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Extend WiFi with WiFi 6 Access Point Using Fiber Optic Cable

WiFi has become an important part of modern family and business life. It is no exaggeration to say that modern people, young and old, depending on smart electronic products like smartphones, laptops, and smart TVs. One reason for this is that WiFi networks can be seen as one of the most common ways for people to access internet connections and get all kinds of information they need. Some for work, some for entertainment, and some for specific purposes. In short, WiFi has a huge impact on our daily life and work. With the increasing demands for a better internet experience, WiFi technology also keeps developing, up to now, WiFi 6 came out and has become more and more popular in real life. In this blog article, we are going to introduce a new way to extend WiFi with WiFi 6 access points by using fiber optic cable.

WiFi 6 Access Point Brief Introduction and Features

WiFi 6 means the sixth generation WiFi, also known as 802.11ax, it is the ultimate WiFi technology to meet the increasing demands for a better internet experience. WiFi6 access point offers 70% more speed with improved coverage to eliminate dead zones and allows more devices to be connected meeting more users stay online simultaneously. Unlike previous standards, such as the commonly used WiFi 5, WiFi 6 supports a faster backbone network speed at 2.5G. Apart from the performance capacity, WiFi 6 gives higher network security and features low power consumption for energy saving. Using WiFi 6 access points to get the network upgraded to the next level is the trend for homes and businesses. And certainly, it is also a perfect option for WiFi extension for outbuildings, or another premise, or other remote places where need to be covered with fast speed, high performance, and secured WiFi network.

Why Choose Optical Fiber as Transmission Medium?

By adding WiFi 6 access point to get extended WiFi there are two main transmission media, one is copper, and the other is fiber. Then why we choose fiber optic cable as the transmission media, there are several essential reasons.

Deployment distance is the basic difference between copper Ethernet cable and fiber optic cable. Ethernet cable only run a distance of 100 meters(328 feet) or less due to power loss and voltage drop in the line, while fiber optic cable is made from glasses or plastic, it is only deal with data transmitting, and it can reach extremely greater distance at 25 miles or more with ease. So when under situations that the WiFi 6 access point is planned to install at a remote location, fiber optic cable is the most cost-efficient solution to some extent.

As discussed above, we know that WiFi 6 shows its advantages on network performance, thus, to remain its fast speed network, fiber optic cable is the better transmission media, it comes with a faster transmission because it makes use of pulses of light to transfer signal. I guess most people can aware of how fast is the light speed from the word of light-year, unit of length that used to express astronomical distances.

It is crucial to supply high enough bandwidth for the WiFi 6 access point utilizing its 2.5G backbone network capability, especially over the long run. Fiber optic cable is the best choice, as it results in less attenuation. Fiber optic cables can easily reach a long length with a gigabit network. Over a long travel, fiber optic cables experience less signal loss, only 3 percent signal strength is lost after 100 meters(328 feet), while copper cabling causes 94 percent signal loss over the same distance.

With regard to system stability and security, fiber optic cables have significant advantages. They are impervious to electromagnetic interference as there is no current carried in the cable, therefore the system theoretically is able to stay out of dangers in lightning days or outdoor deployment environments. And fiber optic cable is not that easy to be broken or hacked, providing prominent resistance to cybersecurity threats and protection from evildoers.

To be honest, apart from the transmission medium, how to build the whole system is largely dependent on the way getting power for the edge electronic devices, including the networking device(fiber media converter or fiber network switch), and the connecting powered devices( like the WiFi 6 access point). We simply conclude with two situations, one is easy to solve, and the other requires extra consideration on the power supplying.

-Local Power Source

If a local power source is available, the setup is easier, only to make devices linked correctly and use the enclosed or suitable power adapter(for device with build-in power supply) or plus the compatible external power supply( for devices without a built-in power supply). Local power source means you can easily find and access AC power outlets for adapters to be plugged into them to power the edge devices. In this situation, applying fiber optic for an extended WiFi system setup is not a hard job.

-Remote Power Source

Provided that AC power outlets or AC power source is difficult to be found at the site, you should find a way to solve power issues separately. Lacking local power, then building a system that allows power sending from the remote end (main control room) seems like the only feasible method in long distance deployment not to mention the solar power solution. Reading this, some may ask how power can be delivered from the remote back end? Hence it has been said earlier that fiber optic cable only deals with the data transferring without any current. Keep reading and the answer will be revealed gradually.

To utilize fiber for WiFi access point setup, a pair of media converters are required for signal conversion. Sometimes people also choose fiber network switch instead, which is equipped with a built-in media converter, the so-called SFP slots.

For the starter, let’s talk about the way to power the signal conversion networking device-media converter or fiber switch. The majority of these devices don’t with a built-in power supply, especially for those outdoor used type to reduce heat damage. So an external AC-DC power supply is often stayed by side. And now, AC power source is not available at present, that being said a long power cable run is needed. In this situation, you should aware that a power cable over a long distance will cause power loss and voltage drop, but fortunately, this problem can be solved by using a fiber media converter with a wide input voltage range. It allows installers to choose the proper power supply accordingly to meet different demands on deployment distance and fit specific powered devices vary from power consumption.

Next, it is the power issue concerning the ready-to-install WiFi 6 access point. PoE technology is a fair cabling solution to address power transmission over the same Ethernet cable that is supposed to use originally for data transmission. PoE stands for Power over Ethernet, and it enables twisted Ethernet cable to carry power to meet low voltage IP devices. Using it, only one Ethernet network cable is running between the fiber media converter and the WiFi 6 access point. The power is centralized and transmitted from the back end.

Fastcabling’s 5844-46 Waterproof Industrial Hardened Grade Fiber PoE Media Converter is the optimum choice to realize remote power and serve PoE capability. 5844-46 features a wide input voltage range from DC 24V-56V, so it allows installers to put the power supply at a remote location away from the converter itself, running long power along with the fiber optic cable, sufficient power, and fast network are capable to send from the remote back end. Equipped with 10/100/1000Mbps PoE port and SFP slot, it is able to achieve fast speed at a gigabit network over 1 kilometer from the main network. Furthermore, the 5844-46 is housed in an IP68 waterproof and dust-proof rugged metal casing with great resistance to water, dust, or other elements.

Actually, 5844-46 PoE fiber media converter is a part of the PoE over Fiber with DC power system that was launched by Fastcabling. To set up a more reliable system with ultra-convenience, the Fiber termination Box with DC power and pre-terminated fiber optic cable are products that are recommended to use together.

Extended WiFi Fiber System Setup Guide

Equipment and Material Needed

PoE WiFi 6 Access Point:

Compact Media Converter:

DC 48V Waterproof 150W Power Supply:

Waterproof PoE Media Converter:

High Power PoE WiFi 6 Access Point:

Compact Media Converter:

DC 48V Waterproof 150W Power Supply:

Waterproof PoE Media Converter:

95W PoE Injector:

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