Monthly Archives: February 2017

Wireless Routers for a Speedy and Efficient Connection

Today, the most efficient way to build a home or office computer network is to use high performance routers. Wireless is especially useful to a small business establishment currently seeing growth and progress. If the operations and services of your company rely on speedy and efficient communication between staff in the office and personnel deployed in the field, then you must be able to provide them easy access to state-of-the-art communication tools.

Router basics

Different types of routers are on hand to help you achieve business goals in record time. Routers that are available in the market have varied features, but they share a common function. Essentially, a router is the network hub. A functional router ensures all devices that are connected to it are working optimally. A wireless router is a special kind of device because it connects both wired and wireless appliances and gadgets to communicate with each other via the Internet. A stable Wi-Fi connectivity may already be achieved with a single-band router. Other product types are available for bigger and more demanding network requirements. A comprehensive buying guide may be of service to you, but allow us to give you a few useful pointers.

Single-band versus dual-band

One of the key differences between a single-band and a double-band router is the frequency they utilize. Routers function at frequencies of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. While single band routers are limited to 2.4 GHz, double-band products are operational in both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. Single-band devices are relatively easier to set up than their dual-band counterparts are. For simple Web-based activities such as sending and receiving e-mail messages and browsing websites for research, single-band routers are quite adequate. However, if one is to use the Internet for video streaming or downloading of large files, a dual-band Wi-Fi router proves adequate, if the signal strength is sufficient. For computing and bandwidth tasks that demand a lot from the bandwidth, dual-band products are more appropriate.

Dual-band routers have numerous advantages over single-band devices. For starters, the former is better equipped to support demanding and intensive online activities such as gaming and live streaming. However, if distance is the main consideration, the 5 GHz bandwidth is not as effective as the 2 GHz bandwidth. Nevertheless, there is plenty of congestion in the 2.4 GHz frequency, which means that users of the bandwidth must deal with lots of interference. The connectivity might prove to be inconsistent and unstable.

Special considerations

In terms of wireless speed, the fastest products today are Wireless AC, which offer a speed that is thrice times faster than Wireless N. Wireless G are the least reliable since Wireless N products are 14 times faster. Meanwhile, the range is dependent on the number of antennas and radios, the interference in the area, and the frequencies the device broadcasts on.

It is best to weigh the pros and cons of the available options, particularly their range and speed, so that your home or network set-up is customized to your requirements. Making the right choice is crucial since router performance directly influences productivity and profitability.

A Simple Plan: Providers

Tips To Consider in the Selection of an Internet Service Provider.

If you are considering obtaining an Internet Service provider, you should l considering these two choices: dial-up and the DSL option.

The dial-up web connection is simply an introductory approach nonetheless it got common, based on the overall amount of members who spend-by-month. When the DSL and cabled Internet connection methods became popular, then the dial-up system lost its shine with time.

You should consider some components first before you make up your mind on what Internet providers to select from the available options. Should you be an inexperienced user, then you only need a simple and basic thing. But when you are a novice to such modern tools, it pays to be more careful. You could be one of the lucky people and obtain an offer to get a free internet from the various Internet service providers available.

Here are a few helpful suggestions whenever choosing an Internet company.

1. Write down the reason as to what you need the internet for. In case you just desire a link to get info from or perhaps a way to make communication with others through email or chatting, it is possible to safely choose the simplest kind of web services. On the other hand, if you have little knowledge in internet use but would desire to understand through your company, you may need more functions that can be easily handled using a mouse.

2. Carry out a comprehensive study first. If you’re trying to find an Internet connection with all the current capabilities; i. e. and whistles and different alerts or notifications every time errors occur or when emails come in ( Yahoo mail! or Google’s Gmail). You should pay more interest on the payment options. You will find companies that provide some fundamental services at relatively low monthly payments. And you will find those who will ask you for with exorbitant costs for the Internet connection.

