Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...

Fiber in the home, plastic or glass?

Uttamattamakin
 Share

Go to solution Solved by beersykins,

I'm in the same boat but want to run a couple strands of mmf from my 42u garage rack to our home office.  You could probably blend the two and just do a couple preterminated fiber runs for what you already need high bandwidth for, and copper the rest.  

 

Aside from my PC everything else in our house is wireless.  Copper comes in handy since you obviously can't poe over fiber.

I have been thinking about how to re-wire my family home for internet.  Right now we have wifi, and Cat 6 ethernet cable just sort of ran along the outside in a very ugly way.    If I redo it... I want it to be "future proof".  That means fiber optic.  The thing is, there does not seem to be a single standard way to do that.   There seem to be two options. 

 

  1. Plastic optical fiber.
    1. All the options seem proprietary
    2. Easy installation
  2. Glass optical fiber.
    1. Standardized though multiple standards exist
    2. difficult installation
  3. Go  completely wireless. 
    1. Advantage no wires ?
    2. Disadvantage no wires ?

Has anyone had experience with either of those technologies in the home network and if so would you recommend it.  

 

Since someone will ask.  We are four adults My parents and my sister.  We all stream lots of video and cloud backup.  It would be nice to have the option of cutting the cord... at least not paying for both cable TV and internet. We also have a kinda smart ish home that we are adding gadgets to steadily.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

No reason to go fiber. Stay on cat cables as they are easy to install and can reach speeds of 10gigs.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Does Cat 6 cable not meet your current needs? If you possibly could want more than 10Gbe in the future then maybe I would consider fiber. I can't imagine almost any "consumer" devices shipping with the capability of going faster than 10G for a while, since 10G itself is still just starting in the consumer space. For outside runs especially, relatively cheap rugged ethernet cables get the job done and should last. Fiber needs much more precaution and planning for every run and junction point. Something like an OM3 cable from FS.com is still rated to 7.5mm bend radius (these are the cables I use) but without specifically requiring them, it just isnt worth the hassle. 

 

If all you would potentially want running extremely quickly is point to point between a couple systems, just use DAC cables and some budget Mellanox IB NIC's. then 40G and 100G can be had between a few machines on the cheap, just not over long distance. 

 

In your case I would suggest properly running some quality rugged ethernet cables for your whole house and allow easy 10G to any wired device in the house. (Ethernet is also a far more ubiquitous standard among household devices). If you want to play around with some fiber cabling though, some budget fiber channel cards and cheap fiber cables can be had for under $20 total for point to point connections between devices. Just wouldn't suggest it for a whole house install. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just now, Rusted said:

No reason to go fiber. Stay on cat cables as they are easy to install and can reach speeds of 10gigs.

10 gig sounds like a lot now, I get that … but in 10 years it won't be. In my area 2 gig FTTH is available for a hefty price.  Docsis 3.1 at 1 GB is also available for a less hefty price. I'd hate to re wire with Cat 6 only to have my intranet be a bottleneck. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

3 minutes ago, Minbari said:

Does Cat 6 cable not meet your current needs? If you possibly could want more than 10Gbe in the future then maybe I would consider fiber. I can't imagine almost any "consumer" devices shipping with the capability of going faster than 10G for a while, since 10G itself is still just starting in the consumer space. For outside runs especially, relatively cheap rugged ethernet cables get the job done and should last. Fiber needs much more precaution and planning for every run and junction point. Something like an OM3 cable from FS.com is still rated to 7.5mm bend radius (these are the cables I use) but without specifically requiring them, it just isnt worth the hassle. 

 

If all you would potentially want running extremely quickly is point to point between a couple systems, just use DAC cables and some budget Mellanox IB NIC's. then 40G and 100G can be had between a few machines on the cheap, just not over long distance. 

