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Fiber Optic or Wifi?

Fiber Optic Cable or Ethernet Cable?

Fiber optic connections are on the rise, but broadband internet remains the standard for use in home and office computing.

by Vikas Dayal • November 17, 2023

Cat5e / Cat6 Cables, Fiber Optic Cables, Network Patch Cables, Network Patch Cords


Fiber optic connections are on the rise, but broadband internet remains the standard for use in home and office computing. Which is best for your data?

The best network patch cable for you will depend on the extent of your data network connection, as well as what you want from it. Fiber optic connections are on the cutting edge of information networks, while wifi and ethernet are the industry standard and most commonly used in homes and offices.The most significant differences between the two are affordability and reliability. Whether you're favoring stability or speed, there's a lot to consider when you're looking to purchase cords or cables for your network connection.

Fiber Optic vs Ethernet - which is faster?

How does fiber optic compare to ethernet with regard to the speed of data transmission? With ordinary broadband internet, you can expect speeds between approximately 3 to 1000 Mbps. However, fiber optic internet will blow those speeds out of the water. With a fiber optic connection, you can expect data transfers at a rate of up to 100 Gbps. The way these connections transmit information plays a key role in the difference. While a broadband wifi network operates by transmitting data packets into electromagnetic waves, a fiber optic connection relies on pulses of light traveling along delicate, hair-fine glass "fiber" cables. A good example of this would be our OS2 LC to LC Single Mode Fiber Optic Cable. These cables are manufactured with high-quality corning glass fiber cores, and ceramic ferrules to ensure optimal data transfer. 

Yellow LC to LC Singlemode Fiber Optic Cable - shop cables.com.

Choosing Ethernet

Category 6 cables are considered the standard cable of choice when you're looking to set up an ethernet network. This applies to both home or office set ups, whether you're looking to transmit data pertaining to business deals halfway around the world, or just playing World of Warcraft. 

Cables.com's Cat6 and Cat6A standard ethernet cables offer up to twice the performance speeds of Category5e cables, and are gigabit rated. Our Datacomm cables are available in a variety of configurations, and they're proudly manufactured in the USA. You can also rely on them to work with POE (Power Over Ethernet) Devices without any need for further special cabling.

Blue Category6A ethernet cable - shop cables.com.

Our ethernet cables are available in shielded or unshielded configurations that will impact how they operate near power cables or in busy environments. A shielded connection will ensure that your connection is less likely to be affected by EMI, or electromagnetic interference. That aside, the important thing to remember is that an ethernet connection simply won't allow for data transmission that's as fast as fiber optic networks. What you get from an ethernet cable is ease and affordability as opposed to speed. This means they're the more affordable option, as they're less expensive and less difficult to install than a fiber optic connection. 

Choosing Fiber Optic

Fiber optic networks are on the cutting edge today, and increasingly commonplace. You can expect fiber optic internet to run much more quickly than an ethernet network - under ideal conditions, more than 100x faster. That said, you pay for what you get - installing a fiber network is likely to be significantly more expensive than ethernet. Depending on the size and nature of your operation, you'll likely get by suitably without it.

Fiber Optic Cables come in Single Mode and Multi Mode Patch options, all of which contain a fine glass cord inside a colored jacket. Which should you choose? The main draw of single mode fiber optic connections is near unlimited bandwidth, and of course, a lower cost.  It's important to note that multimode optical fiber is better for transmission over shorter distances, and less expensive than single mode fiber besides. 

Aqua LC to LC Multimode Fiber Optic Cable - shop cables.com.

Which Cable is Right for You?

Cables.com provides high-quality, reliable cables of all kinds for competitive prices. Whatever your cables need is, we're ready to meet it. If you're not sure what cable you need for your job, check out our Quick Patch Finder. Have questions? Contact us, or email us at sales@cables.com!

SHOP NOW: Category 6A Network Patch Cables - OM3 Fiber Optic Cables - OS2 Single Mode Fiber Cables


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