Say No To Obsolescence, Wire Up Your House With Fiber

Infrastructure diagram of [Stefan]'s network at the end of his fiber optics journey

These days, if you wire your house with anything less than gigabit, you might end up throttling your Internet connection. If you wired things up using two pairs per device back in 100BASE-T days, however, you’ll want to redo your cabling before you buy new switches. Now, some of us are already starting to equip ourselves with 2.5G hardware — which may require new cabling once again. Would you like to opt out of the Ethernet cabling upgrade rat race, at least for a while? Do like [Stefan Schüller] did, and use fiber optics for your home networking needs!

[Stefan] walks you through everything you’d need to know if you ever choose to look into fiber for your networking needs, and explains the design decisions he’s made — from splicing fiber optics himself, to building a PC to do routing instead of getting a hardware Small Form-factor Pluggable (SFP) equipped router. He also describes pitfalls, like SFP modules requiring reconfiguration to work with different router brands, and having to buy a fiber splicer with an eye-watering pricetag.

In the end, he shows a cost breakdown, and says he’s quite happy with the upgrade. While the costs might seem prohibitive compared to running Ethernet, upgrading to fiber will have your equipment function at top speed whenever you need it – who knows, perhaps in a few years time, 2.5G will no longer suffice for new advancements in home technology needs, and we’ll see more SFP modules in hackers’ hands. After all, modern TVs already use fiber optics for video data transfer.

105 thoughts on “Say No To Obsolescence, Wire Up Your House With Fiber

  1. Pulling fiber to every room would be a bit too expensive for me right now, and most of the cable drops aren’t going to need more than gigabit for a while yet. But I probably will switch over to fiber for the links between switches and for the server space.

    1. This seems like a misunderstanding of networking. Full parity fiber to home seems like a great move, but there is no need for that speed inside a house at this point. This is just a waste of money, and good to mention fiber is far less resilient than twisted pair.

      1. We’re lucky in rural America if they run cat 5 E much less fiber!! The place I built has an easy conduit entry into the garage where I can spread drops thru attic. Just pull new in , if and when ” they” upgrade.

        1. Nonsense. I ran the water line for the ice maker in my garage freezer through conduit. It’s protected from rodents and accidental damage from drilling or screws. Of course there’s no electrical running through the same conduit.

    1. This is why people need to deploy single mode OS2 rated fiber in their homes.

      It’s widely deployed and currently has no maximum rated throughput (according to the physicists that invented the stuff). This is why, whenever you look at the OS2 fiber, there is NO bandwidth rating on the cable. It currently doesn’t have one.

      Look at this: Scientists figured out how to pass 43Tbps over two strands of the stuff back in 2014. And they are continuing to make throughput improvements.

      If you use single mode OS2 rated fiber, I’m going to say that you’ve pretty much future proofed your house for as long as you are going to live there.

      1. It’s all about when you pay. Single mode fiber is good to essentially infinity wheras multimode gets progressively better. Got bitten by that when ordering 100G BiDi MM modules and got no link – the fiber was OM2, they needed OM4. These were about 1/10 the price of SM modules though.

        Essentially SM fiber good for life but you pay a lot more for the transceivers, as opposed to re-laying MM fiber every decade or so but saving on the cost of the transceivers.

        1. You can pick up sfp+(10g) fiber modules on eBay for $3 to $20. the best price I’ve seen on copper 10 gig sfp+ is around $30, but around $50 is pretty common. Copper direct cables are around $25 for a 1.5m cable. (Spf+ permanently affixed to both ends) somewhat ironically fiber was the cheaper solution, or at least on parody. I avoid copper runs where I can just because the sfps are so much more expensive about $120 per copper run. my longest fiber run which goes to my radio shed cost $65. Direct attach cables 1m runs are about $20. 2 sfp+ Port, intel nic is about $50 used. A single port SFP+ nic new oem is $25. I used a PCIe to thunderbolt box but I don’t remember how much that was.(built it for a friend)

