Top 5 Tips for Choosing Your Fiber Optic Supplier
In any project or endeavor, you want to have the right partners and suppliers. If you need to set up a high-speed network over a long distance, you’re going to need fiber optic cables.
Unless you manufacture them yourself, you need to find a reliable supplier who produces a good product that you can count on as you get your work done. These cables are the foundation of your network, after all.
So how do you find a fiber optic cable supplier that you can count on? A quick search will give you all sorts of potential suppliers, complete with their own price ranges, but how much it costs isn’t always indicative of the quality of what you’re getting. With that in mind, let’s take a look at what you need to remember to choose the right cable supplier.
1. Quality is King
Your first qualifier is clearly the quality of the product. Price doesn’t always mean quality, but it is true that low-cost cables tend to be low-quality as well. We recommend checking reviews on the products, learn what other people are saying.
Most vendors will be open to leaving reviews online, good and bad. Don’t hesitate to search through other online vendors and read what customers say there. Find out what people say across multiple websites, then see how satisfied people are. While this isn’t going to cover everyone or everything, and there’s a chance not all of those comments are accurate, it can be a useful starting point or reference.
Get a Sample
Getting your hands on a sample is also a good idea. A small order, if you can spare the cash for it, lets you get a piece that you can run through whatever tests you need to be done. Everything from testing its durability to checking if it can handle your needs.
2. Consider the Prices
Price is a factor. Whenever you buy anything, including fiber optics, the price will be something you need to consider. One thing to recall is that the price of these cables is higher than others. Comparing the cost of fiber optic cable to other cables is a fool’s endeavor.
To better evaluate the pricing that you’re seeing, consider the length. A typical fiber optic cable will be priced according to length, with a minimum of three meters per purchase, but larger projects will need a lot more than that. When shopping around for a supplier, take a moment to check the price of cable per meter and compare.
3. After-Sales Support
You also want a supplier that provides good customer service and technical support, because you are going to need both at one point or another. Check if the company provides multiple ways to contact them and that these are all viable methods.
Make some inquiries before you buy anything bigger than a sample. Inquire about things like general issues, technical details, and any concerns you might have. Take the opportunity to check out the level of service they provide, testing their after-sales systems and demeanor. You don’t want to buy anything and find yourself stuck with poor after-sales service when something goes wrong.
4. The Warranty Coverage
You can trust the product, but you should still take a good look at the warranty and the terms it covers just in case. The warranty will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, with some only covering your purchase for a few weeks while others willing to process refunds for months after the invoice date. In general, for this type of cable, you’re looking at a year or two.
The longer the warranty period, the more reliable the product will generally be. This is because no company wants to spend more money after a sale than absolutely necessary. If they offer a two-year guarantee (or a lifetime one, which will be highly unusual), that means they are very confident in the quality of their products.
5. The Reputation
You should also consider the reputation of the supplier. If you intend to make the purchase online, this is almost as important as every other factor you might consider.
Find “Character References”
Check information via a search. Look at their social media accounts. See what people are saying when talking about the company itself, along with its policies and products. See their website, check for any current news or activities since an active site is usually a good indicator the company isn’t dead or a fraud, though not always. Perform the due diligence and check if the potential supplier has been outed as a scam before.
Go With Your Gut
This part is harder to check on an objective level, since sometimes the information you find may not be definitive. All you might find is some questionable data that makes you feel uneasy. If you don’t feel good about making a deal with a company, it is perhaps best that you move on to a different supplier.
Having the right fiber optic cables for your project is important, and that begins with finding a good supplier. Fortunately, despite being a tech-related product, the process of finding suppliers doesn’t involve understanding too much tech jargon. Just keep in mind the basics on finding sellers you can trust and you’ll find someone you can count on.