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Dudeinfire99

Is Cat8 and Fiber Optics cable the same, if not... which is better?

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CAT8 uses electricity to transmit data, it is cheaper and more available. 

 

Fiber Optics uses light to transmit data, and can transfer a lot more and can travel longer distances. But it is more expensive and needs an expensive conversion box to be usable.

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1 minute ago, Darpyface said:

CAT8 uses electricity to transmit data, it is cheaper and more available. 

 

Fiber Optics uses light to transmit data, and can transfer a lot more and can travel longer distances. But it is more expensive and needs an expensive conversion box to be usable.

So Fiber optics is better? And how will i know my router supports it or not?

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3 minutes ago, Dudeinfire99 said:

I just want to are both the same or they are different, and if they are different; which is better? 

Cat8 to my understanding is twisted pair copper, just like the previous cat standards. Fiber is glass and is superior. Fiber works kinda off the speed of light. As mentioned above Ethernet uses electrical charges down the wires to represent ones and zeros. 

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3 minutes ago, Dudeinfire99 said:

I just want to are both the same or they are different, and if they are different; which is better? 

No, they are not the same. Both are mostly for data centers. Better depends on your use case. E.g. fiber optics is immune to any kind of electrical interference, since it uses light for transmission. But it is also more expensive than Cat 8. For normal home use Cat 6 or Cat 7 is more than good enough.


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Just now, Darpyface said:

CAT8 uses electricity to transmit data, it is cheaper and more available. 

 

Fiber Optics uses light to transmit data, and can transfer a lot more and can travel longer distances. But it is more expensive and needs an expensive conversion box to be usable.

CAT8 is limited distance (max of 30m last I saw) for data center applications only for 25Gb/s or 40Gb/s.

Fiber is pretty damn cheap these days and you can pick up a dual 10Gb/s SFP+ NIC and some 10Gb SFP+ transceivers for much less than the basically non-existant 25Gb/s copper NICs on the market. You don't need a conversion box of any kind either.


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5 minutes ago, Dudeinfire99 said:

So Fiber optics is better? And how will i know my router supports it or not?

Unless you have an expensive router for corporate use, there's a very low chance it can do fiber optics. If it has RJ45 (most likely) then you can use Cat5/6/7. Cat 8 is not for home use, afaik it even uses a different plug than your average network card.

 

~edit: What type of network card/router and what distance and speed are we even talking about? E.g. even Cat 5e can do gigabit.


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1 minute ago, Lurick said:

CAT8 is limited distance (max of 30m last I saw) for data center applications only for 25Gb/s or 40Gb/s.

Fiber is pretty damn cheap these days and you can pick up a dual 10Gb/s SFP+ NIC and some 10Gb SFP+ transceivers for much less than the basically non-existant 25Gb/s copper NICs on the market. You don't need a conversion box of any kind either.

Have you seen any 25g-baset or 40g-baset equipment out there? I looked a bit ago and found nothing. I think the standard came out i 2017 so im suprised there is no hardware yet.

 

3 minutes ago, Dudeinfire99 said:

So Fiber optics is better? And how will i know my router supports it or not?

For a home enviroment it really won't matter, your probably running at 1gbe anyways.

you will know it supports it, there is a different 

 

5 minutes ago, Darpyface said:

CAT8 uses electricity to transmit data, it is cheaper and more available. 

 

Fiber Optics uses light to transmit data, and can transfer a lot more and can travel longer distances. But it is more expensive and needs an expensive conversion box to be usable.

fibre is normally much cheaper than cat 8. something like os2 is 6.3USD here https://www.fs.com/products/40203.html. You won't find cat 8, or even cat 6a for that amount. The equement may be more expensvie, but the cables are cheap.

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Just now, Eigenvektor said:

Unless you have an expensive router for corporate use, there's a very low chance it can do fiber optics. If it has RJ45 (most likely) then you can use Cat5/6/7. Cat 8 is not for home use, afaik it even uses a different plug than your average network card.

There is actually two specs for Cat8

Cat 8.1 and 8.2 with 8.1 using standard 8P8C and 8.2 using TERA or GG45 but I'm 99% sure that both support both speeds


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11 minutes ago, Dudeinfire99 said:

I just want to are both the same or they are different, and if they are different; which is better? 

CAT8 is datacentre cabling - they have very short maximum runs (around 36m).

 

CAT8 is copper cable - it has the benefit of being able to run power along with data via PoE.

 

Fibre can in theory blow past any copper cable in total throughput.


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2 minutes ago, Eigenvektor said:

Unless you have an expensive router for corporate use, there's a very low chance it can do fiber optics. If it has RJ45 (most likely) then you can use Cat5/6/7. Cat 8 is not for home use, afaik it even uses a different plug than your average network card.

Cat8 has a normal RJ45 plug. Its fully shielded but will fit into a normal network card.

But for home use it will make no sense to use cat8. 

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1 minute ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

Have you seen any 25g-baset or 40g-baset equipment out there? I looked a bit ago and found nothing. I think the standard came out i 2017 so im suprised there is no hardware yet.

I haven't seen any hardware yet unfortunately :(

I wouldn't be surprised if it's mostly niche whitebox stuff or never materializes in the next 5 years at least.


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You DO NOT need either inside your house.

 

Cat6a and Cat6 ethernet cables can achieve up to 10 gbps. Cat6 is just like Cat6a, it's just only rated for 10gbps only up to something like 55 meters, instead of 100 meters Cat6a is rated for.

