A media converter is a networking device that links between networks or network devices having different speeds, operation types, modes, and media types; such as copper unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cabling and fibre optic cabling. Media converters are cost-effective and flexible. They are mainly meant to implement and optimize fibre links in all types of networks. Fibre optic connectivity is vital if the distance between two network devices is more than the copper UTP cabling’s transmission distance. There is a broad range of media converters; however, the two main types are copper-to-fibre media converters and fibre-to-fibre media converters.

Media converters offer several benefits including:

  • Being used with fibre optic cabling to set up a WAN connection covering up to 100 kilometres, which can cost substantially less than using higher-layer devices like switches and routers.
  • Being easily located or relocated to different areas and being a lot easier to deal with and manage than higher-layer devices.
  • Extending the productive life of existing fibre and copper wiring by allowing the interconnection of various devices supporting many different media types.
  • Management functions can be added to media converters to keep downtime at a minimum and simplify troubleshooting.

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