Planning communications for a new house. Opinions welcome

We are planning to construct a new house in the next few years.
The house would not be too big, kitchen+salon+ 1 or two rooms in land floor with a bathroom and a 1rst floor under the roof with a bathroom and no room distribution for now.

I would like to plan communications, TV and phone (and iot devices with may be some security camera) for the future, in order not to get obsolete in a few years and not have the problems I had in my current home wit a too small communication cabinet.

So I plan a central room (may be in the same place as the laundry, near the entrance or the kitchen) were the electric panels will be and were all communications of the home arrive.

In that laundry room I plan to install a cabinet with a switch and the ISP router.

From there I plan to lay ethernet Cat 6a or 7 to all rooms (in order to be sure it will reach 10 Gbps in the future).

The alternative would be to install fibre in all the house, but it seems too expensive yet, and you need expensive converters for most devices.

I will lay more cable than needed, with lines to each room and to TVs and phones too.
So in salon may be I would need 3 cable.

For the phone I plan to lay ethernet cable too, as it can be used with analog phones, and may be I will install voip phones.

I will put a couple of AP one in the salon and one in the first floor, at least, and may be more in the future if needed.

My plan would be to get voIP at the communication cabinet and distribute it via ethernet to the phones were needed.

I am not sure if TV cable is needed nowadays or it would be better to use internet for TV.

Even if I install an antenna, would it be posible to install a digitalizer device and distribute it by ethernet to the home?

I will probably install some IP camera and motion sensors at the entry so I will have to lay cable to the main entry and at the exterior of the house.

It begins to seem a lot of cable.

Would it be too expensive to lay so much cable in CAT 6a or 7?

Ideas and opinions will be wellcome.

My plan would be to install just a fibre ONT in the communication cabinet directly connected to a raspberry PI with openWRT as router and a 16/24 managed switch with PoE (for cameras and some access points with no electricity nearby).
Many providers won't install you just the ONT, but a router, but I can use it with PPoE.

A 2,5 GB managed switch with PPoE would be the ideal solution, but may be they are too expensive for now.
10 Gb sounds a bit excesive for now, I allways can change it in the future.

If 2,5 Gb are too expensive for now, I will just use a 1 Gb swtich.
I will need a cabinet too to install all that (and future devices) and to install the power cords in it.

Which size would be OK?

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Don't know what cat 6a or 7 cost, but I'd do it.

Have 20+ outlets - 2 in every room, in my house, not all are used, but it's nice to know I'm always covered.
I did however do the cabling myself, and it was 10+ years ago, so I used cat5e.

Cat5e can do 10gbe, at shorter distances.

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Backhaul Ethernet cable run through the home and terminated in the telecom cabinet sounds like a great plan. WiFi works, but back haul to WiFi AP's and/or hardwired Ethernet capable devices is grand. I would think about where you want your Ethernet wired AP's to be and whether they will be powered over Ethernet or have nearby electrical plugs. As an example, in our home a single wired POE AP would cover the entire 2 story home spectacularly if it were wired in the ceiling of the upstairs landing that is open to a central two story great room in the home. Alas, it is not wired so. So I have two all in one AP's plugged into the wall - twice each (Ethernet and transformer) on each floor.

Plan to have electrical outlets in your telecom box. That way you can power modems, coax signal amplifiers, POE so you don't need plugs for your wired AP's in the home, etc. The telcom box needs space, air flow and ventilation to dissipate device heat.

At least two and perhaps three coax cable runs from outside to the telecom cabinet (one for rooftop over the air HDTV antenna, one for internet and/or cable and/or satellite dish feeds), and coax cable runs to TV worthy rooms sounds like a good plan. In not too many more years, TV is going to be exclusively Ethernet and WiFi I expect, but for the nearer term, you may want these coax options. Low earth orbit satellite true broadband internet service may be a thing some day soon.

I would de-emphasize worrying about analog phone runs. I'd rather have a single cordless phone base plugged into a VOIP box and several compatible cordless handsets throughout the home than wired analog phones all over the place myself (if mobile phone alone does not itself suffice) - but that is personal preference. If you have disability concerns (voice to text boxes for hearing impaired, etc.), or anticipate a future need for same if this is a retirement home...check into what that would need?

If you plan a security system or cameras or smart home devices, plan Ethernet runs accordingly. I use an Envisalink4 card hardwired with Ethernet for security system monitoring - beats the heck out of the alarm company options every month....

  1. Ethernet and Coax (Quad Shielded) home runs to a central location is a must in a modern home. (Ethernet cable can double as POTS runs)
  2. If you can afford it, run all the cables in flexible conduit with extra pull tapes to allow you to easily upgrade to fiber in the future or replace existing cables.
  3. Plan on using a PoE switch capable of powering mounted APs/cameras, etc. via Ethernet cable.
  4. Make sure your networking kit is on a UPS.
  5. Roof or attic mounted terrestrial HDTV antenna run back to central location. Make sure to install a whole home coax amplifier to compensate for insertion losses
  6. Install a whole home surge suppression system. Avoids having surge protectors at each device.
  7. SiliconDust makes an excellent line of tuners that allow streaming of HDTV to multiple devices (phone, tablets, TVs, laptops, etc.) and can even be accessed remotely via VPN
  8. Your networking kit will potentially be noisy and generate a lot of heat, and can be unatractive, so check with significant other before picking location. Make sure cabinet is well ventilated. I prefer wire racks in a closet or otherwise out of sight.
  9. Think about home security/automation and media distribution.
  10. A rPi+OpenWrt will not have enough throughput if you have GB service. Consider open source enterprise class firewall software from Runs on almost any x86 HW, or you can buy an appliance directly from Netgate or Typically, you can put the ISPs modem in bridge mode so pfSense gets assigned a public IP address directly for more advance FW rules, VPN, etc.
  11. If you are considering a NAS, take a look at open source enterprise class NAS software from Runs on almost any x86 HW or you can buy an appliance directly from them.