3. You should also gauge the period of time you’ll make use of the Web. You might want to stay linked to your aged dial-up connection should you be online for just a couple of hours every single day. Dial-up users can be obtained by providers with a wide selection of options regarding payment options. One of these simple options is excellent as you’ll spend a low priced regular price for a service type monthly. It will not be necessary for you to pay for costly unrestricted Internet if you only need the connection for a few hours for every day.

4. If you would like a free net connection, check out this. The subscribers to DSL and cabled connections and other websites providers are permitted to use America Online without charge. You will get downloading of virus-scanner, pop up blocker, and spam blocking applications for free.
Doing Networks The Right Way
The Key Elements of Great Communications

Taking Fiber Deep Into the Network: Guaranteed Performance Quality Does Not Have to Cost You

In the past 15 years, I have assisted hundreds of customers with their network design, planning, and associated fiber management needs. These networks have ranged from the booming CATV HFC days of the mid-90’s through fiber exhaust scenarios of the telcos to the gargantuan bandwidth needs of the various FTTH deployment strategies. One of the constants in all of them has been the consideration of link loss budget planning: How far out can I get with my current optical power before I have to terminate or amplify? I have always been amazed that more often than not, the first answer to distance limitation is to plop in more optical power in the way of EDFA’s, transmitters, and amplifiers. Optical transmission and having the power to get it where you want it to go can be an expensive affair. However, boosting power is not the only way to gain distance.

Perhaps the most overlooked element of a network design is the quality performance of a simple item: the fiber patch cord. A quality patch cord not only improves performance and reliability of the network, but it also stretches the dollar value of current active optical equipment already installed in the network. The key to optimizing the value proposition of your network is to require a low. dB loss on every installed patch cord.

During my years in the industry, I have often seen mated pair (two connectors or endfaces mated through an adapter) loss budgets of. 6dB per pair. In a logical fiber run that included 10 mated pairs end to end, I had to assume 6dB (. 6 multiplied by a factor of 10) of loss in connectors alone – that’s before I calculated the loss associated with fiber length, active equipment, optical components, and splicing.

In recent years, Telcordia has established that the standard for dB loss should be no more than.4dB. If you could achieve an insertion loss improvement on all your patch cords of 50%, think about what that could do for your optical budget…

Using the same example of 10 mated pairs in a logical fiber run; you can gain 2dB of optical power. Think about the cost difference of moving from an optical launch power of 19dB to 21dB versus improving your performance standard of patch cords to.2dB insertion loss — with no increase in price. Calculating.20 dB of loss for every kilometer at 1550nm (without any splice loss), the increased performance of the patch cord allows you to extend your existing power almost another 10 kilometers. At the very least, it gives you some optical headroom for insurance against other attenuation events that come post-installation.

Guaranteed vs. Typical?

When Telcordia re-set the standard to.4dB of loss, most patch cord vendors reported performance levels “typical” of the Telcordia standard. As “typical”, the process to build the patch cord was capable of delivering.4dB performance, but each individual patch cord that came off the line may or not meet the standard – did 51% of the cords match the standard? 75%? Few patch cord vendors were “guaranteeing” the.4dB loss as it required extensive quality control measures in their production process and very tight tolerances in their test metrics. These changes were perceived by the vendor as expensive and cost prohibitive. Achieving a “guaranteed” performance level was expected to result in extensive production floor “scrap” as patch cords that didn’t meet the guaranteed number were either set-aside as “seconds” or re-polished to achieve the desired results. With no certainty to what they were getting, network designers needed to allow for variation in patch cord performance. As a result, their network designs were not able to fully benefit from the reported performance enhancements.

Setting a New Standard

Fiber in the outside plant has made guaranteed performance critical to network design. Reach of the fiber, guaranteed for immediate and on-going performance for the life of the network, is critical to delivering the user experience that FTTp networks promise. As a result, a new class of patch cords is emerging which guarantees performance deep into the fiber network. Vendors who have built their production floors for optimal performance are delivering guaranteed.2dB loss.

