OT: Smart Homes & Wired vs. Wireless



  • Looking for the general opinion of the forum…

    Wife and I just bought a 1790's home that will be restored over the next year. I have been of the mindset that wired > wireless however now that wireless has come a long way I'm wondering if it makes sense to wire every room of the house or if wireless would be enough.

    Also, is it going to be worth our time/money to build the house up as a smart home (wire in the switches, outlets, etc. all into the network) or will that be looked at as totally useless and wasted money in 10-15 years??

    What are people doing in general in terms of new homes being networked and connected?



  • I'm a big fan of wire, easy to pump lots of data and no interference issues. Wireless if fine for mobile stuff or in a pinch somewhere that would be hard to wire.

    The whole smart home thing needs to be based on "will you use it" if you won't get your money's worth out of it skip doing it. Hoping the next buyer will pay a bunch of money for outdated hardware isn't a sound plan.



  • If you are going to be opening up walls anyway, pull cat6 to any place you think you might need connectivity.  Even if you go wireless, you'll need to plug those access points in somewhere.


  • Netgate Administrator

    I am also a fan of wire. I always put in cable runs when ever I get the chance. Putting RJ45 outlets in the wall is not that expensive.
    Wireless is fine most of the time but when it stops being fine you're in trouble. I agree wifi is going to keep getting better, faster and with greater coverage. However as that happens and more and more people are using it and there is only limited spectrum.
    You don't want to find one day that one of your neighbours has has an old washing machine that reduces your wifi speed to 1Mb whenever they turn it on.  ;)

    I guess it depends on how many neighbours you have, close they are and what you want to transfer across it. Consider that 10 years from now you may want to be streaming 4K video to your TV from a media server and wifi may not cut it.

    Steve



  • @stephenw10:

    I am also a fan of wire. I always put in cable runs when ever I get the chance. Putting RJ45 outlets in the wall is not that expensive.
    Wireless is fine most of the time but when it stops being fine you're in trouble. I agree wifi is going to keep getting better, faster and with greater coverage. However as that happens and more and more people are using it and there is only limited spectrum.
    You don't want to find one day that one of your neighbours has has an old washing machine that reduces your wifi speed to 1Mb whenever they turn it on.  ;)

    I guess it depends on how many neighbours you have, close they are and what you want to transfer across it. Consider that 10 years from now you may want to be streaming 4K video to your TV from a media server and wifi may not cut it.

    Steve

    I ask because there will be a media server in the basement - we may not be streaming 4k today but eventually we will. If I run cable now it would be CAT6 and there would be at least one if not two RJ45 jacks in each room. Just wondering if it is really needed or if I should just stick to wifi in places like bedrooms and go wired in places like family rooms and office/study rooms. It is really easy to couple up an rj45 jack (or two) with a coax cable jack to have two plugs, two RJ45 jacks and a single COAX jack however is it all needed?

    Walls will be out in a few weeks so it's now or never.


  • Netgate Administrator

    If you will be having co-ax in every room and some distribution some where then just run cat6 with it. You don't even have to terminate it, just leave it coiled in the back boxes so you can access it if you need to later. As long as all the cat6 runs come out in one place you can always put in switches and jacks as required.

    Steve



  • I grabbed some modular jacks, plug in what you want modules you want, phone, coax Ethernet. I have dual, quad and hex wall-plates, I think they also make an eight hole unit.

    First google hit:  http://www.cableorganizer.com/wall-plates/faceplates.htm



  • always worth wiring. i did it years ago and am so glad i did. i use wireless in conjunction with wires but for reliability and speed, you can't beat wires….. it just works.



  • when in doubt, WIRE IT  :)

    seriously, go to monoprice.com and get the wire and keystone jacks/plates…



  • What about glass vs. copper? Thew way that this home is set up there are two barns. One "big barn" near the road where the grid power and ISP will connect to the property; and then the home and the "little barn" are very close together and about 1/4 mile away from the road and "big barn".

    They are suggesting running fiber between the barns and house through conduit. Will there be any reliability issues with that? The big barn and the home are too far apart to run cat5e but could probably get away with cat6… although that would be the main pipe to the outside world via one cat6 cable that's pushing the limits.

    All of this would be run underground in conduit that would be, at least for the foreseeable future, water and critter tight. Who knows what will happen in 10-50 years.

    I like the idea of running the cat6 and just leaving it not terminated in the walls. Thank you very much. We will do exactly that. Next would be the issue of the runs between the home and the two barns. I'm open to any and all thoughts/ideas. We would have two ISP's cable and satellite. Both would come into the big barn about 1/4 mile away from the house and then into a pfsense box. From there they need to be load balanced into one pipe and connect to the home and small barn via some type of copper or glass....

    Open to suggestions. Thanks!



  • Conduit sounds like a good idea, look at running any other data lines (phone, intercom, security) down it too. Most every conduit install ends up being too small, bumping up a couple sizes is a small incremental cost, running another conduit is expensive and hanging wire in the air because your conduit is full isn't something you want to do. Make sure they leave a pull loop in the conduit so you can easily add another run in the future.

    I'm not so sure about load balancing between satellite and cable services. The ping times are going to be very different so getting moved from the cable link to the satellite link will be painful for interactive stuff. I've had experience with VNC and VOIP over satellite and you do not want that to happen unless your cable is down. There are also issues with the HTTP proxy used by many satellite services that bundles HTTP traffic requests and responses. I'm not sure how that would work out on a split link.

    My experience wasn't with pfSense and was a few years back. I was using a Hughes 7000 series satellite modem as one link and a decent WiFi link to a slightly congested (multiple users) cable link. I ended up routing all the interactive connections over WiFi/cable and putting e-mail and FTP on the satellite, more to reduce my impact on other users of the WiFi system than any other reason.



  • Wireless is something you add in addition to your wired network, not in place of in my opinion. If you can I would put a four inch conduit from your attic to your basement so later on if you want to run additional wires you have it. This can be a fire hazard if left uncapped because a fire in the basement could be fed oxygen from the attic but, there is putty that you can buy to seal the pipe.



  • @pf2.0nyc:

    Both would come into the big barn about 1/4 mile away from the house and then into a pfsense box. From there they need to be load balanced into one pipe and connect to the home and small barn via some type of copper or glass….

    Open to suggestions. Thanks!

    1/4 mile is a bit of a stretch… you might have to go fiber..
    http://www.arcelect.com/Hardened_Temperature_DC-power_bridging_fiber_optic_converter.htm



  • I would highly recommend going with the fiber run.  I have done installs with even shorter runs using fiber.  I would agree with a larger pipe, that way if you need to pull additional fiber, you have the room to do that.  Make sure they put a pull string in that conduit.

    As far as the rooms go, I truly feel that wired is a better solution.  I have wireless in the house, which is great for some basic thing.  However, when you start streaming HD/Blue Ray movies across wireless, you will have buffering issues.  I've also tried the Ethernet over Power adapters, which work some, but again when you get to the HD videos you start to buffer.

    My wife and I are planning on building a house in the next couple of years.  I'm planning on running a minimum of two runs to each room, some with 4-6 runs.  I won't be running any coax in the house.  You may be asking why so many runs.  My family has no traditional TV in our house, which means we stream everything.  Then I also run a VOIP systems.  The next house will be automated along with Video Cameras for the security system.  Don't get me wrong, I am not your average computer person in the home.


Log in to reply