When trying to decide between copper and fiber cabling, there are several things to think about for which one best will fit your needs. A few things you will need to take into consideration when making your decision are what do you need your cable to be capable of, how far do you need your cable to run from point to point, what is your budget, and always think about the future with room to expand your business. Both copper and fiber cabling have pros and cons.
Copper cabling has been around ever since electricity was discovered and utilized in a day-to-day fashion. It was used mainly for telephone lines in the beginning of its “birth”. Copper cabling comes in many forms such as coaxial, CAT5e, CAT6, UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair), and STP (Shielded ...view middle of the document...
STP shielded twisted pair, which means that the cables twisted together have and extra metallic foil or multi-wire screen mesh that is used to reduce EMI. Copper cabling is much more cost effective than fiber, easy to install, and the components/equipment are cheaper than what fiber requires, but there are many more down falls with copper when it comes to comparison with fiber cabling. Copper has a maximum distance of 90 meters if you exceed the 90m meter limit you will start getting attenuation problems which means you will start losing signal strengths.
Fiber optic cable have many more advantages than copper cabling. It is much more secure and has complete immunity to electromagnetic interference. With this type of cabling there are higher rates of data transfer which is always a good thing. There is not much to worry about when it comes to attenuation because it uses light to transfer data, and go much further in distance limitations versus copper cable. Though attenuation is never much to worry about with fiber some things that would cause problems are excessive bending of the cable, impurities in the fiber, dirty fiber end-faces, and excessive stretching of the cable. Single-mode and multi-mode are two types of fiber cable that is available. You would use single-mode for longer distances 12 km lengths, minimizing the number of splices required over a long cable run, this is more expensive than multi-mode. Multi-mode would be used for shorter distances available in lengths up to 4 km, although industrial standards only mandate 2 km unbroken runs., but still longer than copper cabling distant limitations. A multi-mode fiber introduces multimode distortion, which often limits the bandwidth and length of the link