A Brief look at Fiber Optic Patch Cables and Ethernet Adapters

There is a gap between having fast and steady internet service and your devices making use of it. You need to bridge that gap with the right cables and adapters. There are multiple parts to it. First, you need to have the right kind of Ethernet cables installed in your wiring. Next, you need to have fiber jumper cables, and last you need to have adapters to connect your devices.

Let’s see these cables and adapters now.

When it comes to data transmission, faster is better. For this, you need the right fiber jumper cables, and choosing those can be challenging.

So what does a fiber patch cord even do? 

It connects your network hardware or end devices to your cabling system. These fiber jumper cables come in two variants: simplex and duplex. 

Simplex cable

Simplex cables, as the name suggests, are made of a single strand of glass encased in plastic. These work great for when you want the data to flow only one way, over relatively shorter distances. They are generally used in homes, buildings, tv networks, and so on and so forth. 

Duplex cable

Duplex cables, as the name suggests, work for bi-directional data transmission. They are also glass strands encased in plastic. The two cables work together as transmitter and receiver. Because of their physical build-up, they can be used over much larger distances, where you need a bi-directional signal, like servers, large network hardware, large workstations, and so on. 

Within Duplex cables also there is a bifurcation based on how they are built: Zipcord and Uniboot. Zipcord cables are bound together to work together and can be unstructured easily when you want to separate the transmitter and receiver. However, Uniboot cables are more complex as they end in a single connector, and are thus more challenging to repair, or replace.

What to choose?

When it comes to choosing any cable, it really depends on your requirements and cross-compatibility with your equipment. 

Simplex cables are cost-effective but do require more cabling, thus making your setup rather cluttered. They are great for when you need more bandwidth and transmission speeds. 

On the other hand, Duplex patch cables are more expensive but do keep your space neater, and more organized. They require a lesser number of cables. 

At the end of the day, you will have to choose based on your requirements, and what suits your setup best. We stock all kinds of fiber optic cables, and you can contact us if you have any questions regarding how to choose the right cable for your specific needs. 

Next up: Adapters

When building your fiber optic setup, you also need adapters and connectors to attach to the patch cords. A common one is the RJ45 Ethernet connector. The RJ45 port is ubiquitous - available on servers, computers, laptops, and all networking hardware. 

However, there are laptops that don’t come with an ethernet port nowadays. There are workarounds for this in terms of hubs, docking stations, and adapters. 

There are plenty of these adapters in the market: USB A to Ethernet, USB C to Ethernet, HDMI to Ethernet, etc. 

The most common one these days is the USB C to Ethernet cable. The use case of this cable is obvious. Laptops that want to go with a slim design and only 2 or 3 ports, they can choose to eliminate the ethernet port. They also justify it by adding the latest WiFi chip - Wifi 6 to it. However, sometimes, WiFi simply won’t do the trick, and that is when this adapter will have to come into play. 

You can go for an individual adapter or you can opt for a multi-port adapter that can offer more ports like USB A, SD card slot, Ethernet port, an extra USB C port, etc. 

SF Cable stocks all kinds of adapters and connectors. You can browse all that you need and contact us if you need help selecting the right one for your setup.