EMP Proof wiring

While remodeling our new home, I took the opportunity to install network cables throughout the entire house, outside office and backyard. I installed multiple Cat6A SSTP/SFTP shielded network wires to every room in the house plus some other locations for security camera’s and WiFi access points.

Why still use old fashioned copper wiring?
Call me old fashioned, but a wired connection is still the fastest and most reliable way to connect to a network and only use WiFi for those devices that have no other option or would be too impractical to connect it a network cable. Network cables can also provide power (Power Over Ethernet) to WiFi access points, VoIP phones, security cameras, etc. Eliminating the need for additional power cords and making it possible to manage the power remotely.

Keep in mind that these wires will serve your home or office for the next few decades. Installing the highest specification ethernet wiring will keep you current for a long time to come. Compared to the effort of installing the wiring the cost for the wire itself is negligible.

Does faster copper wire make a difference?
A speed test using your computer might not show a difference since the Cat 5 can handle more then your computer can handle. But it’s the millisecond’s difference that it takes for each of the countless elements that make a web page to load that add up. I have moved clients to new offices. There was a noticeable difference in how “snappy” the computer felt while using the same hardware. The only difference being the wiring in the walls and ceiling.

EMP proof network:
This higher spec cable is much stiffer and is not easy to install. There are four pairs of copper wire twisted and arranged in a manner to minimize cross-talk between the wires. Each pair is covered with foil to avoid interference from other cables and an additional shield that wraps around the bundle to block electromagnetic pulses from powerlines and machinery. During the installation, one must prevent sharp bend and kinks at the risk of breaking the thin copper wires or damaging the geometry degrading the performance or causing a failed connection. This type of network cable cannot be terminated with RJ45 connectors but has to be punched down in a patch panel or Keystone Jacks.
After completing the connectors, each wire needs to be tested to make sure all cables are connected in the correct sequence.

It’s unlikely that fiberoptic is going to replace all copper wiring. Some servers have an option for a fiber-optic data connection, and there are adapters available for desktop computers. Keep in mind that your single machine can’t handle the speed fiber can deliver so its pointless to connect a single computer using fiber. It’s already an achievement if one can fully utilize the speed a Cat6a connection can offer when connected to the matching hardware for rates up to 10Gbs. Fiber is used mostly to connect local networks to which users connect via conventional ethernet cable or WiFi. Fiber is perfect for connecting networks over a long distance. I have installed one fiberoptic line between the server rack and office for future experiments.


I would like the same infrastructure in my home – but doing so in a 70 year-old building with lath and plaster walls in most of the structure would be difficult and disruptive.

Tell us about the rest of the infrastructure – routers, switches, servers, NAS, etc., please. Do you have a dedicated space for these in the home?

While I agree that wired connections are superior to wireless for numerous reasons, I’m fairly certain that CAT5 cannot handle more than my computer and equally certain that latency isn’t significantly affected by wireless vs wired networks.

If you do choose to wire your house, it’s probably far more important to wire it in a way that that permits new cables to be run easily than it is to worry abiout what cables you choose at the moment.

I disagree with your opinion about the speed. I mentioned user experience about how “snappy” a website loads not just the bandwidth measured by a speed test.
The bigger point is to use the highest spec cable since pulling new wires is a significant task. For example I pulled 1800ft of wire in our 1500sft bungalow and it took a lot of effort to do this in a 1936 bungalow. For most people its a task way beyond their comfort zone and have to hire an electrician to do it for them. Running one wire might not be a big deal.
Just for our AV center we have 4 runs. Two offices with each 2 X 2 runs to different corners of the room etc etc etc

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You’re welcome to disagree with me; what a boring Internet it would be if we all agree all the time :slight_smile:

I’ll only add that my experiences don’t necessarily match yours (the networks I’ve built are relatively small, serving only a few thousand users, so your experience may easily exceed mine), but my main point was that running conduit in a manner that makes it easy to pull cable is (or has been for us) far more important than running the cables themselves.

I have a few old buildings where we have to deal with old CAT5 cable runs that don’t involve using good conduits and wen have no recourse but to use the old cables. So if you’re going to go through the trouble of cabling your house, do it in such a way that replacing existing cable runs is easy.

More on that next week :slight_smile:


When I wired my former home, I also ran a loop of string from the garage to the attic. Came in handy for pulling additional wiring of various types. Since it was a large loop, it was reusable, rather than having to pull another string each time.

I hope the current residents are enjoying the fruits of my labor, but something tells me they’re probably just using wireless.