 

In your case I would suggest properly running some quality rugged ethernet cables for your whole house and allow easy 10G to any wired device in the house. (Ethernet is also a far more ubiquitous standard among household devices). If you want to play around with some fiber cabling though, some budget fiber channel cards and cheap fiber cables can be had for under $20 total for point to point connections between devices. Just wouldn't suggest it for a whole house install. 

I appreciate the very specific recommendations.   Imagine... once I run these cables in the walls that's it for like … 10...20... or 30 years.   So right now the Cat 6 I have will be fine. 

 

What will consumers be doing in 10 to 15 years.  (My family or whoever we may sell to).  We can't even imagine it.  It could just be that having so many MANY connected and smart devices all on the net adds up to a high bandwidth need. 

 

It may be that we have streaming 16K VR Interactive entertainment.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

38 minutes ago, Uttamattamakin said:

I have been thinking about how to re-wire my family home for internet.  Right now we have wifi, and Cat 6 ethernet cable just sort of ran along the outside in a very ugly way.    If I redo it... I want it to be "future proof".  That means fiber optic.  The thing is, there does not seem to be a single standard way to do that.   There seem to be two options. 

 

  1. Plastic optical fiber.
    1. All the options seem proprietary
    2. Easy installation
  2. Glass optical fiber.
    1. Standardized though multiple standards exist
    2. difficult installation
  3. Go  completely wireless. 
    1. Advantage no wires ?
    2. Disadvantage no wires ?

Has anyone had experience with either of those technologies in the home network and if so would you recommend it.  

 

Since someone will ask.  We are four adults My parents and my sister.  We all stream lots of video and cloud backup.  It would be nice to have the option of cutting the cord... at least not paying for both cable TV and internet. We also have a kinda smart ish home that we are adding gadgets to steadily.  

Why in the world? I have yet to see people will full racks in their house move over to full fiber. Why would you do it? it's just expensive without getting used. Go Cat6

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

1 minute ago, AbsoluteFool said:

Why in the world? I have yet to see people will full racks in their house move over to full fiber. Why would you do it? it's just expensive without getting used. Go Cat6

I have gone cat 6.  I am just thinking about what should come after cat 6. 

 

Your comment does speak to the point that... there is no one standard of fiber to go to.   Most devices consumer (and pro) don't natively support fiber.  So I would have to run fiber from the cable company's CPE to each room or wifi router then adapt it to ethernet.   At least in the near future. 

 

So I guess I'll just run with my Cat 6 until it breaks. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Just now, Uttamattamakin said:

I appreciate the very specific recommendations.   Imagine... once I run these cables in the walls that's it for like … 10...20... or 30 years.   So right now the Cat 6 I have will be fine. 

  

 What will consumers be doing in 10 to 15 years.  (My family or whoever we may sell to).  We can't even imagine it.  It could just be that having so many MANY connected and smart devices all on the net adds up to a high bandwidth need. 

  

It may be that we have streaming 16K VR Interactive entertainment.

That is the hardest thing about "future proofing" is that we don't yet have any idea of what the needs of the future might be. 

 

However, if you were willing to invest the up front cost and had the infrastructure in your house to use fiber throughout and still adapt your fiber network to ethernet connections for the some devices that would still require it, it is definitely possible. Wall plates for fiber cables are cheap. I would recommend buying pre-terminated fiber cables too because custom length cables require special tools are too much work to be worthwhile given the cost. 

 

OM4 fiber isn't technically the newest standard anymore but still supports 100G speeds over ~100m. If you go down this route you really need to do it properly and keep bend radius large and avoid tension in the cables in the walls because maintenance would be a huge pain. Cable raceway corners can be used to drape them nicely when there are many cables all going to one place. 

 

I don't think its the "best" idea simply because of the cost and lack of devices that can use it, but for a fun project, or for some devices that can use it, it definitely can be done. I suspect you already own/plan to take advantage of the fiber network if you were to build it. Would be a shame to wire a house complete with fiber and only see it used a decade in the future. I can point you in the direction of some good value fiber equipment and switches and cables if you are interested in going this route. Just consider all the other options before finally making the decision.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

2 minutes ago, Minbari said:

That is the hardest thing about "future proofing" is that we don't yet have any idea of what the needs of the future might be. 