Guaranteed loss of no more than.2dB lowers the cost of FTTp network deployment by extending the network reach, minimizing the need for amplification in out-ports or EDFA’s, and allows the network designers to concentrate on other elements of their network design. What’s more, manufacturers of this new class of patch cord are delivering this level of connectivity without a significant cost premium because of the repeatable processes that have been established within their world-class factories. FTTp network designers now have a lot to be excited about!

So how do you know if you’re getting the patch cord quality you need for your network?

Step 1 – Demand 100% of. 20B or better. Period. This requirement alone will weed out the want to-be’s from World Class.

Step 2 – Ask a few simple, yet critical, questions about processes, systems, and personnel to ensure that a repeatable and quality-driven manufacturing environment exists.

Can you tell me the types of automation that you have incorporated into your termination process?

While terminating fiber requires many manual processes that should be performed by skilled technicians, there are many things you should look for in your manufacturers processes that automate critical steps in the fiber termination process.


Epoxy – What kind are they using? Mixed, pre-mixed? How do they de-gas? This is critical for termination used in uncontrolled environments such as the outside plant. Some will cheat this step. They might give you great performance data. But will it perform properly in harsh environments?

Epoxy dispense – How is the volume rate controlled? Often a simple syringe is used and dispensed to visual criteria of the personnel doing the work which can result in variability in volume of epoxy dispensed. Look for control here with manufacturers that use pneumatic syringe dispensing equipment that are also equipped with timers. Epoxies exposed to oxygen are curing and become unacceptable for use over time. Again, performance data may look good but long term reliability can be affected if epoxies are not handled and dispensed correctly.

Hackle removal – a very critical part of the process as a good or bad hackel removal is not discovered until the end of the termination process at test and visual. Most manufacturing environments use a manual process whereby a scribe is used to score the glass next to the ferrule and break it away. A better process is to score the glass on two sides 180 degrees apart and pull the stinger away rather than break it away. This minimizes the change for cracks only found at test. The best way is to use automation by the way of a laser cleaver. This process uses a controlled laser to cut/melt the stinger away from the ferrule at very tight tolerances eliminating a hand epoxy removal step that can also cause cracks.

End Face Inspection – This is the process of reviewing an end-face for pits, scratches, cracks, and particulates. Do they have one? Many do not. If they can get the connector to meet performance, they will call it good. While there is no recognized industry standard for end face condition and cleanliness, there is no question that, in a dynamic connector, long term reliability is greatly compromised as pits and scratches can accumulate particulates that can contaminate other connectors. For those that do have an end-face standard, ask if it is subjective to an operator or if automation is used with a digital image of the end-face, magnified at 400x, is compared to a profile that has been pre-loaded into the equipment and only delivers a pass or fail condition. Ask to see this profile which tells you exactly what kind of defects they will allow. No pit or scratch should be allowed in contact zone 1, 2, or an area 8 times the size of the core. This kind of process ensures reliability long after the performance data is measured in the factory.

Performance testing – At what wavelengths do they measure against? Performance is more sensitive at high wavelengths. I. e. 1550 and 1625. Insertion loss should be equal to or better than x. It not not be “typical” results. Loss should be measured at each termination and not be a sum total or average of the patch cord.

Endface geometries – The interferometer is an absolute necessity for developing a polishing process and then to ensure that the process remains capable. Anyone who tells you they don’t have one you should walk quickly away from. Ask if any of their geometry standards exceed the industry standards of Telcordia. If you really want to get into the process, ask to see the spread of key geometry data such as radius of curvature, apex offset, and fiber undercut/protrusion. Is the mean on the fringe or right in the middle of the standard. In short, are they passing but “living on the edge. ” You could plot your own histogram and review… OK, I’m getting carried away here and these are supposed to be quick.

Are you ISO certified?

This is another “weeding out” out question. While a “no” answer does not necessarily mean they can’t deliver a quality termination, a “yes” tells you they have quality systems in place for documentation, processes, training, and a variety of controls for a quality manufacturing environment.

Is Plug and Play the Future of FTTH?

Service providers, consultants, engineering companies and contractors are all working together in building Fiber to the Home (FTTH) networks. The methods that they’re using to build and design these networks in most cases are based around a set of traditional standards.

