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      01-09-2020, 12:01 PM   #98
Second Lieutenant

Drives: 228i
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: South Florida

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I've been reading through this, and as someone who works in this industry, I can make some comments. And again this isn't for a data center, just a home use with your basic smarthome stuff.

first, lets discuss copper v fiber.
The only time you run fiber is if you are running distances longer than copper can handle.
Depending on the quality of your switches and bends in the cable this can be 2-300'.
For most homes you won't hit this limitation, and in the truly large stuff (no longer the homes of mere mortals) you just put another rack to link back to the first over fiber, but you always run copper to each piece of equipment.
There is no advantage in real world residential use in terms of bandwidth or latency of fiber. (this is like asking which is heavier, a pound of bricks or a pound of feathers).

Second, same issue with cat5e or 6. You won't realize any difference. Your quality of terminations will have a larger impact on performance than the cable itself. I would only recommend cat-6 if there's no financial hurt in doing so. It's more complicated to pull and devices in a home do not take advantage of cat-6's improvements over cat5e. Still, if your source finds them to be equally priced go cat6.

Lastly is what to wire, and the answer is everything but your phones. Ideally you should not have any piece of equipment that sits in your house on wifi. Make wifi devices the exception no the rule. Every PC, printer, TV, refrigerator, smart speaker, whatever, should all be wired.
That just leaves tablets/phones and laptops riding the wave. Plus the occasional thermostat.
Most important is to not install 2.4GHz wifi or purchase any device that is limited to that (stick to 5ghz). Most home access points have both bands, turn the 2.4 band off. Your devices and neighbors will thank you. This will have a much larger real world benefit than deciding cat5 or 6, or fiber/copper.
Because 5ghz has a considerably shorter range than 2.4 you will need a proper mesh setup (with wired backhaul) that has access points in every common area (if this were a hotel, I'd suggest an access point in every room or every other room depending on size, with the power of the radio to be as low as realistic so that the wifi bubble of one does not interfere with the other). Do not run 'extenders' under any circumstances.

Finally cameras. For ease of installation, get analog. There is zero programming this way. Just plug in the cameras at each end.
However, if you want the fancy stuff, you go IP, but each camera has to be individually programmed and you need to run a separate power over ethernet network for cameras (do not run them on your network with your other equipment, the video packets interfere with other data traffic).
It is for that reason, especially in instances of 16 cameras or fewer, that it's just less of a headache and easier to troubleshoot if you run analog. There's just less stuff to go wrong.
From a footage/recording standpoint, real world, you won't notice a difference. The software that manages the recordings is more important than whether the source was an analog or digital feed.

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