What are Fiber Optic Switches?

When people see a networking switch, they may think it is a router at first. While a switch and a router both are network devices that can connect multiple computers together to the internet through the modem, they serve different functions in how they connect and manage data. While a router connects various networks on a single connection, a switch is more of a bridge in which multiple computers are connected together onto a single network. Therefore a router connects multiple networks and a switch connects computers to a single network. Switches usually benefit large networks in which many systems are connected through LAN. A Fiber Optic Switch in particular is a special type that allows for a connected network that runs on fiber optic technology.

Fiber optic switches are communication control devices that are most often utilized in optical fiber networking. In regards to computer networking, fiber optic switches are components that are installed between fiber lines to both send and receive light data transmissions from one device to the other, as well as determine the destination of the data packet. In their most basic, they are still a Standard Switch in that they connect devices together in a LAN network, but transfer data through photons rather than through copper wiring.

In all applications, Fiber Optic Cables utilize light signals to transfer data rather than electrical signals, therefore they are not affected by interfering electromagnetic waves. Fiber optic switches also have the ability to reach great speeds, often ranging from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps. Other benefits include rapid switching times, low loss of signal, and great stability. As compared to traditional switches, fiber optics can be more expensive, but their options for speed and superb abilities make them a heavy contender to traditional copper wiring. Due to their abilities, fiber optic switches and cabling can be worthwhile investment depending on the size of your network and the speeds that you desire.


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