What is Fiber Optic and How It Transmits Data?

In Computer Skills, Hardware Skills

Fiber optics are also called as optical fibers. A single roll of an optical fiber cable is usually consisting of a number of thin strands. Then, you will need several components that support a computer network to work properly. They are hosts (computer users), servers, switches, and cables as a liaison and data channel.

Instead of Fiber Optic cables, there are several types of cables which are commonly used in a computer network installation such as Coaxial and Twisted cables. Those two types of cables may be the most widely used cables in many types of computer network.

Over times, people want higher access speed and maximum data transfer capabilities. Actually, Coaxial and Twisted cables are good enough to meet a networking standard, but certainly, some people need a new innovation with more advantages for computer networking.

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High-speed data access in a network certainly is the most sought after, especially for browsing on the internet. This is what lies behind the emergence of Fiber Optic cables and the number of its users are rapidly increasing. This article will explain more about what is Fiber Optic cable with a clear definition. Then you will discover more the function of Fiber Optic cable, how it works, advantages, and disadvantages of Fiber Optic.

The Definition of Fiber Optic

Fiber Optic cables aren’t like other types of cables. Other types of network cabling carry electricity, but Fiber Optic cables are a type of cable with the main function to convert electrical signals into light and stream them from a point to another. The main material of Fiber Optic cables is fine glass and plastic fibers, even finer than a hair. Unlike other types of cables that use the copper material.

There are 2 types of transmission modes namely Single Mode that utilizes the laser beam as the transmission media and Multi-Mode which is using LED media. Usually, Fiber Optic cables are more often used on middle to upper class of network installations.

The Function of Fiber Optic Cables

Basically, the function of Fiber Optic cables is the same as other types of cables which is to connect two or more computers (users) to each other and within the scope of a particular network. But the difference is its high access speed and faster data transmission capabilities. The data transmission speed of a fiber optic cable can be up to Gigabit per second. In addition, because it doesn’t carry electricity this type of cable couldn’t be affected by electromagnetic interference. So, data transmission process fiber optic cables are more stable than other types of cables.

Nevertheless, the more advantages you can get from a fiber optic cable means it’s more expensive. Large-scale companies and telecommunication operators are commonly choosing Fiber Optic cables. As a matter of fact, today’s WiFi developers have started to use Fiber Optic as it is faster and stable in transmitting data.

Although it comes with a higher capability than the previous generation of cables, it doesn’t mean the Fiber Optic cable has no disadvantages at all. Below you can find out more some advantages and disadvantages Fiber Optic cables.

The Advantages of Fiber Optic

  • Fiber Optic cables have the ability to deliver large capacity of data even with a very far transmission distance. Its Gigabyte per the second capacity gives allow internet providers and telephone companies to provide high bandwidth.
  • Although it has a great data transmission capability, its physical shape of a Fiber Optic is commonly smaller when than other types of cables. Because the material of Fiber Optic cables is glass and plastic fiber. This makes it possible for the availability of considerable space.
  • Because Fiber Optic cables don’t use electric, it means the data transmission free of electromagnetic disruptions, radio signals. The resistance of this type of cable has is strong enough, it’s why widely used by large companies or organizations.
  • Despite having a high access speed, the possibility of data loss is very low. So, you don’t have to worry about the data validity.
  • There would be a short circuit in Fiber Optic as it is not using electricity.

The Disadvantages of Fiber Optic

  1. The biggest disadvantage of Fiber Optic cable is its expensive price. It’s really reasonable considering its materials and complex installation. Therefore, need extra money and specific technical skills to buy and install this kind of networking cable.
  2. In addition to a high cost for installation, you will need maintenance cost.
  3. Fiber Optic cables are usually installed on a winding or curving. This way makes the process of running waves can be more smoothly or not hampered. So, an installation with a long track would be complicated.

How Fiber Optic Works

As you have read above that Fiber Optic cables don’t run electricity, but light. Electricity obtained is converted into light signals and flowed amongst computers, network devices, of sometimes parts of computer hardware which are connected in a large scale network. This makes Fiber Optic cables very suitable for in high-level electromagnetic interference areas.

The longer a Coaxial or Twisted cable, possibly has more obstacles. But this doesn’t apply to Fiber Optic cables. It pure glass fibers are capable of carrying light to transmit data continuously regardless of the length of the cable used. In other words, Fiber Optic cables work by utilizing light reflections on its glass fibers in producing total internal reflection to flow the wave signal of data.

That’s the simple definition of Fiber Optic. You need to understand how Fiber Optic works especially if you want to do a network installation. Although the fairly high price to buy fiber optic cables for its benefits, it’s reasonable that many big companies prefer using this type of networking cable.

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