Copper Cable vs. Fiber Optic: Which Option Is Better for You?

Copper Cable vs. Fiber Optic: Which Option Is Better for You?

There’s been a common question going around for years—copper cable vs. fiber optic: which option is better for you? And the truth is, it depends. Before we can accurately answer that question, we first need to understand what you’re using it for, and the speed you’ll need. So, let’s get into it.

How Does Copper Cable Work vs. Fiber Optic?

In simple terms, copper cables send data by electrical currents while fiber optics transfer data with pulses of light often from a laser. So, why is this important? First, copper cables have a higher risk of corrosion which reduces their lifespan. In addition, copper cables face interference from several sources, such as the weather and radio frequencies. However, the weather or radio frequencies do no effect fiber optics because they don’t use copper or any other metal. In fact, fiber optics use strands of glass or plastic that are thinner than a human hair to carry the pulses of light to its destination.

Who Is Copper Cabling Ideal For?

Those who live in rural areas would benefit from copper cables since they were the standard for centuries to wire telephones. In other words, cables are already in place and you wouldn’t need to install new cables. Additionally, copper cables are common for households that don’t need fast and consistent internet. Also, versatile copper cables, such as a Cat5e Ethernet cable, are more affordable. As such, they commonly act as temporary cabling for homes and businesses. All that said, it’s not impossible to get fiber optics in a rural area, but you’ll likely need to pay for new cable installation which can be a hefty price tag.

Who Is Fiber Optic Cabling Ideal For?

Businesses have largely adopted fiber optic technology due to their lifespan, reliability, speed, and security benefits. For instance, because they consist of glass or plastic, fiber optic cables don’t corrode, so their lifespan is more than double that of copper cables. Similarly, they experience little to no interference, so the reliability goes unmatched. Additionally, the main benefit of fiber optics is speed capabilities. Because fiber optics transfer data using pulses of light, it allows for data to travel further and faster than copper cables, without losing the quality of connection. Lastly, because businesses value security highly, fiber optics are much less vulnerable to hacks because they don’t emit signals.

So, what’s the verdict? In general, fiber optics overwhelmingly take the win here. But it can still depend based on your location and your personal needs. This is because, although fiber optics have several benefits, they may be overkill if you only want a basic connection for internet browsing. On the other hand, if you’re a business, then fiber optics will probably be a better fit.

Regardless of your needs, our customer service team at CableWholesale has set the standard for excellence, and they’d be happy to help. We strive to offer the highest quality cables, at the best price, all while offering a lifetime warranty on most of our products. Contact us today for more information!


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