How to Terminate a Network Connection

Keystone jackThere are days in this IT life that I hate.  Like days where I spend 8 hours or more trying everything I can think of or read about to get a hard drive to boot, only to have it boot once and mock me  the other 7 1/2  hours.

There are days like today though, when the simple task of running and terminating cat6 cable is enough busywork to keep me happy.

In truth, neither my previous Help Desk position or my Lab Manager job required that I lay cable, so I have never had the simple pleasure of runnig wire and creating wall jacks (keystone jacks).  So I did actually learn something today.  I found lots of very helpful information at the Lanshack site, so I highly recommend you go there to start.  The information listed below will probably not be helpful on its own.

Here is how you terminate a cat6 cable with a Keystone jack:cat6 cable

1.  Strip back some of the protective coating from your cat6 cable. (As shown to the right)

2.  Untwist your paired wires so you have 8 individual wires.

3.  Lay out your cables so they match the picture of either the 568-A or 568-B standard that should be somewhere on your jack or patch panel.  We used the Cat6 Keystone Jacks from CablesToGo and they were great to work with (shown above).  My husband swears by the cheapies they sell at Menards here in Chicago though, and I will admit they look nicer, but are harder to read.

4.  Using a punchdown tool or a screwdriver, push the wire all the way down to the bottom of the jack.  We bought a cheap punchdown tool that made this job a breeze ($14 from 

5.  Trim the ends of you wires if you didn’t use a punchdown tool.

6.  Place the plastic protective cover on the jack.

7.  Mount your keystone jack in a wall mount of you choosing.


1 Comment »

  1. also has a good variety of network cables and related products. Their prices compare well to CablesToGo check out their network cables at:

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