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[Discuss] Future-proofing a house for networking -- what to run?

When I used to live in Boston, I ran cat-5e to each room of, oh, 15 different
Cambridge/Somerville apartments that I owned at one point or another. (My
standard has been two 4-pair wires to each jack plus one RG-6.) Then when I
moved to SF, I did the same thing in the house built in 1907 at the edge of
the famous fire that destroyed the city a hundred years earlier.  In 2014, I
moved into a vintage-2011 condo that has only one cat-5e to each jack (each
bedroom has two jacks but other rooms only have one jack).

Meanwhile in the time since that first wiring project when I had an oddball
wireless-rooftop link from my house to the One Financial Center building
across from South Station, that gave me all of 2 megabits circa 1997, Internet
speeds have gone to 6 - 10 - 16 - 55 - 100 Mbps. Earlier this year I had to
refuse an upgrade to 250 Mbps at the same price because I failed to
future-proof when I bought a cable modem a couple years ago.

But if I moved to a new home and had to wire it all over again, I think I'd
still just run the same two 4-pair wires to each room, without thinking hard
about it. Why?

Because I just don't see a need for going beyond 1Gbps within the home during
the course of my life. Maybe 10Gbps applications will materialize, but for now
there's just not much reason I'll need more than a half-dozen streams of 4K
video flying around the house at any given time. In my current situation there
are only two or three places in the house where I wish I had at least that
second RJ45 jack that the idiot who wired the place failed to install; and I
wish I had conduit running between two core locations to support the HA setup
that I have.

The future's hard to predict but I think we're coming near the end of
practical advancements in home-networking performance. Guess I'm a luddite.

One other type of wiring that I haven't yet experimented with is low-voltage
DC. The cost of solar power installation is prohibitive for three reasons:
batteries, a grid-transfer switch, and labor. You could eliminate the labor
and the grid-transfer switch if you run an off-grid low-voltage system as a
DIY setup, but I've not really seen any practical setups that attempt to do
this for home computing. While you've got the walls open, you could run some
low-voltage feeds for lighting and USB power connectors, possibly providing
support for a future off-grid solar setup.


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