Pros and Cons of Category 6 and Fiber Optic Cabling for Business Applications

    [This article was written by Meghan Belnap.]

    If you have recently decided to upgrade your company’s data and phone lines, then you will most likely need to spend some time researching Cat 6 and fiber optic cables. Even though those two types of cable are relatively similar, there are a few important variables to consider before you decide on which type of wires you are going to choose.

    Price

    The first thing that most business owners are going to look at when they are thinking about upgrading their networking systems is the total cost of each component. While good deals can be found on all different types of cables, Cat 6 is usually going to be less expensive than fiber optic. That being said, you will need to think about a variety of issues such as the longevity of those products and how often they need to be upgraded.

    Ease of Installation

    Luckily, installing these two types of cables should be relatively easy as long as you work with an experienced contractor. Many network installers and office telephone system providers have experienced technicians that can easily install these types of lines in a matter of days, and your network should be up and running before you know it. If you are building a new office from the ground up, then the cables can easily be installed during the construction process.

    Layout of Your Business

    One variable that is going to be incredibly important is the layout of your commercial building. Many people are surprised to hear that unshielded Cat 6 cable could begin to lose its signal after about 175 feet. Even when the cable is shielded, the maximum distance for that type of line is just over 300 feet, and you might need to use fiber optic cables or multiple relays if your building is larger than that.

    Potential Interference

    Over the last few years, engineers have come up with some great ways to shield Cat 6 cable, but that type of protection isn’t completely impervious to outside interference. Wireless signals and nearby powered cables could interfere with the data that is going through your Cat 6 lines. You will most likely need to have an engineer test the facilities to see how much potential interference there will be.

    Before you install any new lines in your office or warehouse, you must also speak with the contractor who is going to be carrying out the project. Many network installation companies will only work with certain products, and you need to make sure that your contractor is comfortable using whatever type of cable that you choose.

    Author Bio:

    Meghan Belnap is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family. She loves being in the outdoors and exploring new opportunities whenever they arise. Meghan finds happiness in researching new topics that help to expand her horizons. You can often find her buried in a good book or out looking for an adventure. You can connect with her on Facebook right here and Twitter right here.

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