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Black Box Explains…Fiber Ethernet adapters vs. media converters.

When running fiber to the desktop, you have two choices for making the connection from the fiber to a PC: a fiber Ethernet adapter or a media converter like our... more/see it nowMicro Mini Media Converter.

Fiber Ethernet adapters:

  • Less expensive.
  • Create no desktop clutter, but the PC must be opened.
  • Powered from the PC—require no separate power provision.
  • Require an open PCI or PCI-E slot in the PC.
  • Can create driver issues that must be resolved.
  • May be required in high-security installations that require a 100% fiber link to the desktop.

  • Media converters:
  • More expensive.
  • No need to open the PC but can create a cluttered look.
  • Powered from an AC outlet or a PC’s USB port.
  • Don’t require an open slot in the PC.
  • Plug-and-play installation—totally transparent to data, so there are no driver problems; install in seconds.
  • The short copper link from media converter to PC may be a security vulnerability.
  • collapse

    • Manual... 
    • Miniature Media Converter Power Tray with AC Power Manual
      Manual for LHC018A-AC-R2 (Version 1)
     

    Product Data Sheets (pdf)...PoE PSE Media Converters

    • Manual... 
    • High-Density Media Converter System II, 10-/100-Mbps Ethernet VDSL Extender Module User Manual
      User Manual for LMC5601C-VDSL2 (1)
     

    Product Data Sheets (pdf)...High-Density Media Converter System II

    • Manual... 
    • High-Density Media Converter System II Gigabit Module Manual
      Manual for LGC5845C-R3, LGC5844C-R3, LGC5846C-R3, LGC5847C-R3, LGC5184C-R3, LGC5108C-R4, and LGC5109C-R4 (Version 1)
     
    • Manual... 
    • Pure Networking%X99 Gigabit Media Converter User Manual
      User Manual for the LGC200A, LGC201A, and LGC202A (Version 1)
     
    • Manual... 
    • High-Density Media Converter System II User Manual
      User Manual for LMC5022C-R3, LMC5023C-R3, LMC5026C-R3, LMC5027C-R3, LMC5110C-R3, LMC5111C-R3, LMC5113C-R3, LMC5114C-R3, LMC5116C-R3, LMC5117C-R3, LMC5180C-R3, LMC5181C-R3, and LMC5182C-R3 (1)
     
    • Manual... 
    • Dynamic Fiber Conversion System Manual
      Manual for LMC11002A, LMC11012A, LMC11022A (Version 1)
     

    Black Box Explains…Media converters that also work as switches.

    Media converters transparently convert the incoming electrical signal from one cable type and then transmit it over another type—thick coax to Thin, UTP to fiber, and so on. Traditionally, media... more/see it nowconverters were purely Layer 1 devices that only converted electrical signals and physical media and didn’t do anything to the data coming through the link.

    Today’s media converters, however, are often more advanced Layer 2 Ethernet devices that, like traditional media converters, provide Layer 1 electrical and physical conversion. But, unlike traditional media converters, they also provide Layer 2 services and route Ethernet packets based on MAC address. These media converters are often called media converter switches, switching media converters, or Layer 2 media converters. They enable you to have multiple connections rather than just one simple in-and-out connection. And because they’re switches, they increase network efficiency.

    Media converters are often used to connect newer 100-Mbps, Gigabit Ethernet, or ATM equipment to existing networks, which are generally 10BASE-T, 100BASE-T, or a mixture of both. They can also be used in pairs to insert a fiber segment into copper networks to increase cabling distances and enhance immunity to electromagnetic interference.

    Rent an apartment…
    Media converters are available in standalone models that convert between two different media types and in chassis-based models that house many media converters in a a single chassis.

    Standalone models convert between two media. But, like a small apartment, they can be outgrown.

    Consider your current and future applications before selecting a media converter. A good way to anticipate future network requirements is to choose media converters that work as standalone devices but can be rackmounted if needed later.

    …or buy a house.
    Chassis-based or modular media converter systems are normally rackmountable and have slots to house media converter modules. Like a well-planned house, the chassis gives you room to grow. These are used when many Ethernet segments of different media types need to be connected in a central location. Modules are available for the same conversions performed by the standalone converters, and they enable you to mix different media types such as 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 100BASE-FX, ATM, and Gigabit modules. Although enterprise-level chassis-based systems generally have modules that can only be used in a chassis, many midrange systems feature modules that can be used individually or in a chassis. collapse

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