Fiber Optic vs Coaxial Cable – Which is Better?

Devices like computers share or exchange data using signals or transmission technologies. These transmission technologies can be classified into two categories such as guided and unguided. In unguided media, the transmission happens without using any wire, and hence it is called wireless communication.

Whereas in guided media, one needs to use the wires to transmit the data and the information from one device to another. And to do so, it uses three types of cables: coaxial, twisted pair, and fiber optic cable. So, in this article, we will understand coaxial and fiber optic cables and know some differences.

What is Fiber Optic Cable?

Fiber optic cable is the type of guided media transmission that is also called optical fiber cable. It is mainly the type of Ethernet wire that contains more optic wire, and using these, the data transmission happens. The fiber optic cables are 26000 times faster than the twisted pair cables to transmit the data. This wire has two types such as single-mode fiber and multimode fiber. In single-mode fiber, only one way of light can transmit the information.

In contrast, the multimode can transfer multiple light waves at a single time. Single-mode cable type can transmit the data to many kilometers. In contrast, a multimode is only suitable for the half kilometer or up to the 550-meter distance.

What Can Be The Speed of Fiber Optic Cable?

If the internet service provider uses fiber optic cables, you can expect up to 1GB per second speed. However, the speed depends upon the equipment of the service provider and the package you may have chosen.

What is Coaxial Cable?

Coaxial or coax cable is the type of guided media used to transfer data from one device to another. These wires are mainly designed to transmit a high level of data frequencies. And these cables encompass a round of copper conductors, and you can find three layers of insulation with shielding. So they can prevent any cross talk from any sources of power. These cables are still available in many parts of the country as they provide a budget-friendly network connection. Coaxial cable is easy to implement or place but provides less efficiency than fiber optic cables.

What Can Be The Speed of a Coaxial Cable?

Coaxial cable is not as competitive as fiber optic cable when it comes to data speed. But still, the user of it can get up to 1GB per second or 1000MB per second speed, but still, it can vary. The connection can be shared; hence the data can be distributed among the devices, which can slow down the speed of data. However, in general, the user of coaxial cable can expect 300MB per second to 940MB per second of data transmission speed.

Is Fiber Optic Cable Better Than Coaxial Cable?

Now you may assume which one is better from fiber optic cable and coaxial cable. Coaxial cable has several limitations, and these cables also do not cover a long distance. Moreover, it is not as efficient as the optic fiber cable; hence fiber optic cable is the cable that can be given preference. These cables are future-proof technology that will provide high-speed internet to its users, whether businesses or people.

Fiber Optic vs Coaxial Cable

Fiber Optic vs Coaxial Cable

Both fiber optic cable and coaxial cable are types of guided media. Many internet service providers also use them. But still, there are many differences between the fiber optic cable vs. coaxial cable. Below are some significant differences between the fiber optic cable and coaxial cable.

#1. The coaxial cable carries or transmits the data signals in electricity form. In contrast, the fiber optic cable transmits the signals into the optical format.

#2. Coax cable provides a high bandwidth rate, but it is stills less than the bandwidth of fiber optic cable.

#3. The built coaxial wire encompasses the mesh braid, copper, and plastic. However, optic fiber includes glass fiber and plastic material.

#4. Coaxial cables are affordable and accessible than fiber optic cables.

#5. Coax cable is heavy, and they also have a large diameter. In contrast, the fiber optic cables are lightweight and also have a compact diameter.

Fiber Optic Cable Coaxial Cable
Way of Data Transmission It transmits data in the form of optical or light form. Whereas the coaxial cable transmits the data in the form of electricity.
Rate Of Efficiency This guided media type provides more data transmission efficiency than the coaxial cable. In this type of guided media, the data transmission is less efficient than the fiber optic cable.
Expensiveness This network connection option is costly for the users of the internet. However, the coaxial cables and their internet connection services are more affordable than the fiber optic wires.
Speed of Data Transmission It can provide up to 1GB per second data speed, which can also be up to 2GB per second. But in this, the maximum speed of data transmission can be up to 1Gb per second.  However, it still varies as per the equipment used by the service provider. In most cases, it provides 100MB per seconds speed.
Implementation of Cable Its implementation is more challenging than the implementation of coaxial wire. Implementing coaxial wire is easy, and this process gets completed in less time.
Weight of The Cable The fiber optic cables are lightweight and also have a minor diameter of the cable. But coaxial wires are heavy, and they also have more diameter of the cable.
The Bandwidth of The Internet Connection It secures a high velocity of bandwidth of internet connection. However, in coaxial, there is moderate bandwidth of the internet connection.


So, you learned critical differences between the fiber optic cable and coaxial also their definition. Now we have a clear understanding that coaxial wire enables affordable network connection. But still, it is heavy by construction, provides less efficiency, and is also less speedy than the fiber optic cables.

On the other hand, fiber cables are a bit expensive, efficient, future-proof, and a fast option to get an internet connection. Thus, now you can decide which one is the better option and type of guided media for the network connectivity.

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