Even in the age of home Wi-Fi networks and instant wireless connectivity, wired networks have their place. A properly installed wired computer network is faster than even the speediest Wi-Fi system, and there are notable security advantages to the wired model as well.
Whether you are building a new business from the ground up or retrofitting an old office for the digital age, there are some key things you will need to know before installing computer network wiring. From which types of wires carry the most data to what kinds of wiring patterns will work best for your installation, it is important to do your homework, research your options carefully and move forward in a deliberate manner. Here are some important things to know when assessing your computer network wiring installation cost.
|What you can expect|
|Range per connection:||$209.35||$250.34|
|Range for this type of project:||$209||$250|
Network Connection Labor, Basic
Labor cost, under typical conditions, for complete project. Location will be laid out, and holes cut for network source and up to 4 network access points. CAT6 cabling will be installed between source and access points. Rate is inclusive of all aspects of the project, such as thorough planning, acquisition of equipment and material, preparation and protection of project site, and meticulous cleanup.
Network Connection Job Supplies
Requisite supplies for the job, including connectors, fittings, and mounting hardware.
|cost to install computer network wiring|
|National Avg. Materials Cost per connection||$48.14|
|National Avg. Cost (labor and materials) for 1 connection||$226.16|
|National Cost Range (labor and materials) for 1 connection||$205.99 - $246.33|
If you plan to install a hard-wired computer network in your home or business, you will be looking at two separate set of costs. The first cost is for the basic materials you will need to complete the wiring project, including the computer cable itself, the wall plates where computers will be connected and the routers, modems and switches necessary to make it all work together.
You will incur these fixed costs whether you do the work yourself of hire a pro to complete the project. In fact, you may pay more for materials as a do-it-yourselfer, since large installation companies can often negotiate lower costs for basic materials.
If you do choose to hire a professional, you will also need to pay for their labor and their expertise. The average cost for a computer cable installation is around $100 an hour, with a typical job taking about 4.5 hours to complete. That means you can expect to spend around $450 for a basic hard-wired computer network installation, although actual costs could be as low as $400 or as high as $500 or more.
As for the materials themselves, those costs will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your facility, the number of drops and the total length of cable required to complete the project.
The costs to install a hard-wired computer network, complete with cable and other equipment, can vary widely depending on the nature of the job, the size and age of the office building or home and the overall complexity of the task.
The most basic cost of installing a computer network in your home or office is the price of the cable itself, and that cost is a bit more straightforward. While prices will vary depending on where and how much you buy, you can expect to spend about 20 cents a foot for basic CAT5 cable, and a bit more than that for CAT6, 7 and 8. Fiber optic cable costs more, with a typical per foot price of anywhere from $1 to $6 per foot. That is a big range, and the cost will vary depending on the construction and individual specifications of the fiber optic cable.
As you plan your network cable installation project, it is important to understand the various components and how they will impact the final price you pay. DIY installation is obviously cheaper, but you will still incur a basic cost for the cable itself, and for any ancillary supplies.
You can expect to spend about 20 cents per linear foot for basic CAT5 cable, and more for later generation cables. Fiber optic cable is much more expensive, at a low of $1 and a high of $6 per linear foot.
The cost of the Ethernet cable itself, while not negligible, is typically only a small part of the overall network installation project. When installing Ethernet cable in your home or office, you will also need to factor in the labor costs of the installation.
While costs vary depending on a number of different factors, you can expect to spend about $100 an hour for labor and the expertise of the installer. Since a typical small scale job can take four hours or more, that is a minimum of $400 for labor and related costs.
Installing cable for your home or office network can be a DIY project, if you are willing to do the work and take the time. Even so, many homeowners and businesspeople will choose to have their network cable professionally installed, and that means incurring some labor costs.
While your exact cost may be different, the basic hourly rate for these types of installations is about $100. When you ask for a quote, the installer should be able to provide an estimate of how long the project is expected to take and what you will be required to pay.
There are many parts to a successful computer network installation, and it is important to understand how each component will impact the final cost. Here are the equipment costs you can expect to incur as you bring your computer network installation project to fruition.
The cable drop is a vital part of any computer network cable installation, and the cost per drop can vary widely depending on the type of ceiling and the complexity of the work.
The router is the hub of any wired computer network, responsible for controlling traffic and keeping data secure. A small router suitable for home use will typically cost $100 to $150, while larger business-suitable routers can run $500 to $1,000 or more.
