Fibre Optic LAN

Hi guys, this is my first post on Tom's Hardware so be kind! :)

I've just been wondering why we aren't using fibre optic cable around the house?
I find it bizzare that we have fibre optic ISPs now and yet we're using either Wireless technology or Ethernet between our modems and our devices.
There may be a specific reason for this or something I've overlooked but I've searched over the net to find pretty much no advance in the technology..
Is there any reason why we aren't seeing this? I've had some ideas on how it would be possible, for example ethernet out of router into a converter which converts the ethernet signal to a fibre optic signal across the cable to another converter then ethernet in. Would this actually benefit speeds or am I just being retarded?

Any ideas or information would be great as I'm thinking that this could be something we should be looking at in terms of home networking.

Cheers guys
Chris
23 answers Last reply
More about fibre optic
  1. There aren't any speed benefits to using fiber optics over twisted pair, and the glass strands are far more fragile. Fiber does have scaling capabilities, but the cost is too high.
  2. The only reason why it isint more prevailent is cost. Fiber itself is infinite, but the technology used to transmit and receive the signal is it's only bottleneck-

    Fiber can be 10, 100, 1000, 10000, 20000 etc...

    Fiber cards in your computer would cost you about 200-300 per card, and the fiber cables themselves as Sk1939 stated are very fragile, so the same twists and yanks you could do on one you can't on the other.

    Furthermore, several other factors apply like : Commonality- techs already have a hard enough time explaiing what an ethernet jack looks like, imagine what them explalining what a Fx-1000 connector etc... looks like

    Additionally cost is a big factor, routers with fiber connections on them as a home based solution would stray into the business class of things, and that's going to run you a pretty penny. ISP's that would adopt the tech and make it standardized would have only a neiche market for those of us who understood how much better internal and external bandwidth/ performance could, be but lose a lot of customers due to the alien nature of it.

    One day it will be standard or they'll make a built in kit or sub set that's more soho friendly.
  3. saganic said:
    Hi guys, this is my first post on Tom's Hardware so be kind! :)

    I've just been wondering why we aren't using fibre optic cable around the house?
    I find it bizzare that we have fibre optic ISPs now and yet we're using either Wireless technology or Ethernet between our modems and our devices.
    There may be a specific reason for this or something I've overlooked but I've searched over the net to find pretty much no advance in the technology..
    Is there any reason why we aren't seeing this? I've had some ideas on how it would be possible, for example ethernet out of router into a converter which converts the ethernet signal to a fibre optic signal across the cable to another converter then ethernet in. Would this actually benefit speeds or am I just being retarded?

    Any ideas or information would be great as I'm thinking that this could be something we should be looking at in terms of home networking.

    Cheers guys
    Chris


    Fiber provides extremely reliable data transmission. It’s completely immune to many environmental factors that affect copper cable. The core is made of glass, which is an insulator, so no electric current can flow through. It’s immune to electrometric interference and radio-frequency interference (EMI/RFI), crosstalk, impedance problems, and more. You can run fiber cable next to industrial equipment without worry.
  4. The only reason I see to using fiber over copper is for distance related issues. And within a home, you're not typically running a cable over 100M, so there isn't a need to spend the extra money on fiber.
  5. Cost and difficulty of installation are the primary factors which prohibit fiber. Specialized tools and test equipment are required for fiber installation.
  6. In the 90's I remember "Future of LAN is fiber on your desktop, ATM! (remember that technology?)" Then annoying engineers keep pushing the capability of copper. Oh why oh why, must drive the proponents of shinny glass crazy. ^)

    In the audio arena, Toslink is disapearing in favor of HDMI. Every manual tells you, if you have HDMI, that provides you the highest quality, then if you don't have it, Toslink is your next choice! Not looking good for glass lovers in the real world.
  7. The main benefit to fiber in the home is surge isolation or 10Gb if you got the money.
  8. jfreggie2 said:
    The only reason I see to using fiber over copper is for distance related issues. And within a home, you're not typically running a cable over 100M, so there isn't a need to spend the extra money on fiber.


    Hi jfreggie2
    The main benefit of the fibre in home is for the broadband connection.

    Fiber has a virtually unlimited bandwidth coupled with a long reach, making it future safe, or a standard medium that will be in place for a long time to come.
  9. terrenceelew said:
    jfreggie2 said:
    The only reason I see to using fiber over copper is for distance related issues. And within a home, you're not typically running a cable over 100M, so there isn't a need to spend the extra money on fiber.


    Hi jfreggie2
    The main benefit of the fibre in home is for the broadband connection.

    Fiber has a virtually unlimited bandwidth coupled with a long reach, making it future safe, or a standard medium that will be in place for a long time to come.





