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TAP Into Technology

Leading the Way in Network Technology

The 101 Series: Media Conversion—What the SX?

Posted by George Bouchard | 2/2/16 8:00 AM

Long range, short range, and twisted pair and that’s just the 1G media connection options. There is a dizzying amount of different media types for network connectivity.

It’s easy to get lost in all of the abbreviations and definitions so we developed a quick refresher on the different types of Ethernet media types.

What to Do with Mismatched Network and Appliance Media


What happens when you have a monitoring tool that isn’t the same media type as your live connection, or visa versa? You might have a single-mode, extended-range fiber network link that stretches about 10km. But your network analyzer is sitting two feet away. Your first option might be to purchase the transceivers to match the links; however, this is an expensive and inefficient approach.

A Go-To-Guide on Network Media Connectivity

Name

Media

Network Speed

Mode | Wavelength

Distance1

TX

Copper – Twisted Pair

Up to 1000M

n/a

100 m

SX

Fiber Optic – Short Range

Up to 1G

Multi|850 nm

550 m

LX

Fiber Optic – Long Range

Up to 1G

Single | 1310 nm

5 km

ZX

Fiber Optic – Long Range

Up to 1G

Single | 1550 nm

70 km

SR

Fiber Optic – Short Range

Up to 10G

Multi | 850 nm

137 m

LR

Fiber Optic – Long Range

Up to 10G

Single |1550 nm

5,000 m

ER

Fiber Optic – Extended Range

Up to 10G

Single |1550 nm

20,000 m

1 Theoretical distance is defined as half a distance stated by the 802.3 standard.


Whitepaper Network Connectivity

Media matching from a network TAP is a more cost-effective alternative, rather than purchasing expensive fiber transceivers. The right network TAPs can be purchased with small form-factor pluggable (SFP and SFP+) cages to assist in media conversion.

The live network is connected to one side of the network TAP, but the other side uses the SFP cage to take a mismatched cable and convert the media to the appropriate type.

Passive Fiber ChassisWhether you’re dealing with copper gigabit, short-range fiber, multi-mode fiber, 10G links or any other environment, network TAPs with media conversion keep everything interoperable.

Contact the network TAP experts for more insight into the cost-saving media conversion solutions.

Topics: Network TAPs, Network Design, The 101 Series

Written by George Bouchard

George has many years of experience working with both hardware and software in the OEM and Commercial marketplace. George’s expertise is in the engineering of Network TAPs.

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