Copper-Based or Fiber-Based Home Network?

In an age of network technology developing rapidly, we enjoy the convenience brought by Internet all the time. We can know what is happening around us by surfing the Internet. Also, we can chat with friends far away from us on the computer. Still, higher bandwidth is needed. We know that fiber optic cable can provide higher bandwidth and longer transmission distance than Ethernet cable. Therefore, many broadband service providers utilize fiber optic cable to serve customers. That’s what we call FTTH (Fiber To the Home) project. According to FTTH project, there are two kinds of home network deployment—copper-based hone network and fiber-based home network. This article will introduce them to you.

Copper-Based Home Network

In order to achieve quick installation, the broadband service provider will set a distribution point near or inside a building. Fiber optic cables are deployed in this building to connect every required house to this fiber distribution point, thus providing broadband services to end users. Usually, we will connect modem to Internet service port through RJ-11 cable or coax cable. Then we connect the modem to the router via Ethernet cable. The router can be connected with multiple Ethernet-ready devices. Finally, the copper-based home network is finished. However, in FTTH project, there is some differences. The fiber distribution cable from the broadband service provider is connected to an ONU (Optical Network Unit) which can convert the optical signals into electrical signals. Then we use Ethernet cable to connect ONU with router as well as router with Ethernet-ready device. At last, copper-based home network in FTTH project is completed. We can easily find that both of them utilize router to connect with Ethernet-ready device via Ethernet cable. However, the differences are that the previous one uses modem to connect with router, while the latter one uses ONU to connect with router.

Fiber-Based Home Network

It is not difficult to understand that in fiber-based home network, fiber optic cable is only used. To complete the deployment, we need some preparations. For connecting a computer directly to a fiber network, we can install a fiber optic PCI Ethernet adapter card which allows you to add a fiber port to your system through an available standard or low-profile PCI slot. And there are different interfaces for the card, such as LC, SC, FC, ST. Therefore, you can install corresponding fiber optic wall plates and use corresponding fiber optic cable. Once the fiber distribution cable is connected with the fiber optic wall plates, you can enjoy Internet with high bandwidth.

Copper-Based or Fiber-Based Home Network?

In fact, many people choose copper-based home network for the lower cost. And they often choose cat5e network cable or cat6 network cable for future-proof. But if you have higher requirement for bandwidth and do not worry about the budget, you can choose fiber-based home network. In addition, you do not have to think about future-proof. Besides, there is another thing that you have to think about carefully—the installation. From the perspective of installation, fiber optic cable is light in weight which makes it easier to handle than Ethernet cable. And it is thin, so it takes up much less space in cabling ducts. However, fiber optic cable is fragile which may be damaged during the installation. What we have discussed are just main differences between copper-based and fiber-based home network. Which one to choose depends on your actual requirement. I hope this article can help you make the right decision.


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