[SOLVED] (UK) New Telecomms / Network idea - suggestions very welcome

Hi All,

So I’m getting closer to building the new office, though the weather isn’t exactly on my side now.

Just wondered what you all thought of this, this is what I’d like to do - any comments welcome:

After 6-9 months using SIP/VOIP for phone calls, I don’t think I like it, plus it costs £40 / $50 a month. So I’d like to go back to an ‘old fashioned’ phone line! I only need it in the office though (not built yet), so I’ve asked the telecomms people if they’re happy to install a new phone line directly into the new office/outbuilding, and they have no problem at all :slight_smile:

That led me to think, I was going to bury cat cable any way, so why not give the house an internet connection via the new office?

The house doesn’t need a phone line, only an internet connection.

I thought I would have room for a server in the office, but space is at a premium now :frowning: So I figure there’s no harm putting it in the attic. I will have to do something about temperature control in there, but I can sort that out so it’s never stupidly cold or hot up.

As i said, any comment would be welcome in case this is a silly idea.


One thing maybe to confirm is if they are putting a new line with new master socket into your office directly or if they are putting a new line to the existing master socket and putting that line through to your office.

The latter means your master socket won’t move (presumably from your house)

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Very good point, I’m going to pay (£60) for an engineer to make a pre-inspection soon ish, from conversations on the phone it seems they will be putting a master socket in the office.

What I am doing however, is retaining the current master socket and associated phone line from within the house. So in theory if we moved and the new owner didn’t want this arrangement, they could just re-instate the house line.

That makes sense in my head, but do let me know what you think? :+1:

Depending on cost, you might consider one of the Ubiquiti point-to-point wireless options instead of burying cable. AFAIK the speeds and latency are not bad and they are relatively inexpensive.

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Very good point, I’m digging a trench for electric anyway, so thought I might as well put network in there while I’m at it. Cost permitting thought about putting a few cat cables in there, in case one dies for some reason. Thanks though, I’m definitely interested in Ubiquiti or similar for home wifi, it would be to have consistent wifi from office to house.

I’d run fiber if you go to the trouble.

I did wonder that, so perhaps fibre and CAT? I’ve not worked with fibre before, can a normal person with tools put connectors on the end, or would I buy the cable with the ends ready made for the specific length?

It’s my intention to put strings in multiple conduits so I can always pull through a line to determine length.

Thank you for taking the time by the way :+1:

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With wireless you can get 60GHz mikrotik gear that’ll do a gigabit if you have line of sight between two windows, it’s around $200.

Gear for doing your own fiber costs at least a few hundred and won’t be as good. You’ll want to order cables pre terminated to some length, usually a bit longer so you can move things around on either side.

Things generally start at 1gbps and for cheap home use end at 40gbps. Faster is possible but not worth it for home. It’s mostly just plug and play.

For fiber, you’ll need:

1a) a switch with sfp(for 1gbps) or sfp+(for 10gbps) port/ports into which you can plug in a led/laser lc/upc transceiver


1b) a media converter (copper ethernet to sfp or copper ethernet to lc)

… and you’ll need an lc upc duplex (2 cores for each direction) cable that is either

2a) os2 (aka singlemode)
2b) om4 (aka multimode)

In general, multimode fiber is more expensive, and lower range, (a few hundred meters) but high speed (e.g. 40gbps) transceivers are cheaper. Single mode fiber is cheaper and allows for higher range, but high speed transceivers are more expensive.

I got my fiber stuff on fs.com and a few people I know IRL did so too and it worked out fine. 100m armored single mode (pull through a conduit, or bury directly even though it’s not made for that) is about $90, 1gbps transceivers are <$10, pair of 1gbps media converters is $30 . 10gbps transceivers are not much more expensive. 1 or 10 gbps are roughly same price between single/multi mode supporting models.

40Gbps qsfp+ transceivers if you need them are much cheaper for multimode.

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Firstly I thin it would be question of what is your budget and your speed requirements? With knowing them we could help bit more.

Wow, risk, thank you so much for taking the time to write a very detailed idea, very very much appreciated.

I’m digging a trench for electric (and may be plumbing) anyway, so I thought that network cable can go in there as well. Thanks for saying how much gear to do my own terminations, I think a few hundred is probably not worth justifying for a one off use, so if I wanted to easily custom size it, I’d use cat.

It’s a really tricky one I suppose, at the moment I can’t see a need for any more than a 1 gig speed. But at the back of my mind the server is intended for:

backup of attached machines (3 laptops, 2-3 PCs, ideally cable connected)
possible media server

So perhaps in that situation at least 10 gig would be better?

I’m not too bothered about wifi speeds, as that will only be used for media and in my mind, secondary priority. I’ve got a Draytek router at my current office which is going to come with me, so that should hopefully have some traffic management stuff.

I’m definitely going to look into SFP+, thank you for that.

Do you think the attached is feasible? Is there any way of reducing the number of switches?

Thank you for this!

Thanks Juxas, do have a look at the response I gave Risk. I’m not a money bags but at the same time (like millions of others) I don’t want to set it up and then find it’s too slow or unreliable.

If you don’t get multi mode fiber, get cat6a cable to keep your options open. The distance is not a concern for either.