          A full built-in 10g RJ45 switch, is close enough in price to a fully for the populated SFP version for me to only do rj45 runs when I need it. I just bought the 6 rj45 modules I need, I bought DAC or fiber for everything else. You don’t have to populate it all at once which gives you room to expand for not much more money upfront.

          from my personal experience with how much more copper is now, the fact that you really should be using shielded cat 6 cable if you’re going to be doing in wall installs. If you’re going with SFP switches, then fiber or DAC is generally cheaper. (8 fiber for 1 RJ45)

          three or four years ago I started the process of upgrading to 10 gig. I was replacing ancient HP gigabit switches with something a more power efficient last night, so my number shouldn’t be too off.(I hope)

        2. You only need to connect fibre to an Ethernet switch to use 10GbE over fibre, and it’s waaay cheaper.

          Aruba made great 24/48 port Ethernet switches with multiple SFP+ ports and they currently go for about $100 on eBay. I picked up one of those, a couple of $15 dual port 10GbE NICs for my servers, and a half dozen SFP+ multi-mode transceivers for $5 each.

          My laptop benefits with WiFi access points and regular 1GbE Ethernet going to the fibre-connected switch.

          1. Checking Google, the prices for all the stuff you’ve listed are 10+ times higher than you state (except the 10GbE nic; that one is only 4 times more than your price). Where exactly are you finding these deals?

    2. Fiber can handle multiple wavelengths in a single mode strand it’s called multiplex and the fiber is just glass so it accepts whatever wavelengths your optics throw at it. 850, 1330, 1470, 1660, 1720 so on and so forth. I feel that its not necessary to pull fiber into a house cat 6 will work just fine.

    1. I just pulled about 50 runs of CAT5e in my house for 5 APs, 8 cameras, smoke detectors, motion sensors, door sensors, IoT, etc. Other than the 10G fiber between switches, NAS, VM servers, and router, I just don’t see the need for more than 1 Gbps links. Even when there are 20 people here for Christmas, nobody has issues.

      1. 10 years ago I worked for a company dealing with replacing Cat5e in office buildings. Glad to know someone is still using old tech when they already know cat5e doesn’t last very long and has very little defense against accidental bending, heat or water.

        1. Over the last twenty years I’ve installed a mix of Cat5 and 5e in my house. And it works perfectly. Not just for networking but also for analogue and digital A/V, phone lines, and a variety of sensors and controls (RS-485, IR, 1-wire etc.)
          So I’m not sure what your point is, but I’d still add more CAT5e today if I needed it. I’m always mindful to make it a little easier to run another cable on the same route for when I need something else (if I need something else). And apart from TV antenna coax and some HDMI cables (was easy to run them on an existing cat5 route, and the result was simpler than adding converters and using the installed Cat5.

  2. Considering even gigabit internet is eye-wateringly expensive where I live (yay monopolies!) I’m inclined to stick to wireless for my house. The speed seems to be increasing faster than wired at this point anyways.

    1. Still a great reason to run cables for many folk – actually reliable speeds. Even 100 (maybe even older skool still 10m) ethernet is consistently fast enough to give a better result for so many tasks than the ‘faster’ wifi specs… As those things never ever run as fast as spec outside of pretty ideal conditions, the real world sucks like that – especially now everyone has broadband and wifi so interference is pretty high so it might have great signal when you set it up, but now…

  3. If I were to rework my house to the extent required to support a new technology (I only have co-ax), and take a shot at future-proofing, I would likely just go ahead and put in conduits, zone pipes, and such to allow pulling wire, fiber, whatever comes along. Thus, I could be assured that the future would bring only RF solutions.

  4. Honestly.
    One don’t wire a thing to “X Gb/s”….

    Cat 1 cables can send 10 Gb/s just fine. But not far.

    Cat 5e is fairly good as far as 10 Gb/s goes, reaching over 20 meters isn’t hard. And most homes don’t need runs that long most of the time.

    Cat 6 is though preferred for 10 Gb/s, if one wants longer distances, but it isn’t a remote requirement for every single connection.

    One can get more fancy than this, but generally it isn’t needed.

