UPC or APC – Which One to Choose?

What is the Meaning of UPC and APC?

Whenever a connector is installed on the end of fiber, loss is incurred. Some of this light loss is reflected directly back down the fiber towards the light source that generated it. These back reflections will damage the laser light sources and also disrupt the transmitted signal. To reduce back reflections, we can polish connector ferrules to different finishes.

There are four types of connector ferrule polishing style in all. UPC and APC are two types of them. UPC stands for Ultra Physical Contact connector. The current trend is using it in deadlines to allow operators to perform networks tests for example by using an OTDR. APC stands for Angled Physical Contact connector. APC is the most used polishing type nowadays.

Click here you can find more information about other types of connectors.

Differences between UPC and APC Connector


APC is more suited for high bandwidth applications and long distance links, such as FTTx, passive optical network (PON) and wavelength division multiplex (WDM), they are more sensitive to return loss. If the return loss requirement is not high, UPC is a better choice.


The main difference between UPC connector and APC connector is the fiber endface. APC connectors have the endface that is polished at an eight degree angle, while UPC connectors are polished with no angle, but UPC connectors have a slight curvature.
UPC APC appearance

Return Loss

Return loss, also known as reflection loss, is a parameter representing the signal reflection performance. The end faces of APC connectors are beveled, so the return loss of APC connectors is usually better than UPC connectors. In general, the return loss of the PC fiber cable is -40dB. UPC return loss is higher relative to PC, generally at -55dB (or even higher). APC industry-standard return loss is -65dB.

UPC APC Return Loss


Color is another difference between UPC connector and APC connector, and it is quite obvious. UPC connectors are blue and UPC connectors are green.

Insertion Loss

Different polishing styles determine the quality of optical fiber, which results in different performances regarding the connector’s insertion loss and return loss. Insertion loss refers to the signal loss caused by the connector or cable. In general, the typical insertion loss of PC, UPC, and APC connectors should be less than 0.3dB. Compared with APC connectors, UPC connectors are usually easier to achieve low insertion loss due to the smaller air gap.

UPC or APC – Which One to Choose?

Many people may ask which one is better, UPC or APC connector? The answer is that it depends on your need, because they have expertise in different places.

Post time:2021-07-09


Lomoveishiy – Finland

I needed those to connect my PC on the third floor to have internet access in that room, and ISP installed their modem on the first floor only. After dropping fiber patch cables, plugged in all cables into these media converters at both sides, and link came up instantly. Was much easier than I thought!

Raymond – USA

Great experience – units worked straight out of the box – just needed plug in cables and we were done. I also like the possibility to enable jumbo frames, while we do not have a need for this feature at the current moment it’s great to have this option.

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