Can Ethernet Cable Go Outside?

We are supported by readers. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Most of the users can get access to the internet with the help p wireless devices like laptops or phones. All these devices can be connected to the internet through Wi-Fi and other wireless signals that can be broadcasted through the house. If you are a regular internet user, you must be familiar with what is an Ethernet connection. Ethernet connection can allow you to improve the speed of your Wi-Fi connection. If you are looking for ways to expand the internet connection in your home or business, you can use the Ethernet cables outside your home as well.

There are different kinds of Ethernet cables. But, most commonly known are two types of Ethernet cables namely, straight cable and crossover cable. The most commonly used accessory for pairing with an Ethernet cable is a network switch. This is add-on equipment that allows you to change an Ethernet connection to several connections, helping you in hardwiring the Chromecast and Xbox together. Ethernet cables are the best network connectivity equipment which is widely used throughout different parts of the world now as people are getting more into the internet world.

Ethernet Cable Go Outside

If you think about expanding your network connection outside, like an outbuilding or a wireless access point, you might be wondering whether you can use your existing Ethernet cable or you may need to purchase a new one. Ethernet cables can go outside as the exterior type Ethernet cable that is weatherproof and can safely go outside without the requirement of any protective conduit. But the other kinds of Ethernet cables that are not weatherproof must have UV skin protection to protect them from the sunlight. To know more about how you can use an Ethernet cable outside, read this post till the end as it will provide you with details you would want to know about the same.  

How to run Ethernet cables outside?

To other Ethernet cables outside, there are a few steps that you must follow. So, if you think of running Ethernet cables outside, you need to follow two options. They are as follows:

  • The all-time, interior-grade cable which you used for inside connection, but you need to follow some extra steps to provide it with the requirements and protection that is required.
  • Another option is that you can purchase some exterior-grade Ethernet port that has been designed especially for outside usage, but these two costs more to buy.

So out of these two options, it is always better to choose exterior-grade cable whenever you are planning to run Ethernet cable for outside use, regardless of how much distance the cable needs to be run.

Can cold weather affect Ethernet cable?

If the person stays in the cold part of the world, then there can be chances for the cold weather to affect Ethernet cable, even those which are of exterior grade. But the cold weather will not affect the performance of the cable; it can cause stiffness in the cable. If you bend the cable too much, it can cause damage and it may be left alone once in the place.

With time, new types of Ethernet cables are introduced with improvised materials for both the insulation and outer cover are required to upgrade the cable to continue its work in both cold and hot environments. But, this doesn’t mean that you should go out and buy Ethernet cables to run the connection outside. Cold weather will affect the Ethernet cables, especially those which are not made for outdoor use and should be kept for inside use.

While running the cable outside, and experiencing cold weather all the year then you will ensure that you are using an exterior-grade cable that is double insulated. Thus the cable will be thicker than the regular Ethernet cable which is used for outside use.

What happens if Ethernet cables get wet?

The exterior-grade cable can safely be put outdoors where it can get wet due to rain, but indoor-rated Ethernet cables are only made to use in dry conditions. Some Ethernet cables which are wet internally and are not dried out should be considered as damaged and need replacement. Water can infiltrate the outer cover and affect the transmission of each data. If the indoor-rated cable is placed outside and gets wet due to rain, then it will remain fine and can be used later.  

Before running an Ethernet cable via an outer wall, checking your home thoroughly for any existing Ethernet line is important. It might be possible for you to change the route of an existing source for bringing an Ethernet connection where it is needed. If you don’t find any existing lines to run through your home, make a hole into the outer wall. Ensure to prevent drilling with the use of any HVAC ducts, electrical wires, and plumbing. Then, you can also try running the Ethernet cable to the location of your choice. At last, it is better to seal all holes near the Ethernet cable using silicone caulk for preventing infiltration of water.

Is it safe to run an Ethernet cable through an outer wall?

It is completely legal, simple, and safe to run Ethernet cable through an outer wall in your home. Before drilling, you must ensure to run the cable to an outer box for providing an internet connection. It is a very easy task to run an Ethernet cable without causing any damage to your home. An Ethernet cable is a very low voltage, which makes it safe to be installed through DIY techniques. Check the code of local buildings for verifying the regulation of Ethernet installations.

Ethernet cable through an outer wall

As Ethernet cable is low voltage, the majority of the building codes don’t cause any restriction in running of the Ethernet cable. This refers to the fact that it can be installed through an easy DIY method by yourself.

Steps to run Ethernet Cable through an outer wall

You can run an Ethernet cable through the outer wall very easily with the help of a few basic tools. However, there are a few steps that you need to follow if you want to have an Ethernet cable installation that is safe and durable.

  • Check for an existing Ethernet installation:

Before putting new holes in the outer part of your home, an inspection of the outer box in which the ISP hard-line installation is done. If any Ethernet cables can connect the box to your home, you can run the Ethernet cables through the basements and crawlspaces.

Steps to run Ethernet Cable through an outer wall
Source: i

Check the outer box where the cable comes from the Internet service provider points. You should also check if there is an Ethernet cable that leads the box to your home. In case, you find an Ethernet cable that runs from the box to your home, you can run it through the outer walls.

A lot of people use Ethernet cables mostly in their workplace or home. However, these cables can be ideally used outside as well. The majority of the internet service providers want to run the Ethernet cables on the outside, either under the ground or above, for connecting your building or home. Though just to run and bury the Ethernet cable might sound easy to you but it is a bit so easy. You must make sure that you are giving protection to the cable against all environmental factors like heat, moisture, storms, and freezing temperatures. Also, you must know the different types of materials which should be used like for the cable and conduit.

Prepare a plan before running the cable and also follow other needful steps. Make sure to check if the cable is outer rated before you finally lay it on the outer wall of your home. Before you start running the cables, you must recognize whether the cables are supposed to go underground or above the ground, as every option will need different procedures and materials to be used. There are some factors to be considered if you want to run the cable above ground like the conduit of cable, its type, and placement. The most ideal way out is using an outdoor cable whenever you want to use it outside. Outdoor-rated cables are created to be used to run outside that is why are designed accordingly.


Ethernet cables are used on a large scale in the present times. Earlier, people were not so familiar with internet usage that is why they hardly knew about Ethernet connection but in modern times, as the internet is being used by a lot of people in their day to day lives, using Ethernet has become common. Ethernet cable can go outside but you should use an external rated cable for that purpose. When laid outside, a normal Ethernet cable might stop functioning properly under some circumstances if not always. So, it is always better to use an outer rated cable to be used outside. You can follow the steps mentioned above to run an Ethernet cable outside by keeping it safe and sturdy.