    Not to mention that a surprising amount of products don’t even use 1 Gb/s.
    Few people have an ISP delivering over 1 Gb/s either. (and for those who has such often don’t get such speeds from a webserver regardless, since servers have more people on the line than just you.)

    Internal traffic on the local network is however a different story. Here the sky is the limit in terms of “requirements”. I for one wouldn’t mind a 100+ Gb/s connection to my storage server, but my wallet do care about such needless upgrades.

    1. Lucky to live in a city which provides symmetricl 1Gb/s fiber at an inexpensive flat rate ($70.00/Month). I have often seen servers that are not able to serve files at matching speeds. The one useful/practicle aspect is I can upload backups offsite in a reasonable amount of time.
      So, as Billy Pilgrim often commented: “So it Goes…”

        1. Chattanooga, TN recently announced 25Gbit fiber on their municipal broadband network, cost unknown (you have to request a consultation, so likely not cheap). Currently have 10Gb for $300/mo though.

        2. You can move to České Budějovice, in Czech Republic and pay 10usd for 1gbit.

          I don’t live in a flat, therefore I have 50mbps 5ghz WiFi for 10 USD a month. Once it’s not enough, for 100 USD upgrade fee, I can get 300mbps 60ghz WiFi connection.

    2. I’m seeing that POE is going to be used more and more, Fiber cannot supply power to your security cameras and your wifi AP (if you put your AP in its most favorable spot it will probably be far away from your router). Today you can buy POE light fixtures for general purpose lighting of hallways and rooms.

      10 gig cat6a shielded Ethernet cable is really cheap compared to the installation cost so just do it. The wires in cat6a are bigger gauge and will support POE with less resistive losses. With shielded cable you don’t have to worry so much about those pesky electrical codes concerning running Ethernet cables near power cables.

      You will be spending $400 for a spool of cat 6a cable instead of $250 for a spool of cat6 and many thousands for labor and other parts. Cat6a is bigger but much less prone to kinks and is actually a lot easier to pull than cat6.

      If you are pulling cables don’t go cheap on the drill bit. Get a super nice bit that’s intended for furniture. Yes it’s expensive but you will really appreciate it after drilling a hundred holes.

      Today’s subject in our advanced networking class is drywall repair.

      1. “10 gig cat6a shielded Ethernet cable”

        There is that “x Gb/s” thing again.
        Cables do not have any given bitrate.

        Even a loose non twisted pair of iron filings can send many hundreds of Gb/s, just not very far.

        I have seen far too many people rip out cat 5e cables saying that “they aren’t good enough for 10 Gb/s”, when the runs they are dealing with are sufficiently sort for it to work.

        Now, if one has a lot of EMI then yes cat 6 can be a bit better due to less attenuation and better SNR by the end. (but, a shielded cable would be a better solution.)

        However, if one is upgrading for any reason. Then why not go for the slightly better alternative if it is reasonable for one’s budget. And yes, cable is rarely the bulk cost of an installation job.

        But in the end.
        All the people who think one requires cat 6a to do 10 Gb/s over any distance should honestly try their current installation first. Especially if the extra cost of switching to cat 6a is the main cost issue with the upgrade. (not that one should upgrade, for most people it is just unnecessary.)

        1. Pulling cables to every room in an existing structure pretty much guarantees that at least one of your runs is going to be long and convoluted.

          In the modern urban environment you have 40 or 50 APs in your menu and the wifi contention is intolerable, Ethernet is required for streaming video.

          Why quibble over $150 in a project where the total is $5K or more? Again I find the fatter stiffer cable is just SO much easier to pull without kinking. Also the keystone connectors for cat 6a are much easier to work with, no punch down tool needed.

          POE standards are changing with the times as more devices are connected. Future proof your house, increase its real estate value and avoid future drywall work, do it right the first time.

          1. My statement were rather about the fact that a lot of existing “non 10 Gb/s installations” can run 10 Gb/s Ethernet just fine, since the routes tends to not be all that far.

            But yes, in situations where one is doing an upgrade, going for the better cable isn’t a major difference in the overall cost. And yes, it would be a bit inept to not do such while one is renovating.

