Should You Choose Copper or Fiber Patch Panels?

posted in: Networks | 0

There is no doubt that patch panels are extremely important in cabling systems. You simply cannot have a business or home network (no matter how big or how small) without the use of patch panels. It has been said that patch panels are basically the “nerve center” for a cabling network, and they allow you to terminate cable elements. They also allow the signal to be connected to the final destination.

Patch panels are so critical to a system that if anything goes wrong with them, the entire system may fail. That means that they are very important to your networking system! Patch panels also play a big role in the administration of the telecommunications network. Some believe that they are the absolute only way to successfully transfer lines from one office to the next office.

Since they allow such easy management of cables, it makes sense to choose patch panels carefully. There are copper patch panels and fiber patch panels available. If you use both, it is best to separate the cabling made out of fiber from cabling made from copper. But what if you want to choose between copper and fiber patch panels? Which kind is best?

First, you should know that patch panels are used in fiber cabling networks as well as copper cabling networks. So is there a difference between these two types of cables as far as performance is concerned? Well, most professionals don’t see any differences. But others believe that the fiber patch panels are better, even though they are more expensive than their copper counterpart. In fact, they can be up to 40 percent higher in cost.

When it comes to copper patch panels, each pair of wires has a port. Fiber patch panels require two ports, but no hardwiring is needed. Fiber patch panels are a lot easier to install because of this. The fiber is fed through a coupler.

In addition, most professionals are in agreement that fiber is a lot faster than copper patch panels. Both types of patch panels must perform according to the same TIA/EIA standards that are needed to produce speed and signal performance for the rest of the cabling network.