I just had to run a total of 12 cat5 cables into a patch panel. This was the first time I'd actually done that. I'm reasonably confident that I got all the wires in the right order after some initial A/B confusion, but I'm not entirely confident that all the physical connections are fine. I don't have a reason to suspect that since all the connections I've tested so far have worked perfectly.
What I don't know here is the degree to which connections could fail. If I mess it up just a little bit will nothing work at all or will there be intermittent problems that are near impossible to trace? My company has a very limited budget so we don't have any proper network testing equipment and I'm using a bargain bin $5 manual punch down tool, not one of the fancy expensive ones that tries to eliminate human error.
My testing process so far has been to plug each patched port into the switch then take my personal laptop around to the wall jack I just patched. I plug my laptop into the wall jack and see if it can get an IP from the DHCP server and access the router's DD-WRT management interface. If it can properly send the management interface to me (which is a rather detailed webpage), I've been crossing that off as a working jack.
Is this a decent enough testing process, or is there another (and more accurate) way to test each jack (without network tools, remember).