The largest issue when using traditional methods to build a FTTH network is that they’re very labor intensive especially in the area of splicing. In most cases, 70 percent of the capital spent is for labor. Because of this, manufacturers are being pushed to develop a more cost-effective way to build these networks.

Plug and Play the FTTH Way

So what is the next evolution in FTTH? The answer is, actually a decade old innovation whose time has come of age. That is: plug and play network elements. With this option, connectorization replaces splicing so the need for skilled labor is reduced and the cost to deploy a FTTH network goes down. When companies build a FTTH network, they have a tendency to look at labor and material costs independently. Price is where modular products still struggle when compared to more traditional network elements. However, if the total cost of labor and materials is examined together, the discovery of the modular design will win out. In addition, any time fiber terminations can be mass-produced indoors in a controlled environment, the cost will go down and reliability of connectors will increase.

The consumer/end-user has adopted this approach for the convenience. For example, when you go out and buy a RJ45 patch cord to provide connectivity from your modem or network interface device to your computer, the consumer “last mile,” you don’t buy it terminated on one end and not on the other. Why does service provider do it this way?

Currently, MTP/MPO connectors are available in 4-, 8-, & 12-fiber configurations. The connector gained popularity first in enterprise networks, where data was on the only content being delivered and where distance between network elements was relatively short, and the loss could be overcome. The connector for the service provider network was not nearly as popular due to the limitations in performance.

Previous versions of the MTP/MPO displayed insertion and return loss performance that was unacceptable for the tight link loss requirements for the service provider networks being built. Two to 5db of loss were not uncommon, which, if used, required, more expensive equipment to account for that kind of loss. What’s more, it was expensive to produce a multiple count fiber connector due to the precision involved in the manufacturing process. As a result, manufacturers would have to sell a large amount of the product to recoup cost before making a return on investment.

Another obstacle in producing a low count multi-fiber connector has been the division between manufacturers. Cable, fiber termination and network equipment manufacturers need to share technologies and work together to develop a group of products that will mesh. For example, no service provider is likely to jump into an expensive connector that is inconsistent in performance across all channels – especially at a level that requires more expensive gear to overcome with standardization across manufacturers.

The Only Constant is Change

A lot of things have changed. The MTP/MPO is built to a standard now. Of note is the variable male/female (with or without pins) and keyed connectors. This can still be confusing.

But performance has dramatically improved. A premium connector now will yield guaranteed.3dB of loss across all channels. For a 12-fiber connector, this is impressive.

Improvements in manufacturing processes and techniques are producing capable, repeatable, and higher first pass yields resulting in more and acceptance in the industry. This, in turn, is driving the price down to more attractive levels.

More Fiber Connectivity Needed

Before FTTH, outside plant engineers used fiber mostly for the transport of large amounts of data between offices. Fiber cables were terminated on a patch panel in an office where circuits were patched through via single or dual fiber patch cords. Hence, the single fiber connector was and still is the most widely used. With the advent of FTTH, there’s a need for connectors with counts between one and 12 in order to fill the engineering requirement. Typically, an engineer will design a FTTH network where terminals will feed four to six homes. This is a carryover from the days of designing copper networks.

The reason this design is carried over is to allow ease of service hook-up for the installation technician. (Hence the industry term “time of dispatch.”) In the FTTH world, decreasing the time of dispatch has been a challenge for all carriers. Typically, four to eight hours are required for a service installation – so any time that can be shaved off of the install translates into cost savings and a better customer experience. A modular network will also help reduce the labor involved with the installation as well as splicing.

MPO is Back

The new and improved MTP/MPO designed for service provider networks are now making their way into the product development efforts of active and passive gear manufacturers. They are now looking at incorporating this technology into fiber terminating equipment as a plug and play solution.

The MPO is also an attractive solution because it’s similar to “Stick and Click” (SC ) in the fact that it’s an industry standard. The MPO has the ability to accommodate one to 12 fibers in its footprint, so it’s an attractive option for plug and play products. The only thing holding up the usage of the MPO is cost. Since it hasn’t been widely developed in the industry as a product line, it’s still not seen as a cost effective option.

