repeat the same steps for the other end and you will have an ethernet cable of the perfect length. you can lose some signal strength with extremely long ethernet cables, but it’s not enough to notice a real difference in performance on a residential scale. always keep ethernet cables less than 300 feet long.
how many ethernet cables can be connected with rj45 couplers?
with an rj45 coupler, there is no limit to the number of ethernet cables you can connect. however, there are a few reasons why you wouldn’t want to go crazy with this concept.
With a little hiding creativity and a little bending, you can have a virtually invisible ethernet cable throughout your home. and if you use enough of these couplers, you might be able to do it all with whatever ethernet cables you have on hand.
but ethernet cables are designed to carry a connection from one end to the other, and the introduction of more and more of these couplers can reduce quality and speed over time. the longer the cable and the more couplers you use, the greater the risk of signal interference.
Not to mention that couplers are ultimately cheap plastic parts that could break or come loose over time. therefore, the more rj45 couplers you put in line, the more possible points of failure you have introduced.
With all that said, it’s worth noting that ethernet cables, along with any couplers or switches, go bad over time and simply need to be replaced periodically. if you make your own cable to the perfect length, it will last a little longer and be more suitable for continued use over time.
If you just need your router to reach your desktop now, while you wait to find a better option, then using a long line of ethernet cables and couplers will work, but know that it’s rather short term. solution.
Know that if you’re thinking about using ethernet in your home, using any type of non-powered couplers should be your last resort… when installing a system that’s meant to work for years, take the extra time to just do your homework. own cables of the perfect length in the front.