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Difference between Twisted Pair Cable and Optical Fiber Cable

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  • Difficulty Level : Basic
  • Last Updated : 16 Aug, 2022
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Prerequisite – Types of Transmission Media 

Twisted Pair Cable: It is a type of wiring in which two conductors are twisted together to form a circuit for transmission purposes. It is formed by combining two separate insulated copper wires. Metallic conducting wire present in twisted pair cable is used in the transfer of data in the form of electric signals. Twisted pair cable is the cheapest cable available among all the cables used in Local Area Network. Twisted pair cables are commonly used in data networks and wire shielding. 

Twisted Pair Cable

Twisted Pair Cable

Optical Fiber Cable: It is a category of guided media that is used for long-distance transmission and high-performance data networking. Optical fiber cable constitutes very thin glass fibers clustered in a single cable. In optical fiber cable, glass fiber helps in transmitting the signals in the form of pulses of light. Optical fiber cables are mostly used in long-distance networks and huge volume data centers. 

Optical Fiber Cable

Optical Fiber Cable

Difference between Twisted Pair Cable and Optical Fiber Cable

The difference between Twisted Pair Cable and Optical Fiber Cable are as follows:

S. No.Twisted Pair CableOptical Fiber Cable
1In a twisted pair cable, the transmission of signals takes place through the metallic conducting wire.In optical fiber cable, the transmission of signals happens via glass fiber.
2.It is composed of two insulated copper wires.The bundling of very thin optical fibers is enclosed in a single cable.
3.Twisted pair cable has a large diameter in comparison to optical fiber cable.Optical fiber cable has a small diameter as it is thin and flexible.
4.In twisted-pair cables, attenuation is very large.While in optical fiber cables, attenuation is very small.
5.Twisted pair cable is easy and simple to install and implement.The installation and implementation of optical fiber cables are extremely tough.
6.Twisted pair cables are used for wire shielding and data networks.Optical fiber cable is generally suited for long-distance networks among cities and countries.
7.Twisted pair cable is comparatively inexpensive.While optical fiber cable is expensive as it has great performance and capacity.
8.Transmission of the signal takes place in electrical form.Transmission of the signal takes place in optical form.
9.Twisted pair cable supports low bandwidth.Optical fiber cable supports very high bandwidth.
10.It can be affected by the external magnetic field.It cannot be affected by the external magnetic field.
11.It has low noise immunity.It has high noise immunity as compared to twisted pair cable.
12.Transmission of data at a relatively low speed.Transmission of data at fast speed.
13.Conduction and radiation-related power loss.Power loss as a result of bending, scattering, and dispersion.
14.There is no guarantee of the security of transmitted signal.The security is guaranteed of the transmitted signal.
15.

Types-

  • Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) 
  • Shielded Twisted Pair (STP)  

Types- 

  • Single mode fiber (SMF)  
  • Multimode fiber (MMF)
16.

Type of loss that can occur-

  • Resistive loss
  • Radiated loss 
  • Dielectric loss
  • Loss over time.  

Type of loss that can occur-

  • Dispersion
  • Bending
  • Absorption 
  • Attenuation.  
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