 

However, if you were willing to invest the up front cost and had the infrastructure in your house to use fiber throughout and still adapt your fiber network to ethernet connections for the some devices that would still require it, it is definitely possible. Wall plates for fiber cables are cheap. I would recommend buying pre-terminated fiber cables too because custom length cables require special tools are too much work to be worthwhile given the cost. 

 

OM4 fiber isn't technically the newest standard anymore but still supports 100G speeds over ~100m. If you go down this route you really need to do it properly and keep bend radius large and avoid tension in the cables in the walls because maintenance would be a huge pain. Cable raceway corners can be used to drape them nicely when there are many cables all going to one place. 

 

I don't think its the "best" idea simply because of the cost and lack of devices that can use it, but for a fun project, or for some devices that can use it, it definitely can be done. I suspect you already own/plan to take advantage of the fiber network if you were to build it. Would be a shame to wire a house complete with fiber and only see it used a decade in the future. I can point you in the direction of some good value fiber equipment and switches and cables if you are interested in going this route. Just consider all the other options before finally making the decision.

I would be interested to hear and certainly would not be the only one that would benefit from such a posting. 

 

This would be a medium term project.  This house is kinda old and needs a repipe.  Since the walls will be open... might as well get it done now if it's going to get done ever. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

27 minutes ago, Uttamattamakin said:

I have been thinking about how to re-wire my family home for internet.  Right now we have wifi, and Cat 6 ethernet cable just sort of ran along the outside in a very ugly way.    If I redo it... I want it to be "future proof".  That means fiber optic.  The thing is, there does not seem to be a single standard way to do that.   There seem to be two options. 

 

  1. Plastic optical fiber.
    1. All the options seem proprietary
    2. Easy installation
  2. Glass optical fiber.
    1. Standardized though multiple standards exist
    2. difficult installation
  3. Go  completely wireless. 
    1. Advantage no wires ?
    2. Disadvantage no wires ?

Has anyone had experience with either of those technologies in the home network and if so would you recommend it.  

 

Since someone will ask.  We are four adults My parents and my sister.  We all stream lots of video and cloud backup.  It would be nice to have the option of cutting the cord... at least not paying for both cable TV and internet. We also have a kinda smart ish home that we are adding gadgets to steadily.  

There's no way to future proof networking. We've gone from 100m to 10g being the standard in less then 15 years. (ish)

If I were you, I'd just go with Cat6a or Cat7 copper. 

Fine you want the PSU tier list? Have the PSU tier list: https://linustechtips.com/main/topic/1116640-psu-tier-list-40-rev-103/

 

Stille (Desktop)

Ryzen 9 3900XT@4.5Ghz - Cryorig H7 Ultimate - 16GB Vengeance LPX 3000Mhz- MSI RTX 3080 Ti Ventus 3x OC - SanDisk Plus 480GB - Crucial MX500 500GB - Intel 660P 1TB SSD - (2x) WD Red 2TB - EVGA G3 650w - Corsair 760T

Evoo Gaming 15"
i7-9750H - 16GB DDR4 - GTX 1660Ti - 480GB SSD M.2 - 1TB 2.5" BX500 SSD 

VM + NAS Server (ProxMox 6.3)

1x Xeon E5-2690 v2  - 92GB ECC DDR3 - Quadro 4000 - Dell H310 HBA (Flashed with IT firmware) -500GB Crucial MX500 (Proxmox Host) Kingston 128GB SSD (FreeNAS dev/ID passthrough) - 8x4TB Toshiba N300 HDD

Toys: Ender 3 Pro, Oculus Rift CV1, Oculus Quest 2, about half a dozen raspberry Pis (2b to 4), Arduino Uno, Arduino Mega, Arduino nano (x3), Arduino nano pro, Atomic Pi. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

I got 6 full racks in my basement and a 400gig connection to my house from broadnet. There is abselutely nothing in my house that is wiered with fiber except the WAN side. Everything else is either cat5e or Cat6. Even to fully use a 10g connection you'll have to pump pretty darn hard.