An additional benefit of fiber is that it isolates surges.

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I was going to say this, if fibre of far more expensive than copper just use cat6/a for 10gbit

You can get some reasonably priced fibre these days though.

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You can get fire off ebay quite cheap nowdays.

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You’ll need at least 2 switches, ideally L2 managed so you can stuff things into vlans and carry multiple Ethernet subnets/segments over that backhaul link.

There’s switches like mikrotik CSS326, or hp 1420 (beware, unmanaged) that cost <150 and are basically gigabit switches with a pair of uplink 10gbps sfp+ ports. You would use one port for the backhaul between buildings, and the other port could go into a nas, or into a workstation.

For really short 10G runs, between sfp+ switches or between an sfp+ switch and a workstation, you wouldn’t use optics, you’d use a DAC cable.

There’s a CRS305 switch, which is a 4 SFP+ and 1gbps copper tiny switch for <150. Which sounds like something you could use between workstations in office and a backhaul.

The CRS305 is also a weak router/firewall if you only care for 50Mbps it’ll do your shaping so you don’t suffer high latencies when your workstations decide to start downloading updates. It has most of the router features you need, but it’s slow.

There’s also this monster crs328 that has 4xSFP+ and 24copper gigabit with poe built-in. On paper it’s great if you want to power wifi poe access points, but it’s poe mode b only for some reason. And it costs 350 … so… meh.

In UK, look into 4gon , senetic, eurodk for your swiches and routers

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Thank you for expanding again Risk, really appreciated it :+1: So you’re talking about the stuff that’s also shown in this video?:

Craft Computing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDiiHN0MPdA

I really like that it doesn’t have fans, as it’ll likely be in the same room as me!

This all sounds great though, I do wonder if something like this is possible, just saves money here and there. I’d only want 10G to my office workstations from the server, so although this is more cable, may be it’s a cheaper/better solution? I haven’t researched any more than rough prices, but I guess the cat 6a cable might be half the price of the 10G switch?

Thanks again for your help, really kind. :+1:

I wanted to post exactly same link for you! :sweat_smile: You would need 2x of them between NAS (file server) (to distribute at hoem and your outside office to distribute the network int he office. Also, as you are planning to lay calbes underground… my advice, put one more shielded Cat6 as aredundant cable it does not add taht mutch cost and in case something woudl happen to main one you would not need to re-dig the path for it. also, it is quite helpful if you would lay cables in additional PVC under ground tube to protect against everything. It is optional as if you are going to use shielded cable but that is what I would do in case I would decide to install some additional cables in future.
If you want fibre, we can have a look into it too but at this point it is not necesarry and to a rough guessing it would turn out cheaper unless you would be looking to buy used equipment.
If you would pull 2x of CAT6e and pair them (what would be COMPLETE overkill at the moment).

EDIT: On same switch you can use fibre SFPs too. Also, using that switch you cannot pair the connections as it is unmanaged.

In fact I take my words back: If chosen to be fibre it would be about same price. If not cheaper :slight_smile:

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Ha, how funny - great minds and all that! :laughing:

So just to confirm, I can’t just have one 10G switch in the office and then run:

1 cable to workstation in the office
1 cable to the server in the house

I’m sure it’s stupid question, sorry about that!

I’m definitely putting in several Cat’s below ground for redundancy, but also was going to put them in conduit so even if I have to replace them, I could pull a new one through the entire length if needed!

I might do a calc to see what costs I’m looking at, I’ve got accurate floor and garden plans which will come in handy. So far I’ve got these:

100 metres of Armoured/External Cat 6A for £176.
45m of Armoured and booted Fibre for £265.

Something I wonder about, and this is probably a dumb question, but if Cat 6A can do 10G speeds, how come that seems less popular than fibre? Like I said, no doubt a silly question! I’ve done plenty of RJ45 connectors on Cat cable, it’s pretty easy and for that reason appeals to me a little more than fibre. I do like the surge protection that @oO.o mentioned.

Whichever way I go though, I’d be buying new stuff - partly because you can’t always trust used, but also because it would be a biz expense so it would be tax deductible :wink:

Thanks! :+1:

EDIT: ahhh, I think fibre is cheaper…as ummm, a few people might have said already :zipper_mouth_face:

@oO.o @Eden @JuXas @risk

Hi all, just a side update, I’ve been looking into SFP+ cards and they have become really expensive, well in excess of a Cat equivalent :frowning: So far I have found things like this, though disturbingly there are no reviews - this is from a trusted outlet that I use quite often (UK based):

Buffalo LGY-PCIE-MG-WR Multi 10GbE PCI Express Network Card £81
From: www.ebuyer.com, QuickFind: 856703

The SFP+ cards I’ve seen are only available in America it seems, or are sketchy ‘refurbished’ ebay listings.

Any comments welcome, but I reckon that Craft Computing video pumped up the prices quite a bit! :frowning:

  • Used SFP+ cards can be very cheap (<$20 USD)
  • SFP+ uses less electricity that 10GBase-T
  • Multimode fiber creates opportunity for 40Gb in the future
  • Fiber isolates power surges
  • Cat6A can be thick and unweildy

We’re assuming you’ll want to plug in more than one device in your office. If that’s not the case, then you don’t need a switch there.

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