10 Jan Fiber Optic Cabling vs. Cat6: Everything You Need To Know in 2023
Are you setting up a network with the vision of optimum efficiency? You may have seen two types of cables specifically recommended to accommodate scaling networks for homes and businesses, fiber optics and cat6.
You can consult installation specialists here if you’re already set on the type you prefer. Otherwise, learn everything you need about fiber optic cabling vs. cat6 in 2023 in this guide.
Fiber Optic Cabling VS. Cat6— The Biggest Differences
Modern homes and businesses continually rely on speed and efficiency to accommodate their growing number of high-end applications. Fast, uninterrupted data can provide better media experiences, competitive edges, and, more significantly, maximize productivity in every digital respect.
That’s why good cabling for networks has become essential. Fiber optic and cat6 cabling are considered premium types for homes and businesses.
But what are these cables, and what sets them apart? Discover more about fiber optic and cat6 cabling below.
What is Fiber Optic Cabling?
Fiber optic cables are unique from other types of cabling, especially cat6. Instead of relying on electrical power to bounce signals through the wiring, the wires draw on light, which is the quickest known method of transmitting data.
These cables are argued as the cleanest, most efficient way to send data, ultimately running faster than any available cabling. They are immune to electrical interference, too, which means that these are more reliable assets in your network for critical information.
One of the core advantages of fiber optic cabling is that there are no limits on length. That means that during fiber optic installation, you can stretch the span of the globe without any signal compromise. There’s no need to add any boosters or peripherals to clean up the signal.
But let’s go over the advantages and disadvantages of fiber optic cabling to highlight its qualities.
- Pros of fiber optic cabling are:
- A low rate of error, using light to transmit data
- Fantastic security potential preventing any intrusions
- The cabling has long-term cost-effectiveness
- Easier to work with than copper cables
Now let’s look at the disadvantages of fiber optic cabling:
- Expensive upfront costs
- The cables can only move data in one direction, requiring more of them
- They are lighter and thinner, which is more prone to damage.
Fiber optic cabling is often seen as the networking accessory of the future, but that doesn’t mean that cat6 will lose any popularity. Let’s look at the features of cat6 cabling.
What is Cat6 Cabling?
Category 6 cabling, or cat6, is a standard cabling type for network systems that allow Gigabit Ethernet speeds of up to 1 Gbps. It’s a popular choice for those working in communications, considering its speed and reliability for VoIP applications.
Cat6 cabling consists of four pairs of twisted copper wires, making use of every strand as opposed to its predecessor, cat5, though they are similar in composition. It allows cat6 to double the speed, facilitating faster networks and meeting modern efficiency expectations.
While the speed is heralded as the standout feature of cat6 cabling, it doesn’t come without drawbacks. Due to the cables’ composition nature, they have limitations in how far they can go, with a maximum range of 100 meters. There are also issues syncing the cabling with some connectors because of its bulkiness.
So let’s review the pros and cons to define the features of cat6.
The advantages of cat6 cabling include the following:
- Designed to accommodate Gigabit Ethernet
- High speeds with excellent performance
- It can support any device with a cat5 port
- Scalable with businesses networks
The drawbacks of cat6 are:
- The cabling is more expensive than in previous generations
- It will only offer the gigabit network if every network component is running at that speed
So, with the two types of cabling in mind, how do we define which is better for your needs?
Fiber Optic Cabling vs. Cat6: Which is Better?
It’s challenging to define which cabling is generally better, considering each of their qualities accommodates specific needs. Fiber optics can be seen as better for businesses with a long-term vision for their networks. At the same time, cat6 is identified as a more robust solution for smaller workplaces. Also, most of the time, fiber optic cable is faster than copper, which is something to keep in mind when choosing between the two.
Weighing up your options with the advantages and disadvantages of fiber optics and cat6 can be tricky. So how do you decide which cabling is better for your home or business?
Where Can I Learn More About Fiber Optic Cabling and Cat6?
Bridge Cable is one of the most trusted, knowledgeable network cabling entities in the Philadelphia and New Jersey area. If you need advice on what’s better for your network, get in touch with our team for profound insight into the most-suited cables.