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How to Distinguish Single-mode Fiber Optic Transceivers from Multimode Fiber Transceiver?

To put it simply, fiber optic transceivers are devices that send and receive optical signals. From a professional standpoint, they are a medium for transforming short-range electrical signals into long-range optical signals for transmission.


Fiber optic transceivers are becoming increasingly popular, because short-distance electrical signals cannot be covered in some network situations and fiber optics must be utilized to expand the transmission distance, and the cost of converting copper wire to fiber optics is too high.


Of fact, the distance that a transceiver can transmit varies depending on the type of fiber optic, which is why single-mode and multimode fiber transceivers exist. So, how do we tell the difference between single-mode and multimode fiber transceivers?


Ⅰ. Differences in the structure of single-mode and multimode fiber optic transceivers


Single-mode fiber has a thin glass core that can only transmit one mode of light, so dispersion between modes is small, and it is suitable for long-distance transmission.


Multimode fiber has a thicker glass core that can transmit multiple modes of light, so dispersion between modes is large, and as transmission distance increases, the transmitted signal becomes unstable, so multimode fiber is suitable for close transmission.


Ⅱ. Different price between single-mode and multimode fiber optic transceivers


Single-mode fiber has a thin core, a wide transmission band, a large capacity, and a long transmission distance, but it requires a laser source, thus it is more expensive. It is typically used in between buildings or in a less dispersed environment.


However, it does not rule out the use of single-mode fibers for indoor cabling, as single-mode fiber optic transceivers can be utilized for short-range transmission at a greater cost.



Multimode fibers having a bigger core, lower transmission rates, shorter range, and poor overall performance when compared to single-mode fibers.


Ⅲ. How to distinguish single-mode fiber optic transceivers from multimode fiber transceiver?


The transmission distance distinguishes single-mode fiber optic transceivers from multimode fiber optic transceivers.


Due to its multi-node and multi-port mode of operation, the multimode fiber transceiver has a lower transmission distance, but it is less expensive and easier to use, and is mostly utilized for internal LAN construction.


While single-mode fiber optic transceivers work in a single-node, and have one-port signal transmission mode, allowing for larger signal transmission distances and are used to build cross-city LANs.


Ⅳ. Differentiation of single-mode and multimode fiber transceivers


1. Check to see if the model number contains the letters s and m. The letter s stands for single and the letter m stands for multimode, respectively.


2. Single-mode fiber optic transceivers receive and send data on a single fiber, while multimode fiber optic transceivers receive and send data on two fibers.


3. Remove the dust cap from the fiber optic transceivers' optical port and examine the color of the interface components within. In general, the multimode fiber transceiver's interface is brown, while the single-mode transceiver's tx and rx interfaces are covered with white ceramic on the inside.


4. Single mode fiber optic transceivers have a transmission range of 20-120 kilometers, while multimode fiber optic transceivers have a transmission range of 2-5 kilometers.


5. In the case of fiber optic transceivers already in use, the color of the fiber optic patch cable can be used to distinguish them, with yellow jumpers indicating single mode and orange jumpers indicating multimode.


It is important to note that single-mode fiber optic transceivers and multimode fiber optic transceivers are identical. The only difference is that they are suitable for different network settings, and the choice should be made based on the environment.


If single-mode and multimode fibers must be connected between network devices, a multimode converter can be used to do so, successfully solving the problem of single-mode and multimode fiber conversion. However, single-mode fiber optic transceivers function in both circumstances, whereas multimode fiber optic transceivers do not work with single-mode fibers.

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How to Distinguish Single-mode Fiber Optic Transceivers from Multimode Fiber Transceiver?
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