Different Types of Fiber Optical Connectors I


Unlike Category-5 network cables, which have a standardized connector setup, fiber optic cables can employ any number of connector schemes in order to make connections with patch panels, switch boxes, and the various network implements that comprise a data system.

Each of the different types of fiber optic connectors offers its own advantages and disadvantages, and has its own specific applications to which it is best suited. Below is a list of some of the most common types of fiber optic connectors, their common uses, and the advantages they can bring to your fiber optic network.


Though there are more varieties of fiber optic connector on the market than can be adequately discussed here, the number of fiber optic connectors you’re likely to encounter in a professional setting are relatively few. SC fiber optic connectors are one of the most common types of connector used for commercial purposes and knowing about them will be essential for anyone working with a fiber optic network.

The one outstanding advantage of SC fiber optic connectors is their snap-in design. This design allows them to connect easily with other network implements. SC connectors have 2.5mm ferules and are well known for their reliable performance. Though they are typically simplex (unidirectional) in nature, SC connectors with duplex (bidirectional) formatting are available as well.

SC connectors have widespread use in recent years, thanks to a welcome reduction in price. Previous to this price reduction, SC connectors were often subbed out for the less expensive, though still technically impressive, ST connector.


ST fiber optic connectors have a 2.5mm ceramic ferrule, much like the SC fiber optic connector. However, SC connectors mate via a snap-in mechanism, while ST connectors use a spring-loaded cinch to couple with other network implements.

You’ll typically find ST connectors in older, large-scale multimode networks, such as those found on business or academic campuses. The term “multimode” refers to fiber optic cables that allow multiple propagation paths along which data can pass. ST connectors have been largely superseded on the consumer market by more recent connector schemes, but they can still deliver a satisfying performance to any large-scale network.