Image Courtesy of Adam Goode (CC-By)

Looking for your first network transceiver is simply a thrilling experience. If you're like most people, you're probably like a kid in a candy store right now, checking out all the options and scrolling through websites. At least half of the fun is in the search as you look for the perfect one, because you just know that the network transceiver of your dreams is out there somewhere!

Okay, well...maybe not. Transceivers are kind of like tires. Not very exciting, but important--and you want to be sure that you select the right kind. There are several different types of network transceivers, and you'll want to choose the right one for your specific network. If you're not sure how to go about doing that, and you're not especially enthusiastic about figuring it out, never fear. We can help you choose the one you need. But if you're the slightest bit curious about what a network transceiver is and what it does, here's a brief explanation.

Short for transmitter-receiver, transceivers are devices that transmit and receive either analog or digital signals. Usually the term refers to the component in local-area-networks (LANs) that transmits and detects signals through the network wire. There are three types of network transceivers: board, chip and module. Oftentimes, a board or chip style of transceiver is built into the network. 

If you're reading this, though, you probably have the kind of network that requires an external transceiver. So you need a module style transceiver. Like other types of computer peripherals, these simply plug in to an existing network. There are several types of module transceivers, including GBIC, XP, and SFP. A small form-factor pluggable, or SFP transceiver, is used for telecommunication and data communications. It connects different pieces of equipment such as switches and routers to a fiber optic or copper networking cable. SFP transceivers are sometimes referred to as mini-GBIC because they can do the work of the larger GBIC (gigabit interface converter) but with a much more compact size. 

A GBIC, or Gigabit Interface Converter, is a transceiver that makes a conversion between Gigabit Ethernet and fiber optic networks. Finally, XFP transceivers, or 10 Gigabit Small Form Factor Pluggable, are protocol-independent and are used for high-speed networks including fiber optic networks.

We carry a variety of module transceivers from Cisco and Juniper Networks. If you’re not sure exactly what you need, just contact us. By identifying your specific network details such as the type of connection ports, associated peripherals and the number of device connections, we can help you select a transceiver that fits your situation. Sure, it might not be all that exciting. But just like buying new tires, once you get this taken care of you can move on to something more fun.