Advantages of Copper wire | disadvantages of Copper wire

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of copper over fiber. It mentions benefits or advantages of Copper wire and drawbacks or disadvantages of Copper wire.

What is Copper wire?

It is used as physical transmission medium to transfer data between transmitter and receiver in a data communication system. Copper wires are used in two major forms for transmission viz. as twisted pair cable and as coaxial cable. The other popular wired communication medium is fiber optic.

Copper vs Fiber

There are two mediums by which data can be transported viz. wired or guided or conducted and wireless or unguided. Copper and fiber falls under wired medium where as microwave, radio, infrared, satellite falls under wireless medium of data communication. The three major characteristics of a medium are bandwidth or data rate, delay or latency and signal loss. Copper wires offer medium bandwidth, low delay and verying loss compare to other media types. Copper wires use electrical signal for transmission.

Benefits or advantages of Copper wire over fiber

Following are the benefits or advantages of Copper wire over fiber:
➨Initial installation cost is lower than fiber. Moreover it does not require higher installation skills.
➨The maintenance of these cables is easy and cheaper.
➨It supports all the radio frequencies unlike fiber optic cable.
➨It is durable like fiber optic cable.
➨It supports bandwidth from 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps.
➨Media and connector costs are lower than fiber optic.
➨The safety precautions are lower than fiber optic.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Copper wire over fiber

Following are the drawbacks or disadvantages of Copper wire over fiber:
➨It is affected by EMI unlike fiber optic. Coaxial version is fairly resistant to RFI/EMI.
➨It is susceptible to tapping and hence hacking is easier.
➨It supports cable length of 100 meters (maximum). Fiber optic supports range in Kms.
➨It offers low immunity to electrical hazards where as fiber optic is completely immune.
➨Copper wires are thicker and larger in diameter.
➨It supports low to medium bandwidth where as fiber optic supports very high bandwidth.
➨It incurs more signal loss than fiber optic cables.

Refer copper vs fiber to know more difference between copper and fiber and their advantages and disadvantages with respect to the other.

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