In recent years, we have seen the development of the Toslink leads (a.k.a. the fiber optic or fiber lead). This type of cable contains fiber elements contained within a protective tubing and coated individually in plastic layers which has been deemed suitable for the environment where it will be used. To help consumers understand why these cables have become so popular, you have to be aware of the advantages or benefits of using these fiber optic leads over copper.
• Capable of roughing it - fiber optic cables are literally immune to corrosion unlike copper cabling and are virtually interference-free. This is because copper cabling is sensitive to certain elements such as chemicals and water. So there is little or no risk of being damaged by harsh climate and inclement weather when you use optical.
• Going the distance - the optical cable is capable of carrying much more information than what copper cabling can. Even more importantly is the fact that it can carry that data or information over much greater distances. So a signal can be transmitted up to 50 miles/80 kilometers or more without needing to amplify it.
• More efficient and secure than copper - optical fiber operates with a greater degree of loyalty than copper cabling and can transmit larger quantities of data and information over greater distances. For the signals that are being transmitted, the optical cable offers more security whereas copper is much easier to tap into.
• No interference - fiber optic cables do not conduct electrical current because they are glass-based. Not only does this eliminate the need to ground the lead, it makes them immune to any type of interference including certain atmospheric conditions such as lightning. The primary benefit is that fiber optic cables can be run near electric wires and used outdoors.
• No threat of harm - copper carries the risk of electrical shock whereas the optical cable does not. Therefore, it poses no threat to the user where harm and injury is concerned. Fiber type cabling does not transmit electricity. It transmits light instead so there is no threat of electrocution or sparking when being handled by the user.
The optical cable is capable of transmitting greater amounts of data and information over much longer distances without experiencing any interference or significant loss and with very little corrosion risk. Therefore, optical fiber cables are literally maintenance-free and are a much better choice than copper.