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Should You Buy Ethernet Cables or Fiber Optic Cables?

Should you purchase ethernet cables or fiber optic cables?

Ethernet cords and fiber optic cables both have their pros and cons when you're looking to set up your home or office data network

by Vikas Dayal • June 18, 2024

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


Ethernet cords and fiber optic cables both have their pros and cons when you're looking to set up your home or office data network. How do you decide which option is best for you? Whether you're looking for stability vs speed, you have a lot to consider when you're looking to purchase cords or cables for your network connection. Let Cables.com break down some of your choices and help you make your decision. 

While both ethernet and fiber optic connections have their pros and cons, there are a number of factors it's important to consider before choosing which to use for your data center. The best network patch cable for you will depend on the size of the operation, as well as what you want from it. Whether you're looking for stability vs speed, you have a lot to consider when you're looking to purchase cords or cables for your network connection.

Home and office data networks have evolved a great deal over the years as technology evolves. What was once considered a high-speed, quality connection ten years ago can now be considered virtually obsolete. So how do you decide what cord or cable will be best for your set up? Let's take a look at some of the choices Cables.com has to offer.

Ethernet Cable Pros and Cons

Today, Category 6 cables are considered the standard 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 or to play some 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.

So what are some reasons you might choose Cat6 network patch cables over a fiber optic network? An ethernet cable is a good way to obtain a reliable and secure connection between your office or home network devices and the internet. When you're shopping at Cables.com, you have the option of buying Bootless Cat6 Patch Cables that can fit snugly in all receptacles for all applications, including high density network switches. Our Category 6 cables are rated for up to 550Mhz, fast enough for gigabit applications, and are made up of 4 pairs of 24 AWG High Quality 100% bare copper wire. 

If you're not as worried about space constraints, consider Cat6 Patch Cables with flexible Snagless Boots, which offer the same connection speeds as the bootless versions while allowing for some movement in areas facing more traffic.

Blue Cat6 Ethernet Patch Cable - Shop Cables.com.

 

Though our ethernet cables can be purchased in a shielded or unshielded configuration that will impact how they operate near power cables or in busy environments, the important thing to remember is that they 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 economical option, as they're less expensive and easier to install than a fiber optic connection. 

Why Choose Fiber Optic?

Fiber optic networks are on the cutting edge today. 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 costly than ethernet. Depending on the size and nature of your operation, you might fare suitably without it.

Fiber Optic Cables come in Single Mode and Multi Mode Patch cables, all of which contain a fine glass cord inside a PVC or riser-rated jacket. Which should you choose? That depends, again, on the needs of your particular data network. 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/SC Duplex 50/125 Multimode Fiber Patch Cable - Shop Cables.com.

Which is Right for You?

It's a big decision, and you might find yourself needing a little assistance! Cables.com has you covered. Our Quick Patch Finder can help you match a cable to your particular need. And if you've still got questions after that, feel free to Contact Us via our webform or by email at sales@cables.com. 

We're always happy to help!

SHOP NOW: Category 6A Network Patch Cables - OS2 Single Mode Patch Cables - OM4 Multi Mode Fiber Optic Cables


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