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Ethernet Cables and Fibre Optic Cabling – What is the Difference?

Everyone needs a high-speed network connection to use, but have you ever wondered, where you get internet connections. Other than wireless connections, there are two primary data transmitted cables i.e. Ethernet cables containing copper wires transmitting data with electrical impulses and through fibre optic cables transmitting data using light.

Ethernet Cables:

Ethernet Cables

An Ethernet cable is a common type of network cable used with wired networks. Ethernet cables connect within a local area network such as PCs, routers, and switches.  These cables have limited length and durability. An Ethernet cable resembles a phone cable, but is larger and has more wires. Both cables share a similar shape and plug, but an Ethernet cable has eight wires, while phone cables have four. 

Fibre optic cable:

A fibre optic cable is a network cable that contains strands of glass fibres inside an insulated casing. These are specially designed for long-distance, high-performance data networking, and telecommunications. These cables provide high bandwidth and transmit data over longer distances. A fibre optic cable consists of one or more strands of glass, each only slightly thicker than a human hair. These cables support much of the world’s internet, cable television, and telephone systems.

When it comes to choosing between one of the wires, it becomes important to know the functionality of each of them. Which one to choose and which is comparatively good.

The Basic Difference:

For generating electricity over long distances, there is nothing like fibre cables. But, there are also certain drawbacks to it. Fibre cables do have brittle tendencies and tend to break. Also, they are more expensive compared to Ethernet cables. Ethernet cables, on the other hand, are quite swift with their working but they cannot go a long distance. In case they are unshielded, they can attract a lot of interference.

The Advance Difference:


1. Ethernet cables are vulnerable to electromagnetic interference as they work through electrical signals. However, a shielded cable helps to prevent this.

2. Optical Fibre cables have interference from electronic devices is not an issue as data is transmitted through light. perfect for use in high voltage locations.


1. Ethernet cables are Vulnerable to interception.

2. Fibre cables are difficult to intercept.


1. These cables are not as good as fibre optic cables but due to advancements in technology, it’s speed has increased.

2. In fibre cables, there is an incredibly fast transfer of data.

Capacity and Bandwidth:

1. The copper cabling in ethernet cables strands is thicker so fewer wires can be bundled.

2. Optical fibre cable offers more bandwidth. 

Here’s the difference between the two cables and each one has its capability as mentioned. When people ask which one is better, well, it depends upon the requirement as both have different strengths and are used accordingly to that. 


Published by fruitycables

We are a leading networking solution provider that offers a wide range of wall cabinets, data cabinets, floor standing server cabinets, & many other cables along with installation services.

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