Do you have a need to extend your home network around your property? Maybe you want reliable internet in the shed you turned into a work-from-home office, or your garage or workshop? Today I’m going to explain what you need to run fiber optic newtorking around your home and property on a budget, for high bandwidth and low latency networking. Fiber doesn’t have any issues with lightning or electrical potential changes between buildings, and can handle much higher bandwidth with higher reliability than wifi mesh or point to point systems.

It’s not as expensive as you think to run fiber in your network!




Hardware Recommendations

This section has more detailed links to the products I reference in the video. Enjoy!

Some links to products may be affiliate links, which may earn a commission for me.


For Fiber, there are a lot more options for singlemode than multimode. In general, ordering custom length patch cables is the easiest way to go. In general I have bought fiber from for my own projects, so that’s what I’m linking here. For all of these options, you can click ‘customize’ and have the right length made to order.

Networking fiber uses LC connectors with UPC polish, which is color coded blue (vs green for APC polish, used in PON fiber-to-the-home systems).

In general you should use riser rated cables indoors, there are very narrow use cases where you would need plenum rating (low smoke) in a normal house. In my locale it’s not required for low voltage cables at all in the residential code. If you are going underground in conduit the whole way, you can use indoor rated fiber (it’s considered a wet location, but not subject to damage), and if you are going outdoors you need to use a UV stable jacket (such as TPU) instead of PVC. If you need plenum rating, when customizing, change the jacket type from ‘PVC’ to ‘Plenum (OFNP)’

I don’t use armored cable, but I have done all of these runs after building the house and am more concerned with fishing the wiring easily through tough spaces. If you’re installing at construction time, it might be a good idea to use armored cable to protect from damage during construction. Remember, it’s effectively imposible to repair the fiber.

OM3 Multimode (Duplex)

Remember, you want aqua cables (if they are colored indicating type), not orange. If the ends are colored, they should be blue, not green.

OS2 Singlemode (Duplex)

OS2 should be colored yellow if colored to match type, and the ends should be blue if colored to match type.

OS3 Singlemode (Simplex / BiDi)

These are only for BiDi use, use duplex if you aren’t going to do BiDi.

Media Converters

These devices strictly convert from a transceiver to copper, nothing more, nothing less. They are cheap and you should use them if you already have wired Ethernet hardware at this end of the link you want to connect to. Any of these options can go at either end of the link, as long as they are running at the same speed.

Network Cards

These go in your computer and accept an SFP/SFP+ module. You may need to do some configuration with ethtool / windows / … to set the link speed if you are not using the rated speed. Recommended for ‘servers’ especially, but also good for high bandwidth desktops and workstations. Also, be aware of the form factor - a lof of these cards come in OCP NIC and normal PCIe slot sizes, and you probably can’t use an OCP NIC in your regular desktop.

  • Intel X520-DA1/DA2 (10G capable) - only difference is DA1 = 1 port, DA2 = 2 port. Do NOT get T1/T2/.. versions, those are RJ45.
  • Mellanox Connect-X 3 (10G capable) - Make sure it’s Ethernet and 10G SFP+, they made CX3 cards with 10G QSFP and Infiniband variants. If you want to go for higher speeds in the future, the Connext-X 4 family can do 25G with SFP28, which is the next speed tier up above SFP+, and is also backwards compatible. If you are building a router, some people claim the newer Intel X710-DA is better, although I can’t say one way or another.

Network Switches and Routers

A ton of network switches have SFP or SFP+, here are just a few of my favorites. I use Mikrotik equipment, so that’s what I’ve listed here. Feel free to shop around as well, there are a lot of good regional distributors for this (i.e. Baltic Netoworks in the US, Getic in the EU) depending on your location.


OM3 Multimode (Duplex)

Choose the same transceiver for both ends.

OS2 Singlemode (Duplex)

Choose the same transceiver for both ends.

OS3 Singlemode (Simplex / BiDi)

Choose a MATCHED PAIR here, with opposite transmit/receive wavelengths on each end

Example Setup Lists

These are some example setups I’ve setup for you to use to think about what you need for your project.

1G Cheap BiDi Setup

This is a simple gigabit BiDi setup that can be used to run Ethernet long distances, to outbuildings, etc. with a simple media converter to connect to your existing network and a switch at the far end.

My 10G Gaming Shed Setup

This is the setup I actually used in the video.

Since I already had the switch, I actually spent $98 on the rest of the parts, but the switch is an additional $489 at list price (obviously it can do a whole lot more than just this one run though).