RPi4 is capable of routing at Gbit speed.

Even so, you will be extremely limited by OpenWrt limited capability. OpenWrt is good at what it does. Keeping otherwise obsolete OEM routers out of landfills.

You want advanced FW features and in an easy to manage interface, open source enterprise class firewall is an orders of magnitude better solution than OpenWrt.

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We don't know what OP wants, and if he already got the RPi4, he might as well start there, and upgrade down the road, if he's unhappy with rpis/openwrts capabilities.

Hence the word "Consider" in my post.

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What are some of these better solutions it provides?

well, no I don't have the RPi yet, I don't have even the final plans of the house.

I am just planning what to seek for with the arquitect.

I mentione RPi 4 because it is a cheap device, and it seems to manage openWRt better than many other router devices.
And as I will have a competent switch and no need of wifi at the cabinet, it seems a good option.

But if there are other options with similar prices, I am open to ideas.
May be some king of x86 with limited memory and a small Nvme drive will do quite well and not too expensive.
May be it is early for looking for models and prices, as it will change quickly, but knowing of options will be great.

I don't have enterprise level requirements. I am more than happy with 300 Mbps internet at the moment. I really don't need 1 Gb let alone 5 or 10 Gb internet.

I prefer something simple, with low consumption and openWRT is my choice for simplicity and versatility.

I don't know pfsense but it seems it needs a full blown operating system in linux, and more capable PC with more power consumption.

I don't know it it is as versatile as openWRT and easy to use, or you need other packages if it is just a firewall...

I have now a QNAP NAs.
It does the job, but if I were starting now, probably I had looked for a PC with low consumption and a case for installing drives and use freeNAS or even better Proxmox with freeNAS or other installed as a vitual machine.

QNAP is a bit bloated with software, and at the end I prefer running specialized software in a container and let the NAS just for massive file sharing.
The only thing I really use from QNAP it the backup software and Qsync for file syncronization.
That is a must for me, what defines a good NAS.
Other things like streaming, web servers, etc, I prefer to install them in VMs or containers.

I had tried btrfs and it seems a great option to have a system with btrfs for drive management.

BUt for the moment I won't install a NAS in that house as it will be use only on holidays and weekends until I can move to it definitely.

To too long to list them all, but to mention just a few

  1. Multi WAN (load balancing, failover, etc.)
  2. DHCP
  3. DNSSEC, DNS over TLS
  4. IDS/IPS (Suricata, GEOIP, pfBlockerNG, etc.)
  5. NTP (Pools, GPS, PPS, etc.)
  6. VPN (OpenVPN, IPSec, WireGaurd, etc.)
  7. Network UPS Monitoring (Master or Slave)
  8. Runs on almost any x86 HW, including low power devices, or you can run virtualized
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But I have seen some prices for the recommended pfsense devices and start in 700$ with few ports.

I won't need such a expensive device, I think, just to get internet and distrubute to all the home.

So HDHomerun may be put in the cabinet and I can see two (or 4) TV channels simultaneusly from any connected device.
That is great.
May you easily manage it and change the channel from a TV for example.
May be it will be better to buy just a screen and a small linux or android device to act as the user front end, and install there the app, netflix, or other apps needed.

In that use, I won't need to distribute coaxial cable to the home, just ethernet, and coas cable would be only fro antenna to the communication cabinet where the sintonizer will be installed.

An antenna and parabolic antenna will be needed to capture signal, and the amplifiers you have linked?

The Netgate devices are expensive.

You can run pfsense on 10W devices if you want and under $200

I use a device from

Install either the app HDHomeRun app or

I have one of these in my attic


Or an used PCEngines sw302da, they're sold (used) for $40 on ebay, if you can find one.

Roqos rc10 would work too, they're $100, or less.

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All of which OpenWRT can do... So what does pfSense do that makes it a better solution for someone currently using OpenWRT in a home network setup (which is likely to be the vast majority of the use cases seen on the forum).

@ariznaf Consider having some ethernet wiring run to points where you can fit ceiling mounted APs.


Good for you. It was just a suggestion. I'm out!

I will, I was thinkimg of using them wall mounted, there are some that can be mounted using poe over the ethernet connector and yetget the connector.
But mounted in ceil may be a good option.

An access point outside in the front and rear part with a camera will be usefull too.

10W is a good consumption. May you suggest some devices and switches compatible with pfsense?

Is it easy to use?
I don't really need an enterprise level network, but if it can be built with easy and not too much costs...

That antenna can get terrestiral and satellite signal?
Does it need the amplifiers you linked before?

I would like to save the costs of laying coaxial cabling to the house besides, ethernet, but may be if it is not expensive that a couple of places in salon and attic with coaxial signal is a better aproach.

Here in spain all cabling goes inside corrugated plastic tubes, may be it is better to use wider ones to let space for the ethernet an coaxial runs and may be fiber in future.

Which diameter is recommended for this?

That for the openWRT router, isn't it?

It seems a small pc it might be a great solution, as no wifi is needed there.

They seem to support voip?

But not on production, well seek the roqos too.

Yes, that's for the openwrt wired router.

Both the pcengines and roqos are small PCs.

VoIP is a protocol, as any other.