Is Plastic Optical fiber expensive? Why not pass ethernet cable if it is cheaper? What are the differences from normal fiber optics? We take advantage of the confinement to solve some doubts that you ask us.

Is Plastic Optical Fiber expensive?

Well, we can answer this question with another question. If we pay the operator for fiber to our house but then we do not take advantage of it 100%… will we not be throwing money away? Think that if you hire 600 megabytes per second you will have them up to the router, but from the router to the other rooms of your house there the company does not assure you anything. And we already know that with wifi and repeaters the losses are more than assured. With a lot of luck, you can achieve 50% (if you don't go too far). Even if you don't have fiber in your house and ADSL reaches you. Don't you want to make the most of the little that comes to you? The reliable alternative is clearly cable. So, many of you tell us that with cat 6 or 7 cables a similar result can be achieved for a lower cost and that therefore the plastic Optical Fiber is expensive.

Why not run ethernet cable if it is cheaper?

Well, first tell you that when someone considers wiring on many occasions it is because they have already tried the alternatives with Wifi repeaters and PLC and none have been effective. But really, when we are comparing wired connections, we are comparing very different things that offer solutions to different cases and in different ways. Only Plastic Optical Fiber is a 100% reliable plug and play solution.

Installing ethernet cables is not something that just anyone can do. First and very important: If we want a well finished installation we will need to use the empty corrugated tubes. If you are an installer, you already know that copper cables always present difficulties when installing them. To start, they require specific tools such as the crimper and for the installation to be approved, the cables must be passed through the free conduits that we have. And by the way, the highest speed ethernet cables are also the thickest and most difficult to handle, plus they cannot share conduit with electrical cables. This is important for several things:

For safety and approval of the facilities. If something happens in the house and your installation does not comply with the regulations, no insurance would want to compensate anything. No professional worth its salt will install ethernet cables through electrical conduits because of the risk that this entails.

Then what if you don't have a free conduit to go over the ethernet cable? Well, you have to "pull the cable out" something that if you do not worry about aesthetics, it can be useful but the finish will leave much to be desired. So if we want to carry 100% of our connection, without having to resort to works, without skipping regulations and without risking interference, the only guarantee today is plastic optical fiber.

Let's recap, if you want to take advantage of 100% of the connection in other parts of the house you have no choice but to consider wiring and if you also want to do it in an approved way, really reliable and without works in most cases, Fiber Optic is your solution .

What are the differences from normal fiber optics?

The main difference that distinguishes it from traditional optical fiber is that plastic optical fiber is made of plastic, as its name suggests. This particularity makes it have certain properties that make it more useful, such as, for example, its flexibility makes it easier to get it, avoiding problems and interferences when sharing space with other electrical cables.

The most important part of the cable are the fibers; which are the elements through which information is transmitted through pulses of light that represent the data. Therefore, if these fibers are broken, communication is broken. This is why flexibility is so important.

It is on difficult routes where the plastic fiber optic reaches its full potential, since it can execute curves and share space with the electrical wiring.

Plastic optical fiber has many advantages over the traditional one but it also has some disadvantages.

Advantages of Plastic Optical Fiber vs Glass Optical Fiber

  • Installation almost without materials : Being so flexible no matter how complicated the shape of the house is, the difficulties are greatly reduced, even if you are an experienced installer you will not need tools such as splicers. In fact most Snap Data kits are self-installing, ideal for installers or DIYers.
  • Lower cost : As we have already mentioned, the costs of both the fiber itself and the materials necessary for its installation are much lower than those of glass fiber optics.
  • No Specialist Knowledge Required : Making glass fiber optic connections requires specialized machinery or professional knowledge.
  • Disadvantages fiber optic glass
  • Fragility of the fibers . As we have commented on other occasions. Although this aspect is improving, the installation of the fiber optic glass has to be done delicately.
  • Installation precision . The tiny cores of the cables must be aligned with extreme precision when splicing to avoid excessive signal loss.
  • Difficulty repairing a broken fiber cable . As fiber optic glass installers know, be careful because a strong bend can ruin the cable and the installation.

Disadvantages of Plastic Optical Fiber

Although plastic fiber has what we could call a "disadvantage" compared to traditional fiber, and that is that the speed of traditional fiber is designed to connect large distances and amounts of information and reaches stratospheric speeds. Currently, the FOP has a maximum speed of 1gbps, which although that is already very very fast and exceeds the needs of the vast majority. In fact, today in Spain in mid-2020 almost nobody has speeds that exceed 600 mbps at home.

Well, as always we hope to have resolved your doubts. Don't forget to subscribe to the channel or ask us more questions about Snap Data on this channel or on our website.

Thanks and until another.