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Media converters do more than just convert copper Ethernet signals to fiber. They allow the Ethernet LAN to be extended beyond the normal 100 meter limit. By using a pair of media converters, LANs can be extended up to 2km with multi-mode fiber and up to 20 km with single-mode fiber. Extension of LAN distances now make it possible to communicate with remotely located Ethernet enabled devices that were not formerly possible to reach in the past. The application could be as simple as getting data from one end of the warehouse to the other, tying two buildings together, enabling communications in a tank farm, or monitoring a SCADA system at a waste water plant.
Another great benefit inherently built into a media converter is the isolation factor. Since the data is communicating via a fiber optic connection, the data is transmitted by light - therefore no conductive wires connect the far ends of the system. This eliminates the potential for ground loop problems and offers additional protection from RFI/EMI interference that may be present along the cable run.