Ethernet Media Converter

What Does Ethernet Media Converter Mean?

An Ethernet media converter is a device designed to interconnect different networking media such as fiber and coaxial cables to facilitate communication between them. It often comes in the form of a small box where the two different networking cables can be plugged in.


Techopedia Explains Ethernet Media Converter

An Ethernet media converter allows Ethernet communication to work properly despite the difference in the network cabling media being used. Typically, it is used to connect fiber media from an optical fiber network to a more conventional copper-based Ethernet network.

There are essentially three types of Ethernet media converters:

  • Standalone unit – This is a small portable box that can simply be placed anywhere the connection is made. This is used in places where only one or two conversions are needed. Because it is light weight, it can be mounted easily on a wall using strong double-sided tape or other forms of mounting, or simply left on the surface as it is inconspicuous enough.
  • Card-based chassis – This is often used in large main distribution frame (MDF) or intermediate distribution frame (IDF) locations where multiple optical fiber links are converted into unshielded twisted pair (UTP) links so that they can directly plug into conventional switches or routers. This can be as large as a single-to-double (2U) rack server.
  • DIN-Rail mount industrial – This is used in large manufacturing plants with harsh conditions and limited space and power options.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.