    I think what you're referring to is fiber 'TO' the home... not 'IN'. Sure, fiber runs as trunks throughout a city and from ISP to home is necessary for bandwidth, but fiber IN the home is not a standard.
  10. jfreggie2 said:
    terrenceelew said:
    jfreggie2 said:
    The only reason I see to using fiber over copper is for distance related issues. And within a home, you're not typically running a cable over 100M, so there isn't a need to spend the extra money on fiber.


    Hi jfreggie2
    The main benefit of the fibre in home is for the broadband connection.

    Fiber has a virtually unlimited bandwidth coupled with a long reach, making it future safe, or a standard medium that will be in place for a long time to come.





    I think what you're referring to is fiber 'TO' the home... not 'IN'. Sure, fiber runs as trunks throughout a city and from ISP to home is necessary for bandwidth, but fiber IN the home is not a standard.


    Hi jfreggie2

    Thanks for the information. With the technology of LAN and fiber optic applications, college students and professors can do their research from their rooms and offices without having to go to the library.

    It also enables students to take special courses from instructors at other colleges. It also offer high speed which is very beneficial for the students.

    Correct me if I am wrong.


  11. Hi jfreggie2

    Thanks for the information. With the technology of LAN and fiber optic applications, college students and professors can do their research from their rooms and offices without having to go to the library.

    It also enables students to take special courses from instructors at other colleges. It also offer high speed which is very beneficial for the students.

    Correct me if I am wrong.




    Professors and students can do research from their room without a direct fiber connection as well. Fiber isn't required for a professor or student to get high speed traffic. If you were at a University, in your dorm room, would you plug your laptop directly into a fiber port? No. It's all plugged into a copper RJ-45 port - because they are cheaper and for the most part, just as effective. Interconnects between access layer, distribution layer and Core layers will likely all be fiber, but not to the end device. I manage about 500 switches/routers/firewalls. Connections to end devices are all copper. Connections between access and distribution switches is all copper. Distribution to Core is all fiber. A long time ago, my company thought it would be a good idea to run fiber to each desktop. They were so gung ho about it, they ran about 200 lines of fiber to each desk BEFORE they brought it up with the network team - then they found out the cost of NICs. Needless to say all that fiber got cut and never used. CAT6 cabling was much more cost effective and easier to install than the fiber.

    Some people bring up speed as a factor, but CAT6A and CAT7 can both carry 10Gb up to 100 meters and although the cost for cable itself is about the same, it is overall more expensive to set up fiber as the hardware to splice it or put caps on it is more expensive. Plus the cost of Fiber NICs is astronomical compared to that of copper. I've run my entire house with CAT6A. And, at this point, don't see that within my lifetime that I'll ever need to have equipment that can handle anything over the 10Gb that my cables can currently handle.
  12. Fiber 10Gb NICs are cheaper than copper NICs.
  13. Kewlx25 said:
    Fiber 10Gb NICs are cheaper than copper NICs.


    Including the cost of the SFP+ that has not been my experience.


  14. Hi jfreggie2

    Thanks for the information. With the technology of LAN and fiber optic applications, college students and professors can do their research from their rooms and offices without having to go to the library.

    It also enables students to take special courses from instructors at other colleges. It also offer high speed which is very beneficial for the students.

    Correct me if I am wrong.




    Professors and students can do research from their room without a direct fiber connection as well. Fiber isn't required for a professor or student to get high speed traffic. If you were at a University, in your dorm room, would you plug your laptop directly into a fiber port? No. It's all plugged into a copper RJ-45 port - because they are cheaper and for the most part, just as effective. Interconnects between access layer, distribution layer and Core layers will likely all be fiber, but not to the end device. I manage about 500 switches/routers/firewalls. Connections to end devices are all copper. Connections between access and distribution switches is all copper. Distribution to Core is all fiber. A long time ago, my company thought it would be a good idea to run fiber to each desktop. They were so gung ho about it, they ran about 200 lines of fiber to each desk BEFORE they brought it up with the network team - then they found out the cost of NICs. Needless to say all that fiber got cut and never used. CAT6 cabling was much more cost effective and easier to install than the fiber.

    Some people bring up speed as a factor, but CAT6A and CAT7 can both carry 10Gb up to 100 meters and although the cost for cable itself is about the same, it is overall more expensive to set up fiber as the hardware to splice it or put caps on it is more expensive. Plus the cost of Fiber NICs is astronomical compared to that of copper. I've run my entire house with CAT6A. And, at this point, don't see that within my lifetime that I'll ever need to have equipment that can handle anything over the 10Gb that my cables can currently handle.




    Hi

    Thanks for providing such useful information. But in my opinion using many of the recent generations of fiber optic cabling, new equipment can be added to the inert fiber cable that can provide vastly expanded capacity over the originally laid fiber.

