Fiber media converter, also known as fiber transceiver or Ethernet media converter, is a simple networking device which receives data signals, sents via one media, converts the signals and then transmits the signals into another kind of media. A fiber optic media converter makes it possible to connect two dissimilar media types with fiber optic cabling, can transform between different media, different cable types and different equipment interfaces. They were introduced to the industry nearly two decades ago, and are important in interconnecting fiber optic cabling-based systems with existing copper-based and structured cabling systems.
Fiber media converters support many different data communication protocols including Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet, T1/E1/J1, DS3/E3, as well as multiple cabling types such as coax, twisted pair, multi-mode and single-mode fiber optics. Fiber media converters can connect different local area network (LAN) media, modifying duplex and speed settings. Switching media converters can connect legacy 10BASE-T network segments to more recent 100BASE-TX or 100BASE-FX Fast Ethernet infrastructure. For example, existing half-duplex hubs can be connected to 100BASE-TX Fast Ethernet network segments over 100BASE-FX fiber.
Fiber media converters are also used in metropolitan area network (MAN) access and data transport services to enterprise customers. When expanding the reach of the LAN to span multiple locations, fiber transceivers are useful in connecting multiple LANs to form one large campus area network that spans over a wide geographic area.
Media converter types range from small standalone devices and PC card converters to high port-density chassis systems that offer many advanced features for network management.
There are singlemode converters (also called WDM fiber optic converters) and multimode converters. For singlemode converters, there are dual fiber type and single fiber type which the fiber cable functions both as transmitting media and receiving media. While for multimode converters, there are only dual fiber types. Working distance is also different. For typical multimode fiber optic converters, their working distance max is about 2km, for single mode fiber media converters, their working distance can be 20km, 40km, 60km, 80km and up to 120km.
Some fiber optic converters will work with any type of Ethernet cable while others only have ports for either the 100 Megabit or the 10 Gigabit speed Ethernet cables. Different brands and models of converters have different speed caps.
Fiber media converter protects your investment in existing copper Ethernet-based network, is an economical solution to achieve long distance transmission based on current status. With the rapid development of society, the transmission of different types of information, like audio, video and data, has become more and more important and Ethernet has been a good way to deal with this need. Traditional Ethernet fiber converter has its disadvantages because it use copper wires and its working distance is very short (about 100meters). Fiber media converter is the solution of this problem, it could extend the Ethernet working distance to max 100km or more, what is more ,the fiber optical converter used today is cheap and reliable.