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POF or Glass fiber for my home?

TriLife

Active Member
Hello from Colombia;
 
We're entering the wiring phase of our home here and I want to make sure I'm future proof. The house is large enough to require several local switches, which should be connected by a solid backbone.
 
I now have three choices:
 
1- Cat 6A
2- POF
3- Glass fiber optic
 
Due to other low speed stuff like sensors, etc, I'm stuck with running two separate cable trays (power - data) anyway, so EMI insensitivity doesn't really matter and distances are within 50m (150ft).
 
Questions:
 
Are the fiber switches I see, with have a fiber backbone connection and 1Gbps ethernet capable of using either fibre, or are they glass/plastic specific?
 
Most articles related to POF seem to be a couple of years old. Does this mean that this is already old news and technology has moved on?
 
in case of glass, single mode or multi-mode?
 
It seems cat6A and POF are both 10G capable at my distances... Which should I choose? why?
 
What should I connect with 10G? I have security cameras, NAS, workstations, A/V, servers.
 
Should I be looking for peer-to-peer in those connections  as well?
 
Can you point me to a supplier of POF or fibre?
 
Cost POF vs glass vs Cat6A? Including installation tools! 
 
Ease of installation of the three, by a non-professional?
 
Does it sound like I'm confused? YES!
 
 
Thanks for your help...
 

kurtmccaslin

Active Member
I installed cat 6 for my network.   It is relatively inexpensive and is fairly easy to install.  Terminating the wires takes some practice.   It was pretty frustrating until I got the hang of it.   I would recommend an inexpensive tester to make sure that you did not get your wires crossed.
 
I installed multimode glass fiber between buildings.   This was primarily for lightning protection.   I originally used cat 6, and then switched to fiber when lightning took out a bunch of my equipment.   I used pre-terminated fiber assemblies with LC connectors on both ends.   It was super easy to install.   Just plug in both ends and turn the equipment on.
 
I used a fiber switch and fiber media converters.   Both used SFP modules to accept the LC multimode connectors.   Very easy to hook up and install.   
 
I was where you are a couple of years ago.   I spent tens of hours researching fiber installations.   There are too many options out there.   However, I found that if you buy equipment that is all of the same type (in my case, multimode with LC connectors) everything just works.
 

jeditekunum

Active Member
Learn something new every day. 35+ years software/computer engineer. Literally never heard of POF until your post. Spent only a few seconds to search for what it was. So that tells you something about the technology at least in the USA.
 
I just installed Cat6A for data in my new home under construction. I wouldn't bother with fiber within a single building at typical distances. I would note however that I also installed conduit to my wall boxes so I will be able to upgrade in the future if needed.
 
Single-mode is for very long distances. I've got about 500' from my house to the road so I'm probably going to install multi-mode for that and only that. As @rockinarmadillo says, its a good idea for connecting buildings. Not only for lightning. It also removes any potential "ground" conflicts.
 
As for what benefits from 10G... The first question is whether the equipment is actually capable of utilizing it. That trims your list down to maybe server and workstation and maybe NAS. Spinning rust isn't going to get past 1G unless you are using RAID. SSD can provide a fraction of 10G (maybe 1/3) and, with RAID, can get closer. In my case I wouldn't setup 10G for anything other than my workstation <-> server.
 
As I'm a Apple household (except for the server which is Solaris) I'd have to buy a 10GbaseT card for my MacPro (2012). And another for my server (Dell 710II). Another option between 1G and 10G is to trunk multiple 1G together.
 
What I've found is that using NAS with Apple isn't a good mix. They may support NFS and SMB but it doesn't play well when putting home directories remotely. It will work, just not as reliably. I gave up on that a couple of years ago. I've grown so tired of messing with it that I don't even bother with media on the server; just use server as backup storage. I don't use Windows much anymore but I doubt it is better.
 
 

TriLife

Active Member
Thanks!

After my post, I did some more research. Seems Multimode OM3 fiber is the way to go. $11/50m gets me halfway across the house. Will install 6A for the cameras and branches. I'll also run fiber to the AV areas to future proof.

POF seems more like a gadget and is more expensive...
 

jeditekunum

Active Member
Just keep in mind that putting fiber in for future use is not without risks. What connector will it be terminated with? And what will that connector interface with - in the future?
 
You're not going to want to terminate fiber yourself unless you do that for a living. Its touchy business and requires the right equipment/tools/skills. So bare unterminated fiber is probably nearly worthless.
 
LC is the right solution today for data. Is it going to be the right solution for some as yet undeveloped AV technology 10 years from now? Very unlikely. The only fiber stuff I've seen in AV is TOSLINK and it certainly isn't a LC connector. So if you go pre-terminated LC you would very likely have to use some kind of adapter down the road - if it was even possible. And by adapter I don't mean an entirely optical conversion; I mean optical to electrical and back to a different optical.
 
Fiber is a wonderful thing but because it really doesn't apply to anything in a home there just isn't an ecosystem converged on standards for it. BTW, are you aware there are different kinds of multimode too?  :) Are you bringing the fiber out of the wall to a LC connector wall plate? And then a short LC jumper to your equipment? Or are you coming out of the wall with fiber?
 
Lots of things to consider and none of it straightforward.
 
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