Media converters are networking devices that transparently convert Ethernet or other communication protocols from one cable type and then transmit it over another type, usually copper CATx/UTP to fiber. They are often used in pairs to insert a fiber segment into copper networks to increase cabling distances and enhance immunity to electromagnetic interference. They can be used to extend LANs, convert link speeds or to convert fiber modes.
Fiber-to-copper converters enable connections of copper-based Ethernet equipment over a fiber-optic link. This extends links over greater distances with fiber-optic cable, protects data from noise and interference and future-proofs a network with additional bandwidth capacity.
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Power-over-Ethernet (PoE) media converters provide reliable and cost-effective fiber distance extension to PoE powered devices. PoE media converters can power devices like IP phones, video conferencing equipment, IP cameras and Wi-Fi devices over copper UTP cabling.
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Fiber-to-fiber media converters connect different fiber-optic networks and support conversion from one wavelength to another. They provide connectivity between single-mode and multimode fiber, as well as between dual fiber and single fiber.
Industrial media converters convert data between twisted pair cabling and multimode or single-mode fiber-optic cabling, extending the distance of a network. They are able to withstand extreme temperatures (-40° F to 167° F) and harsh conditions. They feature redundant power design and boast IP-30 protection capabilities. This makes them a perfect fit for industrial networks. They are commonly used in applications such as building automation, oil/gas drilling and mining.
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Managed media converters give network administrators complete control of data, bandwidth and traffic. This lets administrators manage and troubleshoot a network remotely and securely to achieve and maintain optimal performance and reliability. Thus, these converters are most suitable for environments requiring a medium to large-scale deployment of media converters.
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Unmanaged media converters are “plug-and-play” converters which are easy to install and troubleshoot. Unlike managed converters, these do not provide the same level of monitoring, fault detection and configuration.
Small form-factor (SFP) media converters are designed for extended IP network applications. They provide one or more open SFP ports that allow the use of the SFP optics. This offers the flexibility of SFP technology for Gigabit Ethernet transmission over optical fiber.
Gigabit media converters are ideal for converting between a copper network and a fiber-optic network. They make it simple to extend the distance of an existing network or the distance between two devices. Gigabit media converters allow for bidirectional communication, making them ideal for industrial applications.
Before you select a media converter, you must consider your current and future network requirements.
Find out how to pick the best media converter for your application by downloading our white paper: How Media Converters Deliver Cost-Effective Fiber Connectivity.