You purchased a new cable modem and want to install it – now what? You need to know how to find main cable line for Internet.
Luckily, we can help you!
It can seem like a daunting task to find your main cable line. It’s not that hard though, as you can successfully locate it in under 20 minutes.
Here are the steps on how to do it.
To find the main cable line for your home, locate your provider’s box outside and trace the cable into your home. Now, look for the main splitter box and trace the cables to your router.
Before we elaborate on the steps to find the cable connection in your house, here are a few things you need to remember.
How to Find Cable Connection in House: What You Need to Know
Your Internet provider’s box contains the connectors linking the cable line and is usually attached to the outside of the house or apartment.
When you have signal issues, you may need to check the connection of the wires inside the box. Also, watch out for service outages and damaged cables.
✅ Service Outage
A regional or wide-scale outage may be due to weather problems, damage to cables, disruptions, or faulty equipment.
It may occur during normal network operations and should not be taken as a sign of Internet infrastructures not holding up under strain situations.
✅ Damaged Cables
Coax cables can last for many years, but they can also go bad. They can get head damage when exposed to high temperatures or physical damage when bent or stepped on. The connector can also come loose or break.
✅ TV and Internet
A coax cable only provides one signal to power a single device. Thus, you will need a splitter to connect your TV and modem to one cable outlet.
✅ Get Professional Help
If you cannot locate your cable box outside your home or apartment, call your Internet provider.
Let’s move on to finding the main cable line for your Internet. It shouldn’t be difficult now that you know everything you need.
Proven Ways How to Find Main Cable Line for Internet
Coaxial cables do not only carry signals for Internet connections. They are also designed for television.
You can even use splitters if there’s more than one device that requires a signal. So, where do coax cables go?
1. Find Your Internet Provider’s Box Outside Your Home
Your internet doesn’t magically get into your house from your provider.
It needs to be connected to a box from outside your house that your provider has set up for their subscribers.
You’ll need to locate it to know exactly the point where the cable gets into your home.
Doing this will allow you to know which area in your house you can start to trace back.
Here’s how to find your internet providers box:
- Go around and look for a small or plastic box attached to the side of your house.
- Confirm it’s from your internet as it will have their logo on it.
- Find out if the external box is connected to a post.
Note: If you can trace the cables from the box to a post outside your home, it's active and the one you're looking for.
2. Trace the Cable From the Box Into Your Home
Now that you’re sure this is the box that will have your main cable line, you can start tracing back.
The box attached to the side of your home will have another cable that will enter your house.
You’re going to need to look where it’s entering so you’ll know which part the next cable junction will be.
Here’s how to trace the cable into your home:
- Examine the external cable box on the side of your house.
- Figure out which of the cables are leading into your house.
- Trace the cable and follow it to the point it enters your house.
- Find which part of your house the cable goes into.
Note: The cable line is likely attached to the side of your house or buried underground to the basement.
3. Locate the Main Splitter Cable Box In Your Home
Now that you have a rough idea on where the cable from your provider enters your house, you can find it from the inside.
Knowing where it goes in will make it easier for you to find it especially if your house is equipped with a basement or crawlspace.
There is a good chance that you’re going to find the cable in one of those locations before you find the main splitter box.
Here’s how to trace the cable into your home:
- Check your home’s basement for the entry point of the cable.
- If it’s not in the basement, check your crawlspace for the entry point.
- After locating the cable, trace it until you find the junction box.
Note: The main cable line will be thicker than others found in your basement or crawlspace.
4. Trace All the Cables Coming From the Splitter
Now that you have found the splitter box, you now know where all the cables are coming from.
Your internet and TV all come through this box, and any issues with your wiring can be traced up to this point.
All your signal cables are going to branch out from the splitter box. It can be a tangled mess, but you’ll be able to find the one that’s responsible for your internet.
Here’s how to trace the cables from the splitter:
- Check your cable splitter for any markings or labels.
- Look for the port that says “Internet” or “Data.”
- Check the individual cables for any labels or markings.
- Trace the cable to where it is connected in your home.
Note: If there are no markings on your splitter, you can disconnect each one and find out which device loses signal.
5. Locate Your Coax Cable Outlets for Your Internet
You’re lucky if your cable installer organized it and left markings allowing you to troubleshoot issues easily.
If not, you’re going to have to do it cable by cable manually. It can take some time to successfully locate your cable outlets for the internet.
If you know the layout of your home, you can have a rough idea of where the cables from your splitter are headed.
Here’s how to find the cable outlets for your internet:
- Look at the cables coming out of your main splitter box.
- Trace the cables as they go up the common areas of your house.
- Look for the wall plates in the rooms where the cables go up.
- Connect devices to see if they get a signal from your provider.
Note: To make it easier, you can use a cable tester so you don't have to check with your devices.
6. Check Your Modem on Different Outlets
Now that you know which room your internet line goes from your splitter to your house, you can start checking it with your modem.
A cable tester would certainly come in handy here, but if you don’t have one, you can still test it out with your internet modem.
It will take a few minutes, but if you have narrowed the internet cable to a couple of outlets, you will be able to know where to plug in the coax cable for internet.
Here’s how to test the outlets with your modem:
- Connect your modem to the wall outlet with a coax cable.
- Plug in your modem and turn it on.
- Wait at least 2 minutes for it to acquire a signal.
- If it does, you can set the modem on that outlet.
- If not, you’ll have to check your modem against other outlets.
Note: You can tell if your modem has acquired a signal through its notification lights.
That’s it! By following these steps, you will be able to find your main internet line and know where to plug in your modem.
If you’re having a hard time locating it, you can contact a networking professional and get them to help you trace your cables.
Now that you know how to find main cable line for internet, you can search for it yourself. It’s not that difficult as everything you need is going to be inside your home.
As long as you’re familiar with the layout, you will be able to find it in 30 minutes or less.
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Finn Wheatley holds a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from UCL, London. He helped small data science consultancy firms, helping large corporations to grow their data capabilities, deploy advanced machine learning-based analytics and troubleshoot tech-related issues.