            But upgrading one’s network gear to 10 Gb/s doesn’t mean one has to change cables in the walls. Sometimes it however does require it if the distance is too long. (One can always test this before ripping out the walls.)

            Also, conduit is nice to ensure that one won’t have to do much future drywall work at all, since one can just pull a new cable through the pipe whenever. Free hanging cables in the wall isn’t particularly professional. (and here in Sweden where I live I rarely see people not use conduit.)

        2. And don’t forget to also use the correct connectors on your cables.
          Unbelievably how many times i’ve seen expensive cable being used with the wrong type or very cheap connectors…

        1. There is also the fairly common method of sending power on a pair of regular copper wires next to the fiber. However with the downside of loosing electrical isolation.

          However, haven’t yet seen any practical standard crop up for this. (Could technically just have a Y split on either end of the cable with a power connector on it. But having it integrated as one connector could be practical for network powered devices like cameras and so forth.)

    3. Seems like most of my cabling in Cat 5 with a few Cat 6 runs. I have two networks. One for my internal ‘private’ network where printers, servers, desktops, and SBCs run on, and then the ‘outside’ network for internet. I prefer hardwired to wireless where it makes sense. So far 1Gb seems sufficient for all internal things I do. I have no clue why you’d need more than that to serve files and print jobs.

      Fiber seems ‘overkill’.

      My backups are to local external drives and some moved off-site. No way would I put my ‘stuff’ in the cloud. That never has made sense to me and never will.

      Internet seems plenty fast on the cable modem. Not sure why you’d need faster here either.

      1. I myself am migrating my local file storage to a dedicated storage server.

        Mainly so that I have access to the files from any computer in the house, and that making the server’s storage redundant is a fair bit “cleaner” than on a regular computer. (hot swap bays and all that…)

        Secondly, the server also runs a few VMs for other tasks, so it is “noisy”. So nice to hide it away. And its 24/7 operation makes it ideal for network storage for those “local” files.

        However, accessing files over a 1 Gb/s connection is noticeably slow.
        A decent HDD has read speed in excess of 200 MB/s, SSDs are even faster. While gigabit Ethernet can approach 120-125 MB/s. So faster would be nice to bridge this gap.

        But for other applications it is indeed mostly pointless.

    4. Yeah I think there’s a false comparison between guaranteed minimum rates in wires vs advertised maximum internet speeds.

      I repurposed the phone jacks in the my house for ethernet, using the existing wires in the walls. They’re probably cat5 (non-e) rated for 100 mbps. I actually get 600mbps.

      Meanwhile Xfinity has just started offering a gigabit internet package on my street that probably actually benchmarks at 500mbps.

      So I’m in a situation where my 1990s phone wires are probably good enough even if I upgrade to gigabyte internet.

      1. To be fair, a fair amount of phone wiring tends to not even live up to cat 5 specifications.

        However, my comment weren’t about what ISPs provide. Rather about how people underestimate the capabilities of their own home’s supposedly “insufficient” internal wiring.

        1. Cat5 is a specification for a cable that has many uses. Running Ethernet over these cables is only one of the uses.
          If you only intend to run ethernet, not all parts of the Cat5 specification are relevant.

      2. There is no 600 Mbps Ethernet – you must be negotiating at GigE speeds as the next step down is 100M Fast Ethernet. The 600 Mbps will be due to limitations in your end devices.

        1. Sometimes I wish one could run half “gigabit” Ethernet over two pairs.
          So that one has 500 Mb/s, that would be rather useful at times. (mainly for when one needs to cram in a few more devices onto the same switch/cable.)

          Same story for half “2.5Gb/s” Ethernet and so forth.

          1. Indeed from a simple uneducated POV since GigE needs 4 pairs, whereas 100 MbE runs over 2 pairs, why can’t you run half GigE over half the pairs :)

            In fact when going to QSFP then that is 4 lanes than can be split into 4×1 lane at a quarter of the BW, or 2x for half (if the HW supports it anyway). Time for an addon to the GigE spec maybe!

