A friend is about to move into a fixer home and it will require a complete rip-out of most of the walls, plumbing and electrical so they are at that point where they are considering what they should do to bring the home up to current standards for entertainment and internet access.
At this point the home will basically be in the same state as a new home. Everything will be accessible and this will be the best time to make any changes or improvements.
At this time the home is wired for DSL Internet and the home does have some Ethernet cable run to a few rooms. He also has TV Service but I am not sure about his setup. It seems to be IP Based delivery but he didn’t go into much detail. Either way the home will need rewiring.
How to plan a Whole House Rewire for Media and Networking
The most important thing when wiring with Coax, Cat5 or maybe even for Fiber is that all of the outlets should have their own home run wire back to a demarcation or utility room.
So, if you are going to run Coax for an Antenna, Dish or Cable TV each outlet should run back to the main point in the home where that service hooks up. You should not run a wire to a second floor or the other side of the house and think that you can use a splitter to cover half a dozen outlets because you will be destroying your signal quality. Every time that you need to break the connection from the source or split it you will lose signal. A standard splitter will lose you half or more of your signal for each split.
For Ethernet it is standard to run home run lines without splitting and you probably should not design your home for the use of mid-run routers or switches to connect different parts of your home.
However if you would like to offer cell service in all parts of your home you will have the option of running a variety of different routers and extenders that can make use of ethernet outlets at different sides of the home to provide good signal.
After you designate your main router room for most of your equipment you can begin to layout how to get to each room with the shortest runs.
You can go up through the bottom of walls in the basement or down through the top in the attic whichever works best.
Other Considerations when Wiring a Home For Network
If you will have security cameras it is often better to power them over ethernet and then use a UPS at your router or Security DVR box to make sure they get power if the home loses power.
If you run wireless cameras you will still need to provide local power to them that relies on the house electrical system. If power goes out then so do the cameras. However you would have the option to run a local UPS for each camera or use cameras that have battery backup but that is uncommon.
The best, easiest and cheapest time to wire your home is when the drywall is down. This can be during new construction or during a whole house remodeling project.
It is important to look at all of your options and even if you are on Fiber from your provider you can still justify coax for many reasons including if you ever decide to cut the cord or if service in your area is down due to weather or other situations.
Some day wireless will be more widespread and probably have higher transfer rates but if you are considering streaming content to a couple computers, running a VOIP device like a MagicJack or Oooma and also providing wifi for your cellphones throughout the house you will need to wire your home correctly and that means Cat5e or Cat6 cable to each room.
Security devices also need connecting and depending on your setup you might want to wire to a few areas in your home such as your attic eves, doors or ceilings within the home to provide options for POE and Video Transfer.
Having a central location for your devices is also important. The place that you store your electrical equipment, routers, modems and distribution amps should be relatively easy to access, cool but not cold year round and not moist like a utility room, bathroom closet or damp basement.