There has been some discussion of the use of fibre optic cables for network isolation, and of Cisco switches, most of which have SFP ports, recently, so I thought I would post my findings on this.
I’ve been running a fibre optic network for a couple of years now, prompted by the fact that out phone line has been hit by lightning twice now, and on the first occasion it destroyed everything with a wired connection to the router, including a Unitiserve. Using optical connections seemed like a sensible precaution, and I did it for the whole network rather than just a single fibre bridge. It was a bit messy, as it required the use of several media converters, with the inevitable SMPS’s cluttering up the house, but it did work well.
A recent house refurb prompted me to rethink all this, and I decided to try what I think is a neater solution, using switches with SFP ports instead of media converters. This has been running for a couple of months now, and I’m pretty happy with the result. Buying used Catalyst 2960 switches, and Cisco SFPs, on eBay, makes this a cheap thing to do - which is just as well, as it’s expensive stuff if you buy it new.
Here’s a pic of my router cupboard (still a bit of tidying up to do!)
And this is the 'posh' media converter that now feeds my NDX - prior to cable dressing and hiding under the sofa:
I suppose the real question is - does it sound any good? Well I was using an Airport Express as a temporary wireless connection while I set this up, and compared to that, I do think there's an improvement. Maybe that was just down to the removal of the electrically noisy AE, though. Is it better than a simple Cat5e network? I don't know, if you want to find out, you'll have to try it for yourself!
Finally, thanks to @Simon-in-Suffolk for various bits of advice, and for his tolerance of us amateurs blindly dabbling in his professional world.