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Ethernet Extender - Looking for an Ethernet Extender? Think CopperLink!
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May 02, 2011

Looking for an Ethernet Extender? Think CopperLink!

By Patrick Barnard
Group Managing Editor, TMCnet


Shopping around for an Ethernet Extender – perhaps to connect two separate buildings in your corporate campus? As you probably know there are a lot of options available on the market – and it is critical to select the right one to meet your needs.

While it’s true that fiber optic cable delivers the best speed and performance, there is a downside: Fiber optic Ethernet extenders require specialized expertise to maintain and repair, and if your IT staff doesn’t have this expertise, then you’re going to have to outsource the job. They’re also just plain more expensive. In addition, fiber optic cables are more susceptible to damage from moisture and other environmental factors – so if you have to lay the cable outside where it will be exposed to the elements, it can be a little more risky.

WiFi (News - Alert) is another option – but this of course requires clear line-of-site and performance can be impacted by weather conditions. Not a reliable solution.

Oftentimes it makes more sense to go with a copper-based solution – in many respects it’s more affordable and reliable. Using today’s copper-based Ethernet extender solutions, which use voice-grade copper or CCTV coaxial cable wiring, one can achieve near-fiber speeds.  Copper-based Ethernet extenders utilize a range of methods (line encodings) for transmission, including TC-PAM, 2B1Q or DMT (News - Alert). And with an Ethernet router it is possible to extend to more than 200 meters.

Network equipment provider Patton Electronics offers a full line of copper-based Ethernet extenders via its CopperLink line. The company's innovative Ethernet repeater technology enables extension of the LAN to up to 328 feet, using Cat 5 cabling. In addition Patton (News - Alert) Ethernet extenders can extend the distance of Ethernet segments up to 5 miles over a single twisted pair.“Since 1999, Patton’s Cat 5 Ethernet Extenders have continuously achieved longer Ethernet range for LAN extension over copper and fiber-optic media at increasingly faster rates,” the company claims.

In addition to its ruggedized CopperLink line of Ethernet extender solutions for industrial automation applications, the company also offers its environmentally hardened EnviroNET Ethernet extenders for harsh environments and outdoor applications.

And for extending IP video over Ethernet, check out Patton's IP Camera Network Extender.

Patrick Barnard is Group Managing Editor, TMCnet. In addition to leading the online editorial department, he focuses on call and contact center technologies. He also covers IP communications, networking and a variety of other topics. To read more of Patrick's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Patrick Barnard

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