Fiber optic media converter is a very simple networking device that connects two different types of media, and was introduced to computer networks nearly two decades ago. Fiber media converters are used to convert electrical signal to light signal and vice versa. They are basically used as network extenders to extend the distance from several hundreds of feet to several thousands meters. They are perfect for linking networks between campus buildings.
This converter plays an important part of fiber types of cabling system in connection with each other, based on the copper wiring system. It supports different communication protocols, such as gigabit Ethernet, fast Ethernet,Ethernet media converter, etc. It also supports multiple cabling system like coax, twisted pair, multi and single-mode fiber optic. On the other hand, a network switch is a device to connect computer network and equipment. This is a multiport network operating systems, processes and routes data for various networks such as fiber channel, Ethernet, etc. A single swithc operation in one or more layers of the OSI switch, however, operating in more than one layer is known as a multiple layers switch for a time.
The interrelationship between a media converter and a network switch today is that both can act and perform the same functions. Both operate within the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model which is hierarchical and structured in the form of layers such as layer 1, layer 2, layer 3 and so on.
Layer 1. Only the media converter work role transformation on the layer 1 and the electrical signals and the media do not have any data changes. These converters have two outlets, which are “in”, and “out” and through these channels electrical signals are transmitted across. For examole thick coax to Thin, UTP to fiber etc.
Layer 2. The process of linking data takes place at this layer and both switches and converters operate together and perform the function of differentiating network addresses. In this layer media converters have 2 or 3 ports whereas a network switch has 4 or more ports.
Layer 3. Network in this layer and switches using the IP address to identify the location of the various network. Position reference address in computer memory, LAN workstation and so on. Switch is in this layer is faster and smarter, in the layer 2 switch and identification network location but not only a physical device.
Different types of fiber media converter range from PC card converter and small independent equipment system, there are a lot of extra high density advanced features. Media converter provides a transitional course from copper to fiber, so can reduce the electromagnetic interference. On the other hand, the different types of switches are unmanaged, management, intelligent network switches and enterprise management.