What are the real benefits of making the switch? How do I make sense of the seemingly limitless number of options out there on the market? How can I make sure I’m really getting my money’s worth when it comes to my purchase? Here we’ll take a closer look at the answers to all of these questions and more.
A Look at the Benefits of Fiber Optic Cable
Fiber optic cable is currently one of the most popular picks when it comes to both upgraded cabling setups and brand new installations. These are some of the major reasons why.
More Bandwidth: Fiber optics drastically improve matters when it comes to bandwidth as compared to copper alternatives. More bandwidth means more information can be carried more quickly and more efficiently.
Better Security: Fiber optic cable doesn’t radiate signals the way metal-based cables do. This means your system is considerably less vulnerable to intruders. In the event an intrusion does occur, it’s easy to detect.
Stronger Signal: The signals sent via fiber optic cable are made of light, so the transmission process involves very little signal loss. This makes it easy for more information to travel greater distances with increased success. (Be aware that actual distances will depend on the network, wavelength, and style of the cable you choose.)
Light and Streamlined: Those that swear by fiber optic cable love how lightweight and thin it is, especially when it comes to options designed to deliver higher speeds. Fiber optic cable is a lot more durable than the copper alternatives.
Ease of Migration: Thanks to the lower costs of media converters, it’s easier than ever before to facilitate migration to fiber optic from copper cable if you need to. Converters are capable of generating seamless links between the two. You can still keep using your existing hardware as well.
Although it’s true that fiber optic cable will generally cost more than the alternatives, it’s important to recognize how much more you’re getting in terms of value, performance, and reliability – especially in the long run. Even so, costs attached to fiber optic cable installations have decreased considerably over the years. These are options that are designed to go the distance and then some.
Choosing the Right Fiber Optic Cable for You
In order to thoroughly reap the benefits fiber optic cabling will bring to the table, it’s of the utmost importance that you choose the right option for your needs. Here’s what to consider in order to ensure a wise purchase.
Number of Fibers
If you’re performing a simple link hookup or looking to make patchcords, two fibers will probably be fine. Otherwise, it’s a good idea to include some spare fibers in your plans. If you’re planning a major corporate installation, then it’s a good idea to install as many fibers as you can afford.
Indoors vs. Outdoors
Naturally you’ll want to consider whether or not the cables will be exposed to the outdoor elements or not. Outdoor cables will need to be able to withstand years and years of exposure to moisture and other such things. Make your choices accordingly.
Fiber transceivers can come attached to a number of different connectors, so it’s important to pay attention to which ones you’re dealing with. Otherwise, you could literally find yourself trying to stick a square peg into a round hole at some point.
Ratings and Markings
All indoor fiber optic cables are required by the National Electrical Code (NEC) to bear both identification markings and ratings. That said, it’s important to realize those that do not will fail any and all inspections. Indoor cables should also be easy to distinguish from other cables, so they should be bright colors like orange or yellow.
As touched on above, fiber optic cables are meant to deliver a high level of performance for a very long time. Look for fiber optic cabling that comes attached to lifetime guarantees and ironclad warranties.
Where you buy your cable is just as important as what you buy. Always purchase from a reputable merchant (like FireFold) that will stand behind their products and guarantee your satisfaction with your purchase.