HomeIndustrySingle-Mode vs. Multimode Fiber Media Converters: What’s The Difference?

Single-Mode vs. Multimode Fiber Media Converters: What’s The Difference?




Transmitting optical signals may be problematic. Especially when the distance increases, signals become more vulnerable to disturbance. Although, the fiber optic cables can solve the issue. But, their cost is the major obstacle.

So, here multimedia converters come into the scene. The application of multimedia converters is becoming extensive with the increasing number of network establishments. The article outlines the difference between single fiber media converter and multi-mode media converters with their respective applications.

What Are Fiber Media Converters?

Before jumping into the types, you must know the function of media converters. These network devices translate the signal from one form to another.

For instance, fiber cables transmit light signals while UTP transfers electronic signals. Media converters translate the incoming light signals to electricity and vice versa. Hence, allowing dissimilar cables to connect.

Single Mode Media Converter

As the name implies, single-mode media converters only have a single transmission port. Like single-mode fiber cables, these media converters can transmit signals to longer distances. Single-mode media converters are ideal for deploying in spanning networks like MAN.

Multimode Converter

The multi-mode media converters are opposite the single-mode media converter. Using multiple fiber cables, they can only transmit signals to smaller distances like LAN and CAN.

How To Differentiate Between A Single And Multi-Mode Fiber Media Converter?

Externally, both media converters are just two black boxes. So, what sets them apart? Read the points to get an idea.

  • Firstly, check for an “S” or an “M” on the converter. S means that it is a single-mode converter. Contrastingly, the M signifies that it is a multi-mode fiber converter.
  • Next, you can check by looking at the transmission cables also. For a single-mode media converter, there is only one cable. Whereas for multimode there are two.
  • Examining the interface cap is another way to differentiate. Generally, the cap of the fiber cable for a single-mode converter is white, and for multimode, it is brown. Note: The interface cap means the TX and RX sides of the cable.
  • Lastly, check the color of the cord cover. Multimode cables have orange patches. While cables for single-mode have yellow ones.

Applications of Single and Multi-mode Media Converters

Single-mode media converters are best for the following environments:

  • Local Area Networks
  • Campus Networks
  • Point to point connections

On the contrary, the multi-mode media converters are fit for the below mentioned:

  • Enterprise networks
  • Telecom
  • Data Centers

Are Ethernet Connectors And Media Connectors The Same?

Many people think that Ethernet and media converters have the same speeds. Therefore, it is important to highlight the differentiating aspects.

  • Firstly, the Ethernet connectors are suitable for short distances only. If you require transmitting your data to longer distances, media converters take the role.
  • Next comes scalability. Unlike Ethernet connectors, fiber converters offer more scalability and reliability.
  • The fiber converters use different cables (single or multi-core), whereas the Ethernet connectors use copper cables.
  • Lastly, there is the speed. Although Ethernet connectors are fast and make good small networks for extended networks, you need fiber media converters.


Media converts are a pocket-friendly option when you want to expand your network. Two types of converters support fiber optic technology. Above there is an illustration of all the necessary facts. In case of confusion, it is strongly recommended to conduct thorough research before finalizing a media converter.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Linda Barbara

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Vestibulum imperdiet massa at dignissim gravida. Vivamus vestibulum odio eget eros accumsan, ut dignissim sapien gravida. Vivamus eu sem vitae dui.

Recent posts

Recent comments