An optical fiber (or optical fibre) is a flexible, transparent fiber made by drawing glass (silica) or plastic to a diameter slightly thicker than that of a human hair. Optical fibers are used most often as a means to transmit light between the two ends of the fiber and find wide usage in fiber-optic communications, where they permit transmission over longer distances and at higher bandwidths (data rates) than wire cables. Fibers are used instead of metal wires because signals travel along them with lesser amounts of loss; in addition, fibers are also immune to electromagnetic interference, a problem from which metal wires suffer excessively. Fibers are also used for illumination, and are wrapped in bundles so that they may be used to carry images, thus allowing viewing in confined spaces, as in the case of a fiberscope. Specially designed fibers are also used for a variety of other applications, some of them being fiber optic sensors and fiber lasers.
Compared to Cat5e, and Cat6 cabling, fiber optic cable offers the greatest resistance to electromagnetic noise; thereby enhancing signal flow and data transmission consistency. There is essentially zero loss in signals with fiber optic cable. When looking at speed, fiber optic cabling is traveling via light and therefore much faster than its copper based competitors.