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What would be the best way to connect two freestanding farm buildings onto the same network? The total cable length would be less than 1000 feet. Cat6 is listed as having a max length of about 330', which is too short. What other options are out there? There is no line of sight due to a slight hill between the two buildings, so a Wi-Fi boost would probably run into problems too.

Edit: Realized I didn't say how much bandwidth I would need. The internet connection is 10/3, and internal transfers won't be huge. Anything >= 10 Mbps would be plenty.

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4 Answers 4

up vote 32 down vote accepted

In a word: fiber.

Your solution could be as simple as two media converters and 1000 feet of multi-mode fiber with matching connectors, at a cost of under $500 total for actual networking components.

You would need to plan the run carefully to prevent the fiber from being damaged during or after installation. Compared to copper, fiber is easier to break and requires very expensive tools to fix.

Ordinarily, one would consult a professional installer.

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9  
+1. In my experience most farmers are fairly handy with running pipes, so running it through some PVC or similar would be the way to go, a foot or so under-ground. –  Mark Henderson Nov 6 '11 at 19:45
    
My family runs several farms, and this is exactly what I plan to do. –  Stemen Nov 7 '11 at 1:07
5  
When running your PVC conduit, please remember to install extra pull strings. –  derobert Nov 7 '11 at 19:38

Depending on your switches you might not require external media-converters - just plug in an appropriate GBIC/SFP into the switches and you are go.

I'd consider the fastest possible connection your switches are able to handle - there is no difference in price (as Gigabit is much more common these days than 100Mbit) and it's never a good idea to save a few cents on cabling and need to rip it out again when the requirements change in due time...

There are preconfigured fibre-cables ready for installation in many lengths, fibre-types and connectors, so there is no need for much onsite installation other than just laying out the cables itself.

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If you want to learn more about fibre, how it works, tools you need and repair. Then i found this FOA a great help. It's through and free!

http://thefoa.org/

http://www.youtube.com/user/thefoainc

informative and useful...you soon be a great fibre provider. ;-)

so you've got no excuse not to start laying.

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You can try these wireless solutions:

If you want to go for fiber, then 100Base-FX would be enough.

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How can you be sure 100Base-FX is enough? That's a little presumptuous considering the question's lack of detail. –  MDMarra Nov 6 '11 at 21:15
    
@MarkM, please check link –  Farhan Nov 6 '11 at 21:21
    
I'm aware of the technology. My point was that the OP didn't say what bandwidth he needed between sites. –  MDMarra Nov 6 '11 at 21:25
    
He doesn't have line of sight. –  Matt Nov 6 '11 at 23:40
    
@Matt: Yes, the links i have provided does provide wireless connectivity for NLOS (non-line of sight connectivity) –  Farhan Nov 7 '11 at 3:59

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