  5. “These days, if you wire your house with anything less than gigabit, you might end up throttling your Internet connection.” – Hahahahahaha. No. Most of the UK is still on 80mbit/20mbit maximum due to Openreach being terrible at rollout. Cable isn’t everywhere either.

    1. 80/20? Luxury! I live in the capital of Australia and am luck to get 16/1, on a good day, with a tailwind, when nobody else on the street is watching Netflix. If it’s raining, forget about it. Pitiful 4G signal here, so forget wireless as a backup. Thanks, “National Broadband Network!”

  6. 1gb symmetric ISP for 40€ in France.
    I wired the whole house in cat 7 ; around 200 meters for 2 tiles 70€.

    Cat7 allow me to:
    – make active PoE (but not need so far)
    – passive PoE limited to 100mb/s which is far enough for security cameras.
    – split cables in 2 pairs of 100mbits, which is also sufficient for movies streaming to android tv.
    – use one half cable for pure power delivery (like for my homemade siren against intrusions, or a second cable for non Pose WiFi AP power delivery, in parallel to first cable for gb/s)
    – foresee for 10gb/s if someday it becomes needed.

    I’m also not convinced about the power efficiency to convert data into light signal + convert back light signal into electrical for most of the devices i own that only have a basic RJ45 plug (sec cameras, SBC, …)

    1. As far as efficiency goes, at least at 10Gbps, the light conversion is actually more energy efficient than 10G Base-T: Those PHYs eat more power than a simple SFP+ module. To give actual numbers:
      – typical SFP+ SR module (400 meters) [1]: 0.6W
      – typical a SFP+ to base-t module (30 meters) [2]: 2.3W

      Since you’re french, that’s why the Freebox Delta’s SFP+ cage often cannot handle SFP+ to base-t modules, while they handle optical modules fine.

      Of course, the most efficient solution is a passive direct-attach cable that’s only copper since there is no PHY involved, but that’s way less flexible.


  7. What about that UTP cable containing two fiber cores inside the same sheath? would that leave enough of a tail to splice a fiber jack onto later?

    That’s what the ISP’s installers use around here. But it’s more used for patching the VOIP from the new fiber router back to the old POTS at the building’s cable entry point

    1. The run to my master bedroom is too long for 10 gig over cat 6. It has to go up and over and down and around and it’s crazy. If you live in a trailer or a prefab you can get away with cat 6 but for a big house with real cable placement issues you will need cat 6a for at least some runs. You gotta buy the stuff in 1000′ spools so you might as well use it everywhere. It’s SO much easier to pull than cat 6 (no kinking), it’s worth the extra money just for the effort you will save.

      And also, future POE specs will require the 23awg conductors in cat 6a. POE voltage is already maxed out, so fatter conductors and more current is the only upgrade path

    2. Having wired my apartment with fiber, I can say that fiber is much, much cheaper than base-t. However I did not splice my fibers but used simple LC-LC fiber cables and passive couplers on the walls.
      Why is it cheaper? Well, the fiber itself is dirt cheap (it’s just strands of plastic). But the main difference is the equipment cost:
      – NICs are dirt cheap: 10Gbps SFP+ NICs are $20 with worldwide shipping on ebay, while the base-t ones are more in the $100 range
      – switches themselves are so affordable it’s a steal: a Mikrotik with 4 SFP+ ports is $150, and the 8 ports variant is $270. It’s hard to find affordable 10G Base-T switches with more than two 10G ports in that price range

  8. If you’re re-wiring a building:


    Whenever a room needs a new run of fibre/CAT-eleventysix/coax/etc in the future, the effort required is pulling on a piece of string. And the cost of materials at the time of install is a tube and a piece of string, rather than having to pick out all your media drops in advance (which either means being stuck with limited locations, or spending top dollar to run a fibre that will remain forever dark).

    1. The thing with running conduit is that a) You’ll still need to get into the ceiling and the box where the conduit ends, and you are also limited to where you’ve run conduit to, which can be a pain if you decide several years down the road that you need another drop on the other side of the room.