Modems provide communication for wired computer networks, and their prices can vary widely depending on their size and complexity. Home use modems can be had for less than $100 while business-suitable models typically cost several hundred dollars.
Switches help to expand the wired network, providing additional connectivity for more devices. A simple unmanaged switch can cost as little as $50, while actively managed devices could cost $100, $200 or more.
Similar to the phone jack on the wall of your home, RJ45 jacks provide connectivity at the user's desk. These jacks typically cost around $30 to $50 to install.
These small pieces of hardware play a big role in a wired computer network, and the cost of their installation will depend on how many users you need to accommodate as well as your plans for future growth. A simple plate or plug can cost as little as $5-$10, but the more you need the more you will have to pay.
You will need computer hardware to make that wired network operate, and the cost of that hardware will vary widely. A basic desktop, laptop or dumb terminal can cost as little as $300, while a high-end system could run you several thousand dollars.
|Computer Network Parts||Average||Low||High|
|Plates and Plugs||$7.50||$5.00||$10.00|
Whether you plan to install your own hard-wired network or hire a professional to do the work, it is important to research your options and understand the cost of each one. But cost alone is not enough to make a final decision - you will need to weigh the relative cost of coax cable, twisted pair and fiber optic against the speed and reliability of each option.
If you have cable TV, you know what coaxial cable is all about. This simple type of cabling can be used to build your wired computer network, and it is one of the most affordable options.
Twisted pair is perhaps the most common choice for business networks, found in offices from coast to coast and around the world. More robust than coaxial cable and less costly than fiber optic, twisted pair strikes a good balance between affordability and speed.
Fiber optic is the fastest choice for wired home and business networks, but it is also the most expensive. Fiber optic cable can also be tricky to work with, so you may want to hire a professional to complete the installation.
To the naked eye, most Ethernet cables look the same, but the technology embedded in those small wires can make a huge difference. They may look similar, but Ethernet cables come in a number of different categories, including:
With easy access to Wi-Fi networks at home, in the office and at the local coffee shop, you may think that there is no need for a hard-wired Ethernet network. After all, you can already get online whenever and wherever you need, so why would you go through the hassle, the expense and the aggravation of building a computer network from the ground up?
This is a common thought, but there are some marked advantages to choosing Ethernet over Wi-Fi. Security is one of those advantages, and there are many more ways to secure a hard-wired network and lock down access. From opening and closing ports on the router to shutting off communication protocols on the modems and switches, these security options are much easier to implement on a hard-wired network, making Ethernet a good choice for both traditional businesses and home-based companies.
Whether you are installing network wiring in your home or building out your business, you will need to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks of doing the work on your own or hiring a professional to complete the project. The answer will depend on a number of factors, including your familiarity with various kinds of computer and network equipment, the layout of your home or office and your own personal preferences.
If you plan to do the network wiring yourself, you may need to climb a ladder to remove ceiling tiles, and you will need some basic tools and equipment to stretch the wire and put it in place. You will also need to install various pieces of equipment in the data center or server room, as well as in the cubicles and on the desks.
If you are uncomfortable performing any of these tasks, it is probably best to hire an experienced professional to do the work. It is also advisable to hire a professional if you plan to install fiber optic cable, since this type of cable can be difficult to work with. Fiber optic cable is relatively fragile, and a subpar installation could drive your DIY costs past what a pro would charge for the same project.
There are a number of things to consider before installing a hard-wired network in your home or office, and it is important to weigh the pros and cons carefully. Here are some of the most important considerations when evaluating a hard-wired network vs. relying on Wi-Fi connectivity alone.
Even if you are used to relying on Wi-Fi connectivity, there are many reasons to consider a hard-wired network for your home or business. If you work from home or run your own home-based business, a hard-wired computer network can provide faster speeds, greater reliability and better security.
If you own your own office space, installing computer network wiring and hardware can bring you increased throughput, better security and faster speeds than even the best Wi-Fi network, all while giving you room for future growth and enhancing the resale value of the building. Now that you know what is involved in a computer network wiring installation, you can make an intelligent and informed decision.
⚡ What type of network wiring is the fastest?
❓ Why should I hard wired my network?
🔒 How can I secure my hard wired network?
⏰ How long will the installation take?