In Conclusion: Collaboration

In conclusion, as the deployment of fiber grows in FTTH, data center, smart grid and wind farm technologies, the demand for skilled splicing technicians will grow. This will be a major problem because the limited pool of technicians that currently exists can’t keep up with the demand and the learning curve for future techs will be too great. So, the need to develop a simple, cost effective low count fiber connector that can be incorporated into a full gamut of products is in the immediate future. The MTP/MPO is clearly leading the race to this end.

Terminated Connector Performance: It’s More Than Just IL and RL

What is the problem?

There are many manufacturers of fiber optic patchcords, which provide for competitive, cost-effective pricing for the end-user of these products. As the product has been more and more commoditized, it is wrongly assumed that all patchcords will perform the same as long as a few given performance metrics are met. Most associate good insertion loss (IL) and return loss (RL) as the only recipe for a good patchcord and, because of this, the barrier to entry is small. There are many “garage shop” environments that can produce a fiber patchcord to meet these metrics but are they really producing a good patchcord that will perform reliably over time? The answer is unknown as they have not made the financial commitment for test equipment that validates whether their process is capable and repeatable. Because their metrics are limited, they can claim first pass yields (FPY) that are on par with a world class manufacturing environment and, yet, offer a price and lead time that appears very attractive to the user.

What should I do?

It is important for you, the customer, to understand what makes a good patchcord by taking the time to research and ask some critical questions of your patchcord vendor candidates. Your inquiry and choice of a vendor should, at the very least, address 3 areas: the connector hardware, termination process, and final inspection methods. Not doing so puts your revenue generating circuits at risk. Patchcord termination quality and performance issues can cause you major headaches as they are often difficult to troubleshoot. A few pennies saved is not very comforting when those few pennies are the reason that your network or critical customer is screaming “Network Down!” at the worst possible time.

Where do I start?

In January 2001, the telecommunications industry began the process to change the testing standards for devices used in uncontrolled environments. The industry established the level 2 certification criteria, SR4226, for fiber optic connectors and jumper assemblies. The criteria was based on Telcordia’s generic requirements document, GR-326-CORE, established a year and a half earlier. A revision to enhance the performance metrics is currently under review. The standard addresses the suitability of appropriate use as well as performance metrics and physical geometries of a fiber optic termination. The key metrics of this standard are where you should start when developing your internal standards and what you should use to qualify your vendors against. 3 However, that’s a huge document… and it’s expensive! So, what are the key metrics I should look for?


To begin with, and to remove doubt in this area, a GR certified connector should be used. This is a connector that has been tested at Telcordia or a third party, and meets or exceeds the standard for this network component. You should ask the size of the ferrule being used; a smaller size improves the chance of concentricity (measure of how well the fiber core is centered in the ferrule). Some use a large 127 micron capillary, while a 125.5 improves this metric data as the core/cladding of a terminated fiber measures at 125.

Termination Process

Ask if epoxy is being de-gassed, especially if your patchcord will be used in uncontrolled environments like the OSP. What kind of prepping equipment do they use? The more automated equipment used, the smaller the chance of critical failures long term. A manufacturing process can cheat the system by using manual and cheaper prepping tools. Manual prepping tools can cause nicks in fiber that could only become evident over time.

What kind of cleaving do they perform? Is it manual which requires a high level of skill achieved by years of experience? An automated process like a laser cleaver greatly improves first pass yield data and delivers a more repeatable performance process.

Test and Measurement

Your minimum requirements should include data that meets insertion loss and return loss (reflectance). Insertion loss should meet the 326-Core minimum of.4dB, with reflectance meeting 55dB for UPC connectors and 65dB for APC. Asking the typical performance measures of a manufacturer’s process can save you on link loss budgets over a long fiber run through a FTTH network.

