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I have 8 network runs from wall jacks to a patch panel in the basement. I want to extend a couple of jacks so that I connect another jack that I’ve added to another room. I know it’s not ideal, but essentially the two jacks would connect into the same port on my main switch also in the basement. What is the best way to do this? I have a keystone punch down jack but think it’s probably not good to punch another cable in there. Should I use a wall plate with screw down connectors with two cables? Or a double wall plate with 2 punch down jacks and wa switch?

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Ethernet jacks cannot be wired in series. All modern twisted-pair Ethernet is a point-to-point connection with exactly two ends to each cable; it's not a shared bus and cannot be split passively.

(This was maybe doable with half-duplex 10 Mbps a few decades back, but since you went for Cat6 then presumably you expect reliable 1 Gbps links. Although there is technically a specification for half-duplex 1000BASE-T, it is generally not used in practice anywhere, and as far as I know, many Ethernet NICs just outright won't support it.)

  • Thanks for your answer! I get your point, but effectively a switch plugged into an ethernet jack in my system is essentially port sharing at the main switch. So I'm wondering if there is a wiring solution that might eliminate the switch. – Paul Gibson May 16 '20 at 23:18
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    I think I am understanding, for full duplex communication from device to device the switch is required. Splitting the signal is not actually an option, and technically is not what a switch is doing. So I need to have a switch and multiport wall plate to facilitate the correct connections. – Paul Gibson May 16 '20 at 23:36
  • One cable is limited to 1 gigabit, as gigabit ethernet uses all conductors in the cable. You will never be able to get full gigabit speeds simultaneously with two devices on one cable, even with a switch. If you want simultaneous full gigabit speeds on multiple devices, you will need separate cable runs to the main switch. – Sam Forbis May 16 '20 at 23:41
  • @SamForbis Understood . . . unfortunately getting new runs to the basement is not possible without a lot of work that I'm just not willing to do. So using switches to share main ports is my only option, and not the end of the world for what the sharing devices are. My main computer connections will all be on isolated runs, with wifi WAPs sharing traffic with lower priority devices. – Paul Gibson May 16 '20 at 23:48
  • You got it right – Ethernet switches are not passive signal splitters; they are active devices which receive and re-send the actual data being transmitted. (That way they also allow mixing incompatible signal types, such as 1Gbps on one port and 100Mbps on another.) They're your only option for splitting one cable into multiple ports. – user1686 May 17 '20 at 9:38

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