If you were to compare a spool of bulk fiber optic cable and cat5e or cat6 Ethernet cable, on first glance you might not find much difference aesthetically, but inside of there is significant contrast in technology and capacity. Granted, fiber optic cables are touted as the brand new thing, offering faster information speeds, but what many people may not know is that newer isn’t always necessary for every consumer. Below you will find information about both technologies so you can make an informed choice when choosing between Ethernet cables or fiber optic cables for your networking needs.
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Ethernet technology has been around since the 1970’s and is an advancement on basic copper wire technology. Although it might be an older technology it is still competitive and certain cat5e and cat6 cables can provide speeds up to 1000Mps. For most consumers Ethernet cable speeds should be more than adequate. Bulk Ethernet cables also tend to cost less than bulk fiber optic cables and are also less time and labor intensive to set up. Ethernet cables do falter a bit when it comes to security. It is easier to intercept a transmission through Ethernet than through fiber optic cable.
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Fiber Optic technology has also been around for quite some and used for different applications, most notably by NASA. But recently fiber optics have become synonymous with networking applications. Unlike Ethernet cables which use copper wire and electricity to transfer information, fiber optics are made up of very thin threads of glass that uses light itself to transfer data. Not only does this mean faster transfer times, generally up to 10 gigabytes per second, but also a safer route of communication. Unlike cat5e and cat6 cables there is a reduced threat of overheating, due to the lack of electricity.
For most consumers using Ethernet technology should be sufficient enough when taking cost, ease of installation, and performance into consideration. For those who are in need of higher speeds for business or gaming applications, fiber optic technology comes with increased security and performance, but at a higher price tag. For more information about fiber optic and Ethernet technology consult with a local network connectivity expert.
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