Media Converter – the Migration Tool for Network Connectivity

In today’s rapidly expanding data network, the need to drive higher speeds closer to the user is an ongoing challenge. However, upgrading and replacing equipment is costly, many organizers can’t afford it. So how can we meet the increasing demand for bandwidth in the existing network infrastructure? Fiber media converter is a cost-effective solution to this issue. It dramatically increases the bandwidth and transmission distance of the local area network (LAN) by allowing the use of fiber and integrating new equipment into existing cabling infrastructure. To better understand fiber media converter, this post will give an overview of it.

Basic Concept of Fiber Media Converter

Fiber media converter (shown in the following picture), also known as Ethernet media converter, is a simple networking device that connects two dissimilar media types, such as unshielded twisted pair (UTP) with fiber optic cabling. Although it was introduced to the industry years ago, fiber media converter is still an increasingly important device in interconnecting fiber optic cabling-based systems with existing copper-based, structured cabling systems. Besides, fiber media converter can be used in metropolitan area network (MAN) access and data transport services to enterprise customers.

Advantages of Fiber Media Converter

Fiber media converter is a low cost robust device that allows the network planners to expand the reach of the network beyond typical twisted pair cable constraints. It easily adds additional buildings associated with the “main office” and expand existing optical or copper transport networks. With 3-R capabilities, long distances can be managed with no impact on throughput. Furthermore, fiber media converter is not complex device, not requiring a new skill for engineers to install and manage. Thus, the current IT/Engineering staff can deploy this solution quickly.

Common Fiber Media Converter Types

Fiber media converters support many different data transmission protocols including Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, T1/E1/J1, DS3/E3, as well as multiple cabling types such as coax, twisted pair, multimode and single-mode fiber optics. There are two common fiber media types—copper-to-fiber media converter and fiber-to-fiber media converter. The following part will introduce them respectively.

Copper-to Fiber Media Converter

When two network devices with copper ports should be connected over extended distances via fiber optic cabling, copper-to-fiber media converter comes in handy. It is the key to integrating fiber into a copper infrastructure, making it possible to migrate a local network to fiber while extending the productive life of existing infrastructure (see the image below). This kind of fiber media converter supports the IEEE 802.3 standard and provides connectivity for Ethernet, fast Ethernet, Gigabit and 10 Gigabit Ethernet devices. It can also support 10/100 or 10/100/1000 rate switching, enabling the integration of equipment of different data rates and interface types into one seamless network. Fast Ethernet media converter, Gigabit fiber media converter and 10G media converter are three commonly used types of copper-to-fiber media converter.

Fiber-to-Fiber Media Converter

It is obvious that copper-to-fiber media converter promotes and brings down the price for the deployment of local area network. But what can fiber-to-fiber media converter do? Fiber-to-fiber media converter is used to extend network distance by providing connectivity between multimode and single-mode fiber, between different “power” fiber sources and between dual fiber and single fiber. This media converter is ideal for campus area network or other applications requiring the distance advantages of single-mode fiber, and can extend a Gigabit Ethernet connection up to 125 km for MAN (metropolitan area network) applications. Mode converter and WDM OEO transponder are two common types of fiber-to-fiber media converters. The following picture shows the application of fiber-to-fiber media converter.


To sum up, fiber media converter is an economical solution to overcome the bandwidth and distance limitation of traditional network cable, which has been widely used in today’s network. It is the easiest way to achieve the conversion between copper to fiber or fiber to fiber. There are a variety of fiber media converters provided in FS.COM, including copper-to-fiber converter, and fiber-to-fiber converter. Besides we also have many high-quality transceiver modules, like Cisco GLC-SX-MMD, and fiber patch cables, like LC fiber cables, in stock. If you need any related products, Welcome to FS.COM to choose the ideal one for your network.


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