Fiber Optic Cable and Twisted Pair Comparison

Nowadays, with the installation of computer networks, optical fiber is becoming increasingly popular - a special light-conducting cable, in which information is transmitted using light. But twisted pair is also common - ordinary cable with conductors woven in a certain way. Different Internet providers offer different options, and you can use any of them at home. So which one to choose: fiber optic cable or twisted pair familiar to everyone? Let's consider what advantages they have and in what situations it is better to use each of these options.

Which is better to choose: fiber optic cable or twisted pair?

Advantages and disadvantages of fiber optic cable

Optical fiber is fundamentally different from ordinary wires. Information in it is transmitted using short light pulses that are emitted by a laser and read by a special receiver. Each such cable has a lot of optical fibers, and there is no metal at all. Therefore, fiber has many advantages:

  • High throughput is provided. Fiber-optic lines can easily provide speeds of 1000 Mbps and more.
  • Not susceptible to any electrical interference. Power lines passing nearby and even thunderstorms do not affect information transfer at all.
  • It does not depend on the climate - it can work fine both at +500 С and at -600 С.
  • Optical fiber can be laid over long distances - up to 15 km. without the use of intermediate stations.
  • The warranty reaches 25 years, that is, the durability of the line is ensured. The main danger is only a mechanical break.

However, there are disadvantages:

  • Requires fairly expensive equipment.
  • Optical fiber is much more expensive than twisted pair. The difference reaches 10 times for the same footage.
  • They require careful installation, so as not to damage the light guide fiber - this is a sufficiently strong bend.
  • Replacing or finding a faulty place requires calling a specialist. Independently it will not work.

There are not many disadvantages, but they are quite important and can influence the choice of the preferred option.

Twisted Pair Benefits

Cables of this type are now one of the most common. They are of different types, but in general they have the following advantages:

  • Cheap.
  • Easily replaced, as they have standard connectors. To change a faulty wire can often and a layman.
  • Provide a fairly large transfer rate - 100 Mbps and even more.
  • They allow you to connect devices at fairly large distances - up to 300 meters, which is quite good for urban conditions.

But there are some important disadvantages:

  • Since metal wires are used in the cable, various electrical interference is affecting the transmission of information.
  • You can not stretch for long distances, will affect the resistance of the wire.

Now we can compare and see which is better: fiber optic cable or twisted pair, and why they are used in different cases.

Which cable is better

To decide whether a fiber or a regular twisted pair is better, you need to determine under what conditions they will be used. If you just need to connect several computers to a network, of course, a twisted pair is best suited. Such a network can be created very quickly and cheaply, and the transmission speed will be quite decent. In addition, the twisted pair is very convenient in the home or in the office because of its unpretentiousness. The wire can be bent freely, stretch in the most inconvenient places. Even if it is accidentally damaged, the price to it is a penny.

Office fiber is a pretty expensive thing. Equipment is required, and the cable itself is not so cheap. Therefore, for the device of local networks its use is simply financially unjustified. The only advantage is the high transmission speed, which does not manifest itself, since it is unlikely that even a dozen computers will be able to create such continuous traffic that the optical fiber is designed for. However, fiber has a significant plus - the distance of the strip and independence from interference. Therefore, it is used for laying the Internet to settlements or high-rise buildings. But then already goes the layout of the subscribers using a twisted pair. This takes advantage of both cable types.

In addition, for several years now providers for one subscriber have been providing speeds of no more than 100 Mbit / s, but in practice they are much less. With such a load is perfectly coiled twisted pair. But many subscribers from one house are able to load fiber-optic cable, so it is more convenient to carry it out not from each apartment to the provider, but from the whole apartment building. Therefore, if you choose between a conventional twisted pair cable and a fiber-optic cable, consider their pros and cons. Where the distances are small, there is no special interference, and the speed of about 100 Mbit / s is enough, you can get by with a twisted pair. Where noise immunity is required, the connection is for kilometers, and a high load is expected, the optical fiber is better suited.