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Advantages and Disadvantages of Fiber Optic Cables

Fiber optic cables are network cables made of glass fibers as thin as a human hair. Compared to standard cables, these glass fibers can carry higher bandwidths and transmit data over longer distances. Most of the world's internet, telephone, and cable TV are powered by fiber.

What are the common fiber types?

Optical fibers are generally divided into two types, one is a glass optical fiber made of glass, and the other is a plastic optical fiber (POF) made of plastic.

 The glass optical fiber can also be divided into single-mode optical fiber and multi-mode optical fiber.

1. Single-mode fiber

A "mode" in an optical fiber refers to the path the light travels. The core diameter of single-mode fiber is very small, only 8-10μm, it can only transmit signal waves in one mode. The light propagates in a straight line along the center axis of the core, which greatly reduces light reflection and reduces attenuation. Single-mode fiber is more expensive than multi-mode fiber and is typically used for long-distance, high-capacity network connections.


2. Multimode fiber

Multimode fibers have larger core diameters than single-mode fibers, 50 μm and 62.5 μm.

It can carry the transmission of multiple optical signals. Because of this, multimode fiber has a large intermodal dispersion, and its transmission performance is poor, the frequency band is narrow, and the capacity is small.

Therefore, multimode fiber is usually used for short-distance transmission.


Plastic Optical Fiber (POF)

Plastic Optical Fiber (POF) is a large-core step-index fiber with a core diameter of 1 mm.

The large size makes it easier to install and connect to devices, light sources, detectors, etc., even by non-professionals. At the same time, the cost of using plastic optical fibers is relatively lower, so for applications that do not require long-distance high bandwidth, plastic optical fibers are more competitive and are a good choice for short-distance data transmission.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of fiber optic cables?


Security - All major businesses rely on high levels of security to protect themselves from hackers and thieves.

 Data in fiber is very secure and can help keep your business safe. Hackers can't listen to the signal while it's traveling, because fiber-optic lines don't radiate signals.

 On top of that, any breach that physically disrupts the system will cause the entire system to fail.

Connection - Connection quality helps give you the fastest internet speeds, picture quality on your TV, and clearest phone voice quality.

Electromagnetic Interference (EMI) is airborne interference caused by electromagnetic radiation. Excessive EMI in the air and signal quality using common wires is bound to degrade or weaken.

Fiber optic cables are designed to be highly EMI resistant and have low bit error rates.



Damage - Due to the thinner and lighter construction, the fibers are more fragile than regular metal wire.

Building renovations and rewiring can cause unexpected wiring cuts because cables are too small.

Fuse - Due to the high power of fiber optic lines, multiple networks can be at risk of fiber fuse fuses when operating at high power.

Fiber fuses can occur when too much light encounters defects in fiber cleavage. Fiber fuses are capable of destroying long wires in a very short period of time.