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It can be extremely frustrating when your internet connection suddenly falters. Now, this can happen because of several technical malfunctions One of the more frequent culprits is the ethernet wall jack. So, how do you figure out if your ethernet wall jack works properly or not?
Initially, you need to check the connector, cable connection, wiring, etc. to determine the exact source of the problem. This can be external damage, incorrect wiring, or an internal error. If the problem is visible damage to the wall jack or faulty equipment, you need to get it replaced.
In this article, I will discuss how to properly diagnose your ethernet wall jack to check if something is wrong. I will then go over some methods to try to fix any issues with the wall jack.
It is important to know how an ethernet wall jack works and why it is used. So, you will have a clearer picture when I go over how to diagnose and troubleshoot any fault with this technology.
A wall jack is a type of port or socket that is mounted on the wall. Hence, people call them “wall jack”. You connect one end of the ethernet cable to the wall jack and the other end to a patch panel. This way the entire wiring stays within the confined walls.
Then you have to plug one end of a station or patch cable to your computer and the other to the wall jack. Typically, this tech is stationed on the user’s end where they operate their PC.
The back of the jack is equipped with slots where you lay the wires. Then you attach a removable cap and press it down. This will cause the wires to properly enter these slots and establish a connection.
So, the wall jack is a very simple piece of tool. It does not have any complicated software or hardware. Therefore, you do not need to have much technical expertise on how to use it. The problems that arise in a wall jack are purely mechanical.
The main draw of utilizing a wall jack is that it makes your connections and wiring safe and convenient. If you try to directly connect the ethernet cable to your computer, it will probably get tangled and create a mess. Plus, sometimes the wires may get damaged. And if the damaged wire is left in the open, it poses a considerable risk.
Now, you can install and place the wall jack by yourself. It is not too technical. But always be careful when dealing with electrical equipment. If you are uncomfortable, it is better to call in a mechanic to safely install it for you.
As I mentioned before, finding the root of the problem is the first step in fixing it. Otherwise, the issue can easily pop up again in the future. Now, your internet could be down because of multiple factors such as server failure, software issues, a problem with the cable, or a fault with the wall jack.
A mechanical problem with the wall jack is not uncommon. When it happens, you need to replace it. But that in itself is quite a bit of a struggle. You may have to spend some time and money to get it replaced.
So, it is vital that you properly examine the wall jack for any issue before deciding to change it.
Now, I am going to detail the methods that I have found the most useful. You may have a different way of finding out. You may even get outside help from an expert. But for those who want to do it alone, here are three methods:
A loopback jack is a tool used to detect any problem regarding the transmission of data. It uses the same line as your internet connection and finds out if the connection is active or not. If the connection is working, it will tell you by flashing a display light (usually green). If the connection is disrupted, the jack will not show any light.
This is also a fairly simple device that you can use anytime. Just plug it into the same port as your ethernet or to your wall jack. This is by far the simplest method to detect the problem with the transmission.
With the help of a loopback jack, you can figure out if there is any problem with your internet provider. This usually means a problem with the server, a problem with the main cable, etc. If so, contact your internet provider to know more and how it can be fixed.
If there is no issue in transmission, then the problem could be with your wall jack. So, proceed to the next step.
Now you know that you have an internet connection but you still cannot go online. Use an ethernet cable and connect your pc with the jack. Go to the network control panel and open up the “Local Area Connections” tab.
When the jack is functional, your computer will show you an IP address and a subnet. This usually looks like this- 22.214.171.124 / 255.255.255.0.
But if the jack is not working yet your internet connection is all right, the control panel will simply show you ‘network connection not found.’
This is pretty safe of knowing that the problem lies with either the jack or the ethernet cable.
Now, there is one last step to be sure of the problem source. You most likely have a spare ethernet cable in your house. Normally, when your provider sets up, they give you some extra cables for emergencies or as a backup.
So, replace the previous ethernet cable with the alternative one. If the problem is resolved, then the main issue was with the cable all along. And now that you have changed it, you can connect to the internet once more.
However, if the problem persists, the real problem is likely in the wall jack. At that point, you can start thinking about changing or fixing the jack completely.
Your ethernet wall jack may malfunction due to several reasons. Knowing these issues will prepare you for preventing them in the future.
Degradation over time is one of the most common causes of any electrical equipment breakdown. Modern cables and jack are built with the latest technology. But with enough time, your wall jack may start to take damage. Plus, if your walls are not secure enough, it will contribute to damaging the wiring of your entire house.
The equipment you bought may be state-of-the-art but your house may not be. So, that can also lead to faster wire damage.
Another very common occurrence I notice is the damage done by rodents. These little trouble makers just love to cause damage to your wires and cables whenever they get the chance. Rodents in your residence are a serious threat to the well-being of your equipment.
You should not untwist the wires too much when connecting them to the jack or patch panel. That may lead them to wear down faster. Also, Check the standard color code for electrical wiring to avoid any mistakes.
You should not use any electrical equipment for tasks it was not meant to do. The wall jack is for connecting the ethernet cable and your computer. But if you plug in something different or tamper with the jack, it will often deteriorate. So, make sure that nothing else is unnecessarily put inside the wall jack.
Lastly, this could be a simple case of not installing it properly. Some people like to do these types of tasks on their own. But this is not always advisable. You need to have the proper know-how before trying such a thing. Otherwise, it is safer and ultimately less expensive to hire a professional.
I have seen a lot of cases where the problem was not any damage or faulty equipment. It was because the installation was incorrect. This means the cables were not attached properly, the wires were not placed correctly, etc.
Those of you who are confident enough, need to have the proper tools first. Here is a helpful tutorial to guide you through the process of installing a wall jack.
First, check for any visible external damage. Take a screwdriver and open up the jack from the wall. Then check the connectors for any signs of damage or degradation. Also, make sure the copper end is intact. If you see any problem with these parts, replace them and connect again.
The copper lining part is crucial. This is the part that allows electricity to pass through the jack. So, double-check to see if it is okay. While you are at it, check the connection from the wall jack to the patch panel as well.
Then you should check the cables. Multiple reasons can destroy your cable connection. Use the PC connection trick I explained before.
With the help of that method, you can diagnose if the problem is with the cable or not. If it is, then simply changing it will get you back online.
Now, if the problem is with the wiring inside the wall and you need to replace it, you need to be very careful.
I would not recommend doing this on your own if you do not have prior experience or the proper technical expertise. So, it is best to call in a professional to check and replace it for you.
An Ethernet wall jack is a safe and convenient way to establish an ethernet connection in your house. But like with all machines, this can also become damaged or unusable.
Hopefully, you are now equipped with the knowledge to identify the issue and taking the right steps in fixing it.