Cat5e is typically rated for 1gbps but with the latest standards network cards can go up to 2.5 gbps on cat5e cable. You probably won't find cat5e cables in stores anymore, all are cat6 or cat6a.

 

Fiber optics uses fiber to transmit data between devices. Ethernet uses pairs of copper wire to transmit data up to 100 meters.  Fiber optics uses pulses of light going through a fiber to transmit those digital 1s and 0s.

The advantage is that depending on the quality and type of fiber and the device you're using to transmit or receive, the signal can go for thousands of meters before it becomes too weak to be decoded properly.

 

The benefits of fiber are every so slightly lower latency (in an apartment building it's so low you wouldn't be able to measure the difference, it really doesn't matter) and lower power consumption to transmit and receive data (which is a benefit in datacenters) and the obvious benefit is going over 100 meters in distance (the maximum allowed and supported by ethernet cables, without going through a repeater/switch)

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They're very different. Cat8 is electrical while fiber operates using pulses of light.

 

I would say which is better depends on an individual's needs and budget but in terms of raw transfers rates & signal integrity over a set distance fibre would win by a landslide.


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4 minutes ago, Dujith said:

Cat8 has a normal RJ45 plug. Its fully shielded but will fit into a normal network card.

But for home use it will make no sense to use cat8. 

As @Lurick pointed out there's two different versions. The one I was thinking of (8.2) does not use RJ45. In either case, it's overkill for home use.


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16 hours ago, mariushm said:

You DO NOT need either inside your house

 

Actually fibre is a good choice for residential and rural with things like a connection to a shed, outbuilding, granny flat etc. or the lead in itself. Copper can have issues with earthing and surge protection requirements, is more vulnerable to damage and is limited in length.

 

If trenching is already been done, say for power, it can definitely be affordable or if direct burial in rural, plowed straught in.

 

Wireless is often a cheaper option but depends on the circumstances.

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@artuc I did say INSIDE YOUR HOUSE.

 

There's other options like coaxial cable or regular phone wires (adsl/vdsl converters/transceivers) which can go over the 100 meters length Ethernet is limited to.

 

I would argue fiber is kinda bad choice in some of your scenarios if there's risk of damage because it would be expensive to replace and expensive to repair (of someone hits it with a shovel for example) or if some animal chews it.

Ethernet is isolated at both ends, there's signal transformers on each end.

 

Another cool thing about ethernet is power over ethernet ... you could get a poe injector and shove 48v at some reasonable current (let's say 20w+) all the way to that shed / house, which would be enough to power an access point (3-5w max) , some led lights and maybe even charge a laptop that can also act as a TV.

If you don't mind being limited to 100mbps, you could just use the 4 extra wires in the ethernet cable to send more power or use a pair for phone line...

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1 hour ago, mariushm said:

There's other options like coaxial cable or regular phone wires (adsl/vdsl converters/transceivers) which can go over the 100 meters length Ethernet is limited to.

Yes with the right gadgets ethernet can go further, some gear can do it down figure 8 cable. They're usually fairly costly and often limit the speed, especially compared to the capabilities of fiber.

 

1 hour ago, mariushm said:

I would argue fiber is kinda bad choice in some of your scenarios if there's risk of damage because it would be expensive to replace and expensive to repair (of someone hits it with a shovel for example) or if some animal chews it.

Ethernet is isolated at both ends, there's signal transformers on each end.

It's not super feasible to repair copper for ethernet well mid cable underground. Joins are not advisable at the best of times, once you've compromised the sheath and water barrier you need to make triple sure it's water tight.

 

Fiber can be repaired, quick connectors and splices are easy enough, just need a good cleaver still.

 

Preterminated fiber is much cheaper these days to just replace it.

 

Nothing beats optical for isolation. Ethernet ports aren't as rugged as you think.

 

1 hour ago, mariushm said:

Another cool thing about ethernet is power over ethernet ... you could get a poe injector and shove 48v at some reasonable current (let's say 20w+) all the way to that shed / house, which would be enough to power an access point (3-5w max) , some led lights and maybe even charge a laptop that can also act as a TV.

I'm well aware of PoE, can go even higher power if you like.

 

PtP wireless link is usually cheapest and easiest.

 

A lot of ethernet ports are designed around internal cabling only and will not handle a large surge. Here legally to use copper between buildings you have to evaluate the risk which typically can mean surge arrestors both ends with communications earthing which is to be bonded correctly to the electrical earth.

 

Once you've stuffed around with all that and still have more risk of failure and less isolation than fiber.

 

It's case by case but from my experience it was always the copper that was water damaged, lightning damage to ports. Never had trouble from the fiber.

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23 hours ago, Lurick said:

I haven't seen any hardware yet unfortunately :(

I wouldn't be surprised if it's mostly niche whitebox stuff or never materializes in the next 5 years at least.

I'm guessing the heat is a problem, more than anything.  10GBASE-T is toasty from a switch level.  Getting a stack of 10GBASE-T ports in a rack-mounted switch is a recipe for a very warm device.  It is done, of course, but the inside of the switch is stack thick with heatsinks.  40GBASE-T or 25GBASE-T would amplify that enormously.

 

I don't expect we're going to see much in the way of 25GigEth or 40GigEth running over Cat7/Cat8 in bulk any time soon.  It'll be left to fiber and/or DACs.


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