What are fiber optics and why should I care?

Fiber optics can be a fancy term that’s sometimes thrown around, but many people may not even know what fiber optics really are. So let’s start with the basics. Fiber optics are a type of network cable made up of small glass cables. These cables are specifically designed for long distances producing high-performance data networking. Fiber optics are the updated and upgraded version of copper cables. They perform at very high speeds over longer distances and can take on more data transmission. Most of our internet, cable, and telephone systems utilize fiber optics.

It might be obvious already as to the advantages of using fiber optic cables, but here are four specific benefits when comparing to copper cables.

1) Long Distance & Speed

The glass cables that make up fiber optics are used for carrying light that will then transmit the data being communicated. As we all know, light travels at very high speeds which is why these cables are so much more efficient. The light is able to travel down the cables as much longer distances without the signal losing its strength.

2) Larger Bandwidth

Because of the efficiency and capacity of fiber optics, they can easily carry more bandwidth than traditional copper cables. Copper cables were designed before the internet era. Therefore, their original purpose was for voice transmission. As time and technology have changed, so has our need for data communication and efficiency. Therefore, fiber optics have become an effective solution.

3) Longevity

Comparing materials, fiber optics are more lightweight and can withstand more wear and tear than copper cables. This increases their longevity over time, allowing them to last longer and perform better without damage. Increased longevity equates to lower overall costs because you won’t have to replace or repair cables as frequently as you would with copper.

4) Way of the Future

As technology advances, it’s becoming easier and easier to convert to fiber optic networks. Your system might not need a complete overhaul if you are looking for an upgrade. Media converters have been created to incorporate fiber optics into existing networking systems. Incorporating fiber optics now will set you up for the future as your needs for greater, faster, and more efficient data transmission increases.