Since its introduction, optical fiber cables have been known to be the best transmission medium and an innovation that promised to significantly push broadband speeds. And it actually did it.
But there is still a competition between copper and fiber. Both markets are increasing their products and potentially growing. Nevertheless fiber offers a lot of advantages over copper and is quickly replacing it, even in desktop applications.
Greater bandwidth and speed:
Optical fiber provides more bandwidth than copper, reaching speeds from 100 Mbps up to 10 Gbps and beyond. This means fiber can carry more information than copper and with better fidelity. Optical fiber speeds depends on the type of cable, which can be single-mode or multimode.
When traveling over long distances, optical fiber cables experiences less signal loss than copper cables. Copper cables performance decreases after 9,328ft, while optical fiber installations can go from 984.2 ft to 24.8 miles and have an outstanding performance.
It is possible to hack optical fiber, but it is significantly harder than hacking copper networkis. And it is really easy to monitor when a fiber cable is tapped, so you will know if someone tries to break your network security.
Immunity and reliability:
Copper, if not properly installed, produces electromagnetic currents that can cause problems on the network. While optical fiber is immune to electromagnetic interferences, thus they provide reliable data transmission. Fiber is less susceptible to temperature and can be installed underwater, too.
To reach higher speeds with copper, you need to get a higher grade of cable, which usually are larger and weight more. Optical fiber cables are thin and light, which makes it easier to install because they take up little space.
Optical fiber is more expensive than copper in the short run, but its maintaining costs are significantly lower. Fiber requires less hardware installation and lasts longer, which makes it less expensive in the long run.