Media Converter vs Ethernet Extender: Which is Right for You?

With the rising scope for fiber optics and retrofitting legacy networks, the demand for fiber optic media converters, cables, and related devices has surged. High speed internet is much a necessity in most industrial and commercial applications. Businesses have their offices located at various places, and there is a need to have an internal robust network, which can be extended if required. Fortunately, there are devices available, which can make this happen at affordable prices. Ethernet extenders and media converters both help achieve this goal of geographically extending and connecting two or more dissimilar networks. However, both these devices do it differently, and choosing the right device largely depends upon your application needs. This post compares media converters and Ethernet extenders considering all their pros and cons.
Image of Media Converter vs Ethernet Extender

What Are Media Converters?

A media converter facilitates copper to fiber connectivity, which means you can extend your existing network running over copper cables by connecting them to fiber optic cables through media converters, connecters, switches, and ports among other fiber devices. This can be done over single mode as well as multimode networks. You can also connect various other devices on this network, such as IP cameras, PoE Switches, computers, surveillance monitors, and so on. So basically, media converters offer seamless and high speed connectivity over large distances of up to 100 km. There are a number of models of media converters which support 10/100/1000Base-T at a rate of 2.5G, 5G, 10G, or more.

What Are Ethernet Extenders?

An Ethernet extender is a device which acts as an interface to read signals and converts them from Ethernet to digital simulation language and vice versa. So, without the need for adding extra cables, it extends the scope of Ethernet connectivity over the existing coaxial or twisted pair cables. This is fine for short distances such as television antennas for gated communities, CCTV applications within premises, and so on for distances of up to three km depending on the type of modem. This is certainly saves effort, cost, and time; however, it is not applicable for extending networks across locations. These extenders can stretch 10/100/1000 Ethernet connections across an STP Cat5, Cat6, or Cat7 cable. For 10/100Base-TX networks, Ethernet extenders facilitate this extension for up to 20 km.
If you are looking for a high-speed connectivity but with a scalable and affordable network, then multi-Gigabit Ethernet is the right choice. Ensure you consult a reliable manufacturer in this sector. VERSITRON is a leading manufacturer of copper to fiber connectivity products of various types and configurations for data, voice, and video applications. Some of them include fiber optic media converters, cables, switches, and etc.

What Are the Differences Between Media Converters and Ethernet Extenders?

The main difference between media converters and Ethernet extenders is based on the reach and extent of network connectivity possible. However, their methods and performances are totally different. Here are some differentiating pointers. Although the basic differences between synchronous and asynchronous data transmission have been covered before, it is important to know how they differ in terms of application. The following pointers will help you understand it better.
  • While the former is applicable for long distances, the latter is meant for short distance extensions. So, this largely depends upon your requirements as to which device or technology you should opt for.
  • Definitely, media converter with poe offer more flexibility and scalability to the network. Ethernet extenders are more of short-term solutions, and cannot be extended beyond a limit.
  • Media converters are mostly used in pairs for signal conversion from optical and electrical and vice versa and then transmitting them over a fiber optic cable. They come in different capacities and their transmission abilities do not really depend on the other connected devices. In the case of Ethernet extenders, the signal conversion from Ethernet to electrical happens over copper cables, and their transmission capacity also depends on the other media or devices on the network.
  • As mentioned, media converters can be used to establish network across industries such as manufacturing, metro rail, road transportation, and so on. Ethernet extenders are suitable for campuses, gated communities, or in a manufacturing unit from the production floor to the main office.
  • In a 3-km vicinity, you can use multiple Ethernet extenders to connect the main office to the manufacturing units, and warehouse within the campus. 
Triple Duty Gigabit Ethernet Media Converter With PoE
Are you looking to expand your business network in geographical terms? If yes, make sure you consult a reliable player who can upgrade your existing network by connecting it with ethernet media converters or Ethernet extenders after understanding your requirements. VERSITRON offers reliable and optimal fiber optic network solutions and manufactures various types of fiber optic devices.

Related Products Table:


Product Name



10/100 Base TX to 100 Base FX Fiber Optic Media Converter, Multimode ST


10/100 Base TX to 100 Base FX Fiber Optic Media Converter, Multimode SC


10/100 Base TX to 100 Base FX Fiber Optic Media Converter, Single-mode SC


10/100Base-TX to 100Base-FX Single Fiber Media Converter


10/100Base-TX to 100Base-FX Single Fiber Media Converter


10/100/1000Base-T to 1000Base-SX/LX "Triple Duty" Gigabit Media Converter with SFP GBIC Technology


Multimode to Singlemode | Fiber Optic Media Converter


10/100/1000Base-T to 100/1000Base-X PSE Converter | Gigabit Ethernet with PoE+ Technology


10/100TX-FX Industrial Media Converter, Singlemode SC


10/100TX-FX Industrial Media Converter, Multimode SC


10/100TX-FX Industrial Media Converter, Multimode ST


10/100/1000Base-T to 1000Base-X Industrial Media Converter


10/100/1000Base-T to 1000Base-X PoE/PoE+ Industrial Media Converter


10/100TX-FX Industrial Media Converter, Single-fiber, Singlemode SC


10/100TX-FX Industrial Media Converter, Single-fiber, Singlemode SC

Rich Tull

R.W. Tull is the President of Versitron Inc. He works closely with clients to review layout diagrams and drawings in order to ensure that the best fiber optic solution is achieved for a particular project.

Related Blogs