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Fiber Optic Network Cabling Vs. Copper Cabling

When it comes to wiring your network, you need to make the right choices. As we detailed in our post on signs your network cabling needs to be replaced, making the right choices with cabling can make or break your business productivity. Bad network cabling can cause data drop outs, can slow your network and can break your bank. For this reason, we want to take a few moments to chat about the benefits of fiber data cabling vs. network copper cabling.

  • New vs. OldFirst things first, fiber cabling is the newer form of cabling. Fiber optic cabling for a network represents current infrastructure. Copper network cabling is legacy.
  • On the Benefits of Copper CablesJust because something is old doesn’t mean it’s bad. Just like a railroad which keeps ticking along, copper cables are typically very reliable over the long haul. The metal carrying signal is highly dependable, wholly durable and built to last. Much like a railroad which has been in operation since 1910, copper network cabling allows for consistent reliable performance. This said, copper cabling, much like the American train system, has a tendency to fall apart often and at the most critical junctures.
  • On the Benefits of Fiber Optic Network CablingThe major benefit of fiber optic cabling for your networking needs is improved data communications. Without getting too technical, copper cabling (and other traditional metal based cabling) carries with them electromagnetic interference (EMI). EMI, through a mix of magnetism and electricity, causes signals on metal cabling to change in directional flow impacting both power and data. When this happens, data is lost, stalled or builds up to cause a bottleneck.The major benefit of fiber optic cabling is immunity to EMI. As data signals are transmitted through light as opposed to current, EMI cannot happen while using fiber optic network cabling.
  • Data Security When it comes to data transmission, the type of material data is transmitted through matters a whole heck of a lot in terms of data security. With traditional copper network cabling, data flows through current on metal. This current can be rerouted and leaked through a process called tapping. For various reasons, data security being one, you don’t want tapping on your network infrastructure.On the other hand, there is no metal or magnetic fields with fiber optic network cables. Without EMI, without a solid metal and without magnetic fields, the concept of tapping becomes mute. Unless someone physically cuts into the fiber optic cabling, its signal cannot be tapped or intercepted.
  • Safety  More basic here. For a moment, think of your tea kettle at home. During cold winter nights, you use that kettle to brew hot water. The hotter your water gets, the hotter the metal container gets. If the metal gets warm enough, it melts and alters shape (not to mention it burns your hand). The same concept applies to copper network cabling. Metals get hot as electricity passes through them. The more heat generated, the more the metal changes and alters. This alteration can cause melting, sparking and possible fire.On the other hand, without metal inside the casing, fiber optic cabling does not pose any major safety concern for your network. Without metal, fire, heat and sparks cannot happen. Fiber optic cables makes your network safer.

These are just a few reasons why fiber optic cabling, in terms of network management, proves to be a smarter choice than copper cabling. To learn more about Bay Area Computer Solutions, including cabling services, check out our network management platform or feel free to contact us . We would love to hear from you San Francisco.

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