      That having been said, the easy mode for running your cable(s) is to also run a pull line with it in order to make adding additional cable easier on you or the person coming after you.

      As far as running fiber in-home? Unless there’s a very specific need for it, I wouldn’t bother. Plus, the industry has gone from OM3 to OM4 for supporting 10 GbE to 100 GbE (OM3 caps out, more or less, at 25 GbE for short lengths), has bend radius limitations, for some use cases distance limitations. Not worth the general hassle and expense for residential installation, IMHO. (And speaking from experience, we got away with pulling a handful of 50 meter OM3 duplex patches for our test lab at [RedactedCo] to the closet housing the ‘production’ in order to give the lab internet and management access, because that was cheaper than running a 12 strand cable between the two, along with their associated LIU panels..)

    2. Don’t forget the enormous labor cost of cutting and bending all that conduit. You will have to ground it properly. You will need a lot of fittings elbows etc and those add up pretty quickly. Also you can’t reliably pull cables through a 90 degree elbow, that’s why they put those little covers on them. You’ll need to cut open the drywall and remove that cover when you pull a cable.

      I have found that it is very straightforward to upgrade or replace cables by just using the old one to pull the new one. No conduit needed. Drill the holes bigger than needed to accommodate fatter cables in the future.

      One big advantage of conduit is that you can run closer to existing power cables but you can also get that by using shielded cable

      1. That’s why you use PVC conduit and sweep elbows, and ensure that all the swelled joins are aimed the same way so that none of them present the edge of a pipe end to snag – or you use an angled reamer to put an inside bevel on the end of every piece of the conduit. Anywhere you must use a box, make sure the lid is accessible. Most places it’s against code to bury a junction box in a wall even if it just has wires running through without a join.

        Metal conduit is for exposed installs where there *might* be the possibility of fire or in places where various forces of government, labor unions, and other interested parties have kept PVC conduit from being allowed – same as they did with PEX plumbing for so long.

      2. Flex conduit, no elbows, and only linear couplers for ease of pulling. MBR of the conduit ensures cable MBR, pull path is always clear without snags, and you run the conduit from drop to cab so no digging in walls or ceilings.

  9. I built a house and wired every room with cat5e in 2002 or so. Wifi got cheap so it was mostly a waste.
    Got divorced and now live in a trailer. A really old shitty trailer. I just staple the frickin wire straight to the ceiling, on the outside of the 1/4″ sheetrock. Blue, gray, white, I don’t give a shit.

  10. internet in regional Australia ( that is defined as anywhere outside the Sydney CBD) is so poor, fencing wire is more than adequate for a network that performs better than our NBN

  11. Are new houses being wired with fiber optics? It’s way easier when starting from scratch.

    This house needs way more than fiber optics. The electrical wiring is decades old.

  12. You don’t need to do the whole house at once. For example, next time you get a laptop, look for one with SFP module support. There are Ethernet SFP modules, so all you need do is switch modules when you add fibre to your house.
    Good luck finding a laptop with SFP support…

    1. Wouldn’t be unreasonable to see a framework laptop have an LC fiber connector on it. They are rather low profile after all.

      But given the cleanliness requirements for fiber to be happy, then I guess one wouldn’t want it on a laptop. Considering how unclean fibers are a serious problem in datacenters and the like, environments that generally strive to be clean. Unlike Joe average’s laptop.

  13. One benefit of fiber is that running it through your roof near power cables will not see your networking gear taken out by an EMP from a lightning strike, which has happened to me. We had an unprotected line coming into the roof and traveling to the board where the protective gear did its job, but there was still enough of a pulse to cross over to the ethernet cables run next to it. The guy that did it bragged that he did work on a nearby military base, I just hope they were supervising his work there better than I did.

  14. I tend to do my runs on a ad-hoc basis while also planning for the future a little. Wiring every room is a hassle and not always the best use of time. when i moved the coax run coming into my house from my living room to the office, i also ran some CAT6 back to the living room so i could put a switch, an Access point and plug my media player in. I think that sort of structure is really underdone. running a single run of CAT6 and then having a ethernet switch that runs of to appliances dramatically reduces the complexity of the run. Anyone who lives in a multi storey dwelling should consider a single trunking line between two switches

  15. Openspeedtest… Self hosted speed test, so you can test your local speeds. Helped me find that a cheap coupler was dropping my speed from 1g to 100m. I also use it from troubleshooting “slow wireless” at the office.