Apex offset, the measurement for how well the center core of the fiber is centered in relationship to the spherical apex of the polished tip, minimizes lateral offset between two fibers and maintains a better physical contact. Apex offset describes a physical condition of the polished fiber, rather than a performance parameter. It is also an acceptance criteria for Telcordia. An excessive apex offset contributes to high insertion loss and high back reflection readings.

Fiber undercut or protrusion affects the physical contact zone. This metric measures, in nanometers, the height of the fiber under or below the ceramic end-face. Too much undercut minimizes the chance of a good physical contact, while too much causes excessive fiber deformation when mating occurs resulting in degradation of signal. When two connectors are mated, the ceramic compresses around the fiber core which allows the fibers to squeeze up and make good contact with each other. When they do not touch (because of too much undercut), an air gap is created and loss happens. If the fiber is protruding too far (beyond 50nm), chipping and cracking can occur during the mate. Radius of curvature is the measurement of the connector end-face spherical condition. The radius generated affects the performance because the radius, when mated with another connector, should be compressing most of the material surrounding the core (ceramic ferrule). A proper radius, 5 to 12mm, allows for the right compression and max performance. Too tight of a radius will put too much compression on the glass and too loose will put too much on the surrounding ferrule with not enough compression. Too much or too little radius can cause light scatter or inadequate physical contact for optimal signal transfer. 5 Flat – 0mm radius 5-12mm radius Apex offset, fiber undercut/protrusion, and radius of curvature are the main ingredients that work in concert to deliver good IL and RL performance. Processes that drift out of this geometry range can still yield acceptable IL/RL, but sensitive traffic will be affected (such as video) and long term performance of the connector will be compromised.

Your vendor should be able to provide these geometry test reports with onhand interferometer testing. While you may not require this data for each and every connector, you should require that random testing is being performed to ensure the process is capable and not drifting out of spec. “Garage shops” will not be able to deliver this test data on demand.

Your test reports should account for each connector independently and not a total report that summarizes both ends.

End-Face Quality & Cleanliness

Currently, there is not an industry standard for this topic. To be sure, end-face and cleanliness has a direct impact on the performance of the connector. Several organizations (most notably, NEMI) have studied the impact of end-face defects and cleanliness. The influence of the contamination/scratches becomes more evident if they are located in the core/cladding areas. Particle contamination can cause a significant increase in IL (up to 10 times) and decrease in RL (up to 3 times). Scratches applied to the fiber contact zones 1a and 1b, which is an area from the core out to the cladding (125um), decreased RL by up to 25%. On the other hand, scratches located in the cladding layer showed little effect on IL and RL. Multiple heavy scratches passing through the core caused severe performance degradation in IL/RL and can be catastrophic.

Connectors with particle contamination will pass on contamination to mated connectors. Contaminants can prevent direct physical contact, creating an air gap. Multiply this by the number of re-mates over time and the problem spreads. Pits and scratches, in the critical contact zone 1a, will collect particulates over time and the same contamination-spread occurs. Long term reliability in dynamic circuits is severely reduced as opposed to those that are static. Scratches and polishing marks outside of critical contact areas are acceptable and do not have any impact on signal performance.

The quality fiber assembly manufacturers and OEMs will have their own inspection criteria. However, these specifications differ from company to company and the differences can cause materials to be “nonconforming” at user/customer sites.

What will your inspection criteria be?

Your vendor should provide visuals at a minimum 400X magnification. While some manufacturers require that there be no visual damage at this magnification in the defect zone (roughly an area 8x the diameter of the core), others require that the entire contact zone be void of defects. Others might allow 1 pit and 1 scratch X microns long or wide. There should never be any scratches or pits through the core.

Other manufacturers will allow some defects in the contact zone 1. And some, the ones you should avoid, do not have a standard in this area. Important point: Zero defects in this area are achievable and you should ask for it.

Taking a little time up front to review your vendors’ connector choice, termination processes, test and performance methods, and their stated and published end-face criteria will weed out the “garage shop” environments and leave the world-class manufacturers standing. Doing so is important to the investment of reliability of your entire network.