And if i was to guess. in a few years i bet there will come even better cables for networks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Basically to have any hope of keeping connected in the present, anywhere you need a wired connection will likely need to have a traditional ethernet connection anyway.

 

If you are willing to use some used equipment, some device like a Cisco 3750G switch can use a simple 1G fiber connection as an uplink and will host 24-48 gigabit ethernet devices. If you wanted 10G speeds you would need a much newer switch (maybe a Ubiquiti es16XG?). 

 

Before you end up deciding what hardware and cabling to get, you should have some plan of the type/number of devices you might want to use. Because it might be easiest to run both fiber and ethernet in your walls to avoid the need for a fiber capable switch in every room of the house. It's just difficult to run fiber exclusively to almost any device because so little uses fiber today. If you ran both to most rooms you could use a single switch somewhere in the house to provide some connectivity between the two. The other option is just wiring it all and still use copper for everything and let the fiber just sit in the walls until you decide to use it at some point. 

 

My only concern is that all this time/money might be spent now but in (5-10-20?) years a new standard is rolled out that consumer devices use for high speed networking and all that fiber isn't useful for it. It's so hard to predict where the industry will go that it makes it hard to justify spending money making it happen today (if it isnt being used today). 

 

I wouldn't even start a fiber home networking project unless I was willing to spend a minimum of $2000 for cabling, proper mounting, and even basic fiber switches in the house. Definitely have a look at someplace like FS.com because they have very good pricing on a lot of fiber infrastructure so you can get a quick idea of the rough cost for whatever size house you have.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, AbsoluteFool said:

Why in the world? I have yet to see people will full racks in their house move over to full fiber. Why would you do it? it's just expensive without getting used. Go Cat6

Agreed. I have a rack in my basement, also worked with fiber for a few years and have access to all the tools to install and test. No way in hell would I deal with the hassle of running fiber in my house. Pry do it between servers in the rack someday, but through the walls isn't happening.

 

OP, just install Cat6a. Its good for 10gbps at 100m, and it will likely be good for 40gbps or 100gbps at 30m (like how Cat6 is good for 10gbps at 30m). 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

On 11/16/2018 at 9:25 PM, Scheer said:

Agreed. I have a rack in my basement, also worked with fiber for a few years and have access to all the tools to install and test. No way in hell would I deal with the hassle of running fiber in my house. Pry do it between servers in the rack someday, but through the walls isn't happening.

 

OP, just install Cat6a. Its good for 10gbps at 100m, and it will likely be good for 40gbps or 100gbps at 30m (like how Cat6 is good for 10gbps at 30m). 

Again ... I have installed cat 6.  Said so in the original post.  " Right now we have wifi, and Cat 6 ethernet cable just sort of ran along the outside in a very ugly way. "  ?

 

I am just thinking over the pros and cons of getting fiber in the walls when I have a chance to do it.  Like most people I don't go knocking holes in the walls on a regular basis.  The house likely needs re pipeing soon.  The wiring is to code and grandfathered .. but get this... most of the plugs here are not grounded.  So much of the electrical needs to be redone anyway.   

Let me re frame the question.

 

IF you have one chance in a 40 year period to rewire an old house for the future do you go with Cat6, Plastic Optical fiber, or glass optical fiber?

