1. 30
  1. 7

    Can someone please explain the pros and cons of wiring your home with fiber? This article seems to skip explaining why they are going to the trouble of doing this.

    1. 13


      • Fast. You can lay fibre today that has longer reach at the same speed or higher speed at the same reach than copper.
      • Headroom. If you lay multi-mode fibre then you can almost certainly replace the physical interfaces at the ends without replacing the fibre. In contrast, if you lay Cat-6 today, GigE is your limit, if you lay Cat-7, the same is true for 10 GigE. The bottleneck for modern fibre is the transceivers at the end, not the cable.
      • Cost. Fibre is a lot cheaper than the Ethernet cabling that will handle high speeds.


      • Cost. You need optical transcievers at the endpoints. These are more expensive than electrical ones, at least at the lower speeds.
      • Compatibility. Server NICs all support pluggable transceivers for optical connections but most laptop / consumer-electronics don’t. This means that you’ll probably want a switch with an optical upstream and an electrical downstream (or, ideally, a mix of optical and electrical) for rooms where you want the speed.
      • Diminishing returns. The jump from 10 Mb/s coax (shared bus) to a 100 Mb/s, full dupliex, switched network was huge. This is fast enough for multiple HD streams. The jump from 100 Mb/s to 1 Gb/s is smaller and you basically notice it only for large uploads or downloads (e.g. installing a game or backing up a disk). The jump to anything bigger needs workloads that I don’t have yet to matter. Possibly some immersive VR / AR thing will need that much, but for video the compression has improved quality a lot more than bandwidth increases in the last couple of decades. An H.264 720p stream now needs less than an artefact-ridden MPEG-1 320x240 stream used to.

      If I were doing a new build, I’d be very tempted to lay fibre and cat6, so that I never have to think about it ever again.

      1. 11

        you also can’t do PoE for things like cameras or access points.

        1. 6

          In contrast, if you lay Cat-6 today, GigE is your limit, if you lay Cat-7, the same is true for 10 GigE.

          Very minor nitpick – I believe 2.5GbE and 5GbE were designed to run on Cat-5e and Cat-6 respectively.
          ref: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2.5GBASE-T_and_5GBASE-T#Technology

          1. 2

            You can actually even do 10GbE over Cat-5e if the run is short enough.

          2. 3
            • Cost. You need optical transcievers at the endpoints. These are more expensive than electrical ones, at least at the lower speeds.

            From what I can tell, if you already have SFP slots, optical transcievers are cheaper. For example

            IMO the biggest downside is that fiber is more of a pain to work with. You can unplug/replug your copper cables as much as you want, but you have to be careful not to scratch your fiber connectors or bend the cable (yes, I know you can also kink a copper cable).

            1. 1

              Thanks. It’s been a little while since I looked and the price for the optical transceivers has come down by over an order of magnitude since then.

            2. 2

              If you’re concerned about EMI (i.e. TEMPEST), then fibre also doesn’t have those emissions. The US federal government deploys a lot of fibre for that reason.

            3. 5

              In case you happen to be a ham — fiber is RFI-immune. Longer copper ethernet runs can be prone to radiating wideband noise, as well as receiving RFI from nearby transmitters (which then degrades the network connection). Using shielded twisted pair is an option, but it’s nearly as expensive as fiber, and nearly as annoying to terminate as fiber. And, existing OM4 or OM5 fiber looks like it will manage 100Gbit links over in-house distances, which makes it more future-proof than Cat6A or even Cat8.

              1. 3

                Apparently they have a 25gbit connection so I guess you need this to even begin to take advantage of it.

                Seems like a crazy amount of bandwidth though - 25gbit, 10gbit AND a 5G backup.

                1. 2

                  isn’t this too fast to write on a regular SSD? if we take the 550MB/s write speed, how would you benefit from a 25gbit connection?

                  1. 3

                    Use the memory. And Init7 charges the same amount for 1G, 10G and 25G

                    1. 1

                      There’s plenty of usages I can think of that wouldn’t involve writing that to disk. Mostly to do with raw video transmission. Security systems, playing video games in a central beefy computer from a portable peripheral (Steam and Playstation support this), keeping video in a NAS and editing from around the house…

                      But yeah, that’s a ton of bandwidth.

                    2. 1

                      Here i am with my only option being a cable connection. I don’t use the fastest at 400/40mbit, but higher speed plans only give me more download.

                      1. 3

                        I use a 4G sim card here because the ADSL is so slow!

                        1. 1

                          I have friends in more rural areas where 4G is better than anything wired they can get. i understand your pain.

                  2. 4

                    I’m just astounded fusion splicers have gotten this cheap

                    1. 2

                      Good ole supply and demand comes through again.

                    2. 1

                      AMD Ryzen 7 5800X (AM4, 3.80 GHz, 8 -Core)

                      Welp, that router should hopefully be able to handle 25+ gbps… I wonder what the minimum useful specs would be, for some basic routing+firewall only? I got gigabit a few years ago and had to buy a beefier router to make it work, I was very confused for a while.

                      1. 2

                        Here are some details about a 25+ gbps router setup My upgrade to 25 Gbit/s Fiber To The Home.

                        1. 1

                          Cool, thanks a lot!