What is the next technology in wired networking?

I am currently doing a complete electrical rewiring on my house, so it is a good opportunity to dedicate a closet as a termination point and add some Cat 6 ethernet cabling along with sockets at various places in the home.
I am worried though that Ethernet cables might become obsolete sooner than later. Is there any new hot and upcoming technology that could potentially displace ethernet?

How about fiber? I’ve been hearing about how fiber will replace other technologies since the early nineties, but apart fom some specific applications, like switch to switch connections, fiber never managed to get widely accepted.

Is there any other type of cable that I am not aware of?

Don’t worry about it. Just work the wiring such that if there’s a new cabling standard you can use the Cat 6 cables to pull the new cables through.

I hope you’re not going to be using the same conduits as the power cables.

I think that with developments in wireless technology, wiring networks in private homes has become old hat in itself. If your palatial mansion is too large for a simple one-router system, the maybe you need two, with cat 6 between them, but I think that there is little need to cable a house these days.

With advances in wireless I wouldn’t bother hardwiring anything.

However one alternative if it’s available is to create a conduit chase for areas in the home which are difficult physical transitions. That’s what I did. You can decide later what type of physical cabling, if any, you want to run through those areas. But if you are opening up areas for wiring, this is the time to do it.

For example, I have chases from my basement to my attic and from the basement outside. I can easily get from the outside to any room in the house and easily create a new physical drop inside any empty stud cavity anywhere in the house. Since each house is built differently, where those conduit chases should go varies by house and how much new construction or exposure of current wall cavities etc is being done.

Without any question, wired is much better than wireless. It’s faster and more secure. If you have an opportunity to run Cat6, do it. You will not regret it.

Streaming HD content over wireless is very iffy. (Most people who think they are getting HD content over wireless are in fact getting a significantly reduced quality stream.) Not a problem over cables.

Note that some non-standard networking connections can also use the Ethernet cables. One that is popular in some circles is MoCA. Allowing you to stream HD and better media over your existing cables. Especially if you are doing DLNA.

The general presumption of such standards is that you have an wired Ethernet network if you want things to work reliably.

yeah run electrical conduit between all the rooms that you want conductivity to. you can later run coax, CAT, fiber or whatever in it as you need it.

this is an all depends project based on your house construction and the cost and effort you want to take. conduit could pass between rooms and floors. if you didn’t want to run conduit in walls of a room (horizontally) then you could transition to a surface mounted cable raceway (these might be used in an office environment. so depends on your construction, costs and how you want it to look in the end.

if you are redoing power electrical that is a large task. though it might have little in common with signals electrical because they go to other locations and the power and signal electrical should not be near one another and cross each other at right angles. unless you are taking down all the wall surfaces then the wall areas you have to remove will be in separate areas. get both projects done so you have one patch and paint project.

I really wasn’t awake this morning. MoCA is pushing video over Coax (which is the “C”), not Cat# cable. So if you already have coax going to a device (for cable TV or whatever), you can use that for other purposes rather than running HDMI or somesuch.

I have two pretty long runs of HDMI in my house, in addition to Cat5e/6. With the right splitter it works very well. Adding your own jacks to HDMI cables is not a good idea, so you have to deal with fixed length cables and making holes big enough for the jacks. So having a few HDMI runs built in might be a good idea.

When wiring our home office several years ago (05 or 06) I spent the relatively trivial premium to put in Cat-6 to run from the office to the basement servers (two floors down and about 70-80’ horizontally). IIR at the time there wasn’t any difference between Cat-5 and -6, or at least no difference I could theoreticaly detect. I’ve since added Gigabit-capable servers, but never noticed a change in LAN speed.

Will that change someday, or will it always be a subtle difference? I figured we were future-proofing our cabling for years to come.

A gigabit/second is enough to stream the highest definition video without problems. Straight Blu-ray has a maximum bitrate of 40 megabits/second. 4k, at most, would be 4x that (in practice a lot less), or 160 megabits.

So gigabit ethernet, despite being several years old at this point, is in fact future proof enough for most anything you might want to do with it.

In practice, the fastest internet speed you are likely to see for the next 10-20+ years is 1 gigabit/second anyway.

With that said, there is category 7 cable. It’s really premium stuff that is rated for 10 gigabits/second at 100 meters, so enough to run 10 gigabits anywhere in your house.


Not very practical for the typical homeowner, but you could always geek out on 800Gbps cabling.

I agree with Chief Pedant about installing a select few chases, and running anything specific as needed from above or below.

However, I recently wired a station for the TV that was on a wall without power or cable or anything; and unfortunately the best location for the boxes was on a short wall on the other side of the hall to the kitchen – that is, a few feet from the TV but with no way to run cables.

I had an electrician run the 110 and pull my first set of cables, including a spare that I could use to pull anything new with. I ran a coax, two cat6 (one is the spare), and one HDMI. That worked out very well, especially now that the house is a rental and the renters can put whatever they want there and it’s not my problem. :slight_smile:

If you put HDMI cable in a wall and it’s much longer than 12 feet, I highly recommend Belden cables from http://bluejeanscables.com . It’s objectively the best cable, which is important with longer runs and higher data rates. It’s also significantly cheaper than Monster HDMI cables, which guys in TV shops seem to think is best (because it has the biggest markup, no doubt).