  16. I’ve wired my entire house with Fiber about 3 years ago. I used off the shelf fiber optic cables between strategic locations, and 3 little Mikrotik SFP+ switches.
    There’s one thing nobody has mentioned, it’s that SFP transceivers are not only expensive, but they also use a crap ton of electricity. My modules use about 3W per transceiver, so to wire a small 16 port switch im already looking at 48W + the switch’es power draw.. and that’s only on 1 end.. so multiply by 5 switches and you’re probably looking at 500W… which depending where you live can add $50/month to your electricity bill because the switches are running constantly. It’s not like a little 500W coffee maker that gets used once or twice a day.

  17. I am from Ukraine. Electricity is important, that’s why some times GPON box with small powerbank at your home can help you to receive Internet connectivity (20 km optic fiber is passive, electricity doesn’t needed). Also 4G/5G, Starlink are good. Implement some variants.

  18. From my experience as a Low Volt tech I would run CAT6a everywhere. Maybe a conduit from the dmarc to the head end since a lot of ISP providers these days run fiber straight to the modem gateway. Reason I say CAT6a it is a universal UTP cable. You can connect anything to it for a home network / security. It can handle a 10Gb connection and future proofs. One guy had us run fiber all over his home then he realized he couldn’t connect his IP Cameras, WiFi APs and a few other devices that used a RJ45 connection. We had to go back in and install some Ethernet Fiber media converters that took up a bunch of space at the head end and was a total headache.

  19. If they figure out PoE over glass, then it might make sense to go all fiber. Until then, I have two Cat 6, an RG6 (only because it was already there), and an OM4 drop per room.

  20. Future proofing is almost always stupidly expensive and can put you into the gentle hands of the monster cable type scammers unless you are smart.

    When the future gets here, something else will be the new shiny.

    Who’s got a server that can deliver 10Gb/s right now? A top quality M.2 SSD can do that, but can the rest of the hardware? Do you really need to see that 4k VR porn 1ns sooner?

    Admittedly I don’t care because I live in a one story house with an easy 3ft high crawl space.
    There is still thin ethernet coax coiled up waiting to be disposed of down there. Anybody need terminator resistors? Am packrat.

  21. Nice to know where to find the write up, when the day comes that I can get better than ADSL1 and/or have a genuine use for more than 10mbps traffic all around the house (OTOH the Big CPU Box sits right next to the file server, one short cable, no switch, dedicated NICs). Meanwhile, especially after reading the comments above this, looks like there is plenty of unused bandwidth in our current cat5 runs to all the other rooms.

    Interesting to read about though.

  22. I ran cat 5e and cat 6 through a 1943 built house with plaster walls. Every room on the first floor and the basement, except the kitchen and bathroom have ethernet. Some of the rooms only have 100baseT but most are 1000baseT. If I need gigabit everywhere, I need to swap out one router.

    The second floor has an Ethernet cable going up the stairs and that will be a project for later. I have no need for fiber. I can get 100 Gbps for internet and I’m not really transferring more data than that.

  23. I am doing this currently. The fibre is dirt cheap, the termination is the issue as well as patching. Initially I will just splice direct then move to MPO ports using a ribbonized splicer to shrink the splice space. Anything over 20G requires more than 2 fibres anyway and 100G makes doing RDMA and iScsi or FC sharing a breeze.

  24. You do not compare fiber against Ethernet. They’re both Ethernet, but one is copper twisted pair *BASE-T, and the other is glass fiber optic *BASE-SX (for multi mode) or *BASE-LX (single mode), among numerous others, where * is speed in megabits per second.
    This may be a little confusing, as IEEE 802.3 Ethernet actually spans layers 1-2 of the OSI model. Fiber vs copper is strictly about layer 1.

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