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Copper vs Optical Fiber

Copper and optical fiber are two different types of transmission media that are commonly used in telecommunications and computer networking. Here are some key differences between the two:

  1. Speed: Optical fibers have a much higher bandwidth than copper wires, allowing for faster data transmission rates. Fiber optic cables can transmit data at speeds up to 100 Gbps, while copper cables are typically limited to speeds of up to 10 Gbps.
  2. Distance: Optical fibers can transmit data over much longer distances than copper wires without suffering from signal degradation. Copper wires are typically limited to distances of up to 100 meters, while fiber optic cables can transmit data over distances of several kilometers.
  3. Interference: Copper wires are susceptible to electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI), which can degrade the quality of the signal. Optical fibers are immune to EMI and RFI, making them a more reliable transmission medium.
  4. Security: Optical fibers are more secure than copper wires because they are difficult to tap or intercept. Copper wires can be easily intercepted, making them vulnerable to eavesdropping and other security threats.
  5. Cost: Copper wires are generally less expensive than fiber optic cables, making them a more cost-effective choice for shorter distance applications. However, as the distance increases, the cost of fiber optic cables becomes more competitive with copper wires.

Overall, optical fibers offer superior performance and reliability compared to copper wires, especially for long-distance, high-speed data transmission applications. However, copper wires still have a role to play in certain applications where cost is a primary consideration or where shorter distances are involved.

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