    DWDM, or Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing, lends fiber optic cabling the ability to turn various wavelengths of light traveling down the fiber on and off at will.

    These two characteristics of fiber cable enable dynamic network bandwidth provisioning to provide for data traffic spikes and lulls.
  15. kanewolf said:
    Kewlx25 said:
    Fiber 10Gb NICs are cheaper than copper NICs.


    Including the cost of the SFP+ that has not been my experience.


    Well, the NIC is cheaper, but I guess I never thought about the switch port. If you're connecting two computers directly together, fiber is cheaper.. heh.
  16. Kewlx25 said:
    kanewolf said:
    Kewlx25 said:
    Fiber 10Gb NICs are cheaper than copper NICs.


    Including the cost of the SFP+ that has not been my experience.


    Well, the NIC is cheaper, but I guess I never thought about the switch port. If you're connecting two computers directly together, fiber is cheaper.. heh.


    Many 10GE NICs are sold without optics because they can use 10GE Twinax copper SFP+. If you purchase optical SFP+ plus the card, it is more expensive than cards with RJ45 connectors. That is independent of switch port optics.
  17. Hi

    Fiber optic cables are used in a variety of ways, from delivering television signals to homes to transferring data between computers that are thousands of miles apart. They are a better alternative to copper wires when it comes to computer networks. To know more about the Fibre Optic LAN, you can visit http://www.andcorp.com.au/
  18. terrenceelew said:
    Hi
    Fiber optic cables are used in a variety of ways, from delivering television signals to homes to transferring data between computers that are thousands of miles apart. They are a better alternative to copper wires when it comes to computer networks. To know more about the Fibre Optic LAN, you can visit http://www.apollotech.com.au/


    Fiber optic cables are used in a variety of ways, from delivering television signals to homes to transferring data between computers that are thousands of miles apart. They are a better alternative to copper wires when it comes to computer networks. To know more about the Fibre Optic LAN, you can visit http://www.apollotech.com.au/
  19. I have SFP+ fiber and switches throughout my house. I have a mix of 10GB copper and fiber. Fiber is far far cheaper. However, most of the companies selling 10GB solutions are price gouging incredibly.

    You can buy the 10GB fiber transceivers for $25/each. The cables are about $25-$35 no matter what reasonable length you want up to 300 meters. You can buy D-Link switches for between $350 and $1400 (just replace their super-noisy fans with hydronic fans at 14db for about $12/ea).

    You can buy the DELL versions of the Intel X520-DA2 dual SFP+ PCIE boards for about $92 each. Using those dual port boards you can avoid the need for switches. Thus 10GB fiber networking becomes about $150+ per machine. If you're at all serious about running NAS drives and achieving reasonable speeds of 700+GB/s you need 10GB networking.

    If you're using USB-C Thunderbolt-3, then you want to buy the $300 AKiTiO Thunder3 PCIe Box to put the Intel X520-DA2 dual SFP+ PCIE boards into. With that you can add 10GB fiber to your USB-C/Thunderbolt-3 laptops for about $450, which is a great complement to putting the 3.5GB/s 1TB PCIEx4 NVME SSD's.

    I have done all the above in my LAN cloud. In every comparison copper is much more money, and fiber is both more reliable and more performant relative to any other solution is phenomenal with servers/nas/video streaming etc.
  20. jfreggie2 said:
    terrenceelew said:
    jfreggie2 said:
    The only reason I see to using fiber over copper is for distance related issues. And within a home, you're not typically running a cable over 100M, so there isn't a need to spend the extra money on fiber.


    Hi jfreggie2
    The main benefit of the fibre in home is for the broadband connection.

    Fiber has a virtually unlimited bandwidth coupled with a long reach, making it future safe, or a standard medium that will be in place for a long time to come.





    I think what you're referring to is fiber 'TO' the home... not 'IN'. Sure, fiber runs as trunks throughout a city and from ISP to home is necessary for bandwidth, but fiber IN the home is not a standard.
  21. Hello Guys, I am highly considering fiber in the home and office to replace the conventional copper cables. My main reason being to avoid the issues with streaming large files over copper cables at home and performing over the network data backup in the office. It is a great potential having access to network devices with unlimited bandwidth, I think.
  22. Interesting comments here. I'm sure fibre will be the future of home/smb lan solutions. :)
  23. Cyba_IT said:
    Interesting comments here. I'm sure fibre will be the future of home/smb lan solutions. :)


    Not until it is simpler to terminate. As long as specialized equipment is required to terminate fiber and you have to purchase pre-made fiber patches, fiber will never have a big penetration in the home/home-office.
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