FiOS Rewiring Before Home Server-ing


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I meant to pick up my Windows Home Server experiment where I left off, but I think I need to do some rewiring first. Since the only coaxial cable jack upstairs was in Barb’s office across the house, I’m using my FiOS mainly over Wi-Fi. As a result, I’m not always getting the full benefit of 20 MBps uploads and downloads. Before I tackle my Windows Home Server usage again, I’ve got some hard wiring to do. It doesn’t look too complicated, but it’s a good 70′ run from the basement to my second-floor office. Here’s a walk-through of my next weekend project before I start using my WHS again.

I apologize for the focus issues, but I’m not thrilled with the auto-focus feature when recording video on the Canon T1i: It takes too long, and the motor noise is easily picked up by the internal mic. I’ll definitely work on that in the future with my DSLR. Or perhaps I should just use an iPhone 3G S? I would have, but I know that some of you are clamoring for videos of cows, not cables. ;)



My cable and cat5e all come into a panel in my garage. But like Kevin I do all my work 3 stories up, so I keep my modem and a gigabit switch in the panel and have 2 cat5 cables going up to my router (1 in, 1 out) on the top floor. Works great and the gigabit definitely helps when moving big files to and from my whs.


Have you considered installing a distribution panel in the basement and hardwiring ethernet to the two office locations. I’ve been following along as I just bought an old HP DL380 G3 to use initially as my windows home server.

Kevin C. Tofel

Wow, plenty of great suggestions! Thanks!

I’d rather not have the wireless router in my basement as most of my work is done up on the second floor. I specifically had the installer place the router upstairs for that reason; I wanted to minimize the signal degradation.

I’ve tested Ethernet over power-line here on the blog in the past and quite frankly, I wasn’t impressed. I don’t see that type of technology taking off without new approaches that offer major throughput improvement.

Still, there’s plenty of options here as you all pointed out, so I may re-think my approach yet!



1. Use wireless only as a convenience (working on laptop on your sofa).

2. Wire your house with cat-5e or cat-6 for true gigabit (note to Andy: cat-5e is capable of more than 100 Mbs) connections. As you noted. Ethernet over powerline is not reliable and much slower. Any skilled electrician should be able to do it for you at a very reasonable cost (actually, should be cheaper then connecting it via the powerlines).

3. Put all the servers down in the basement; your wife will love your for it. No or minimum noise, less heat, less flickering lights at night.


Here is an idea that does not require a lot of work, power over Ethernet. They have devices that offer gigabit speed over your home power grid now.

Guy Adams

I kind of agree with the others on placing the router in the basement with the WHS but this will also degrade your wireless coverage in other areas of the house and is another consideration.

You can follow my coverage of the WHS deployment I’m undertaking at the moment at

I thought I’d have a go too off the back of you trying it.

Also must say what a beautiful home you have Kevin.


I would definitely recommend putting your router in the basement next to the Verizon box. You could run into a lot of stability issues if you start messing with coax cables. It would be much better to connect everything with cat-5.

As an added benefit Barb won’t have to have the wifi router on that little table in her office – looks kind of messy :)

Jose R. Ortiz

I recently wired up my place with both rg6 (for tv) and cat5e (for data) also. It was a huge undertaking but actually pretty fun. The way I have FiOS set up is using cat5e from the ONT to a d-link (non-verizon issued) router. From the d-link I have cat5e coming from the built in switch to the verizon issued router wan port so it still gets EPG data for the TV service and coax back out to the switch to serve it up. It took some work but it’s a lot easier to work with ethernet cable for data. Greg’s method would also work. Have fun with the project. Oh, and nice place btw!


I have been told that Verizon will connect to your LAN with Cat5/6 if you insist.


It’s been a long time since I have heard anything about Using a power line network, it’s going to be much slower than a direct cable connection but if I remember correctly, they can reach speeds of 100- 200 mbps(I think). Of coarse it all depends on how good your house wiring is, so maybe not.


Keep us posted on how your Home Server goes. Eventually I will setup something like that which seems to be very nice. Right now I’m just using the WD World Book that I can access my files at home and also upload or download while on the road.


Just had FIOS installed in our house, and its internet now replaces an old T1 dedicated circuit (much cheaper and faster).

To solve similar problem you are facing, i attached a switch to Verizon’s Router via cat5e. Then to the switch i connected a Linksys wireless access point with ‘N’ protocol. At the switch’s location, i have one server attached. Other servers are in other locations throughout the house, all connected via the ‘n’ protocol wireless.

As i sit here, i’m connected to my internal network at 130 Mbps via the wireless, which is fast enough for anything i need to do.

There are of course many variations on the above, including a fiber link between switches if desired.


Jon Smirl

Buy a Motorola NIM100 off from Ebay and hook it to the coax. It will let you get at the MOCA signal directly.


Would it be easier to just run a Cat5 cable from the router via attic ? Also remember that the Verizon router is used for more than just your PC/Server data packets.

Kevin C. Tofel

I wish I could do that, but Barb’s office is an additional room over the garage and has no attic or other access space. Unfortunately, it’s going to be easier to run the coax from the basement to my office.


Couldn’t you run Cat5 down that pipe instead of coax then put the router in the basement with the server? Since everything for the WHS is done remotely it might be nice to have the noise and heat of the WHS out of site. I don’t know how the fios works for a UPS, but you could have the fios, router, and server on 1 UPS in the basement.

The other way to do it would be to run cat 5 up that pipe and put a wifi access point in the attic running over power over ethernet. Then you wouldn’t have to try to get the wire to your office from the attic. You could also look at your cold air return vents for your furnace just use the plenum rated cat5 and that should work right?


Well out of sight rather, I spelled that incorrectly, lol. I have my WHS sitting in a corner of my apartment since it generates some heat having all the drives running and all the fans in there make a bit of noise.

I forgot to mention that you could put a switch down in the basement by the fios box and your router so you would have enough ports to use. Just seems like cat5 would have more use than coax for future projects.

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