Question Getting existing ethernet to work

Jan 20, 2020
Hi Everyone, I'm new here

I just moved into a new place and was getting slow internet connection speeds, but only upstairs which is far from my router. After opening a couple wall plate covers, I noticed some cat 5e cable right next to my router hookup downstairs and what I assumed is the other end of that cable upstairs near my computer. I installed a cat 5e RJ45 jack on each end and hooked it up to my router and computer, but there was no connection. I couldn't figure out what could be happening, so I started opening up all of the other wall plate covers I could find. Eventually I came across one more in a closet that contained a ton of ethernet cabling and now I am quite lost. There's a bunch of unconnected cables in it and I will post a link to the photos below. I am very capable when it comes to DIY, but am starting to wonder if I need to call in an IT guy to get this to work.

Link to Photos

Thank you for your help, it is much appreciated


Ok so I would imagine that where you have multiple cables is where you want to place your router or switch. These will run out to various rooms around the house. You will need your incoming connection in the same place though to connect up your WAN port. You will need to test them all out. This could be done by stripping a pair on each cable and twisting them together and use a normal continuity tester at the other end on the same pair. (eg: twist the stripped blues together and then test the other end in each room in turn). Obviously do this one by one. From your picture the grey one should be easy to find!!!!


I assuming that the wires are there just not tied together. did you find the central patch panel? they should be connected to a patch panel (punch block, wire harness, etc.). the router will connect here this will be the network room so to speak. you will need a tone and probe tool to map out where each wire goes. once you have a map of the wires you can decide how they need to be connected.

those pictures bring back memories.
looks like the house was wired, but not finished.

example of a tone generator and trace tool
Jan 20, 2020
I'm not the first occupier of the property. I would assume that it was wired when it was built and no one ever had them completed. Many of the wires don't seem to make sense as there are only two rooms that are wired for ethernet, but eight leads coming into that box in the closet. That isn't including the grey cable that is some type of outdoor ethernet cabling. I can't find any switches or junction boxes that have ethernet in them, so I don't think they were ever used. I did order a tone generator and trace tool per your advice as well as an ethernet switch and some other tools that will all be here tomorrow. I'll trace them out once it arrives and see where they all go, though I have no idea where all the other cables could possibly lead.


Nov 18, 2019
Your actually luckier than you think. After the WTF is this mess, someone in the past was smart enough to have four thought and have the wire installed on construction. This is a gold mine. Using the tool already posted and a little googling your set.


And as you trace, track, and map the wires give each end a gentle pull or two to determine if there is any slack (service loop) available.

Hopefully there is a couple of feet looped up and free inside the walls.

The (my) concern being that there is not enough wire available for the necessary terminations.