 

Remember. Once that choice is in the wall that's it for at least 40 years.   Which do you choose?  (assuming I'll have a professional do it so that talk of how hard it will be is ruled out)

 

You all do make a good point though.  10 gig copper ethernet does exist.  But.... are we really still giong to be using copper and baseT connectors in 2045?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...
On 11/19/2018 at 4:01 PM, Uttamattamakin said:

Again ... I have installed cat 6.  Said so in the original post.  " Right now we have wifi, and Cat 6 ethernet cable just sort of ran along the outside in a very ugly way. "  ?

 

I am just thinking over the pros and cons of getting fiber in the walls when I have a chance to do it.  Like most people I don't go knocking holes in the walls on a regular basis.  The house likely needs re pipeing soon.  The wiring is to code and grandfathered .. but get this... most of the plugs here are not grounded.  So much of the electrical needs to be redone anyway.   

Let me re frame the question.

 

IF you have one chance in a 40 year period to rewire an old house for the future do you go with Cat6, Plastic Optical fiber, or glass optical fiber?

 

Remember. Once that choice is in the wall that's it for at least 40 years.   Which do you choose?  (assuming I'll have a professional do it so that talk of how hard it will be is ruled out)

 

You all do make a good point though.  10 gig copper ethernet does exist.  But.... are we really still giong to be using copper and baseT connectors in 2045?

I understood the question the first time and the answer is the same, run Cat6a. At this point in time it is the most future proof wiring you can REASONABLY run. 

 

Its much more likely in 2045 we would be using copper rather than fiber, but the MOST likely is that everything will be wireless once the technology matures. The only reason to run fiber in your walls is if your bank account can't contain all of your money and you have tons of spare time and want a neat project.

 

 

The money you save now doing Cat6a rather than fiber will pay for someone to come in and install, lets say Cat9z, in 20 years. I did my entire house setup for 10gbe for a little under $1k in cable, keystones, and patch panels doing 40 ish runs. A proper fiber scope and tester is $5k... and is something IMO you must have when installing fiber. The tips of the fibers create something like 20k PSI to flatten the glass for light to pass, a tiny spec of dust on there can potentially shatter the glass and you have to run a new cable. If you plugged that into a $100 SFP you are buying another one... Some of it comes down to luck, I've seen beat to hell cables missing their caps that don't even need cleaned, and I've seen brand new in the bag cables that are so dirty you can't even see the glass when you scope it. I would never run something as potentially fragile as that in the walls, period. Everywhere we have ever installed it, it is either all open and easily replaceable, or installed in conduit with a pull string so you can quickly replace it (which we have had to use many times).

 

Another pretty major issue with fiber in the home is converting it back to Ethernet. You can either buy a cheap 8-16 port Ethernet switch for $50 and then pay $50-$250 per line on the switch side for a converter box, or you can pay $1k for an all SPF switch and $20 per line for SPFs to whatever fiber you run. Then on the computer side you can either spend $100 for a fiber NIC and SPF, or the $50-$250 for converter boxes. All in all, in a setup like my house where I'm maybe $3k for my entire network including switches and cable I'd be looking at $20k or so if I wanted that in fiber.

 

Now that I think of it, the one place I kind of wish I would have ran fiber is from my house to my detached shop... it makes some sense there. Its at least in conduit now, so down the road I may end up going to fiber if the need ever arises.

 

I don't mean to sound too rude, I just think its a really really bad idea to run fiber, and want to save you the hassle. The first few weeks I started working with fiber I was all excited to run it in my house as well, until I had spent more time with it and realized how much a pain it would be and started looking up the cost for everything.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in the same boat but want to run a couple strands of mmf from my 42u garage rack to our home office.  You could probably blend the two and just do a couple preterminated fiber runs for what you already need high bandwidth for, and copper the rest.  

 

Aside from my PC everything else in our house is wireless.  Copper comes in handy since you obviously can't poe over fiber.

PC : 3600 · Crosshair VI WiFi · 2x16GB RGB 3200 · 1080Ti SC2 · 1TB WD SN750 · EVGA 1600G2 · Define C 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×