UPC or APC – Which One to Choose?

What is the Meaning of UPC and APC?

Loss occurs whenever a connector is placed on the end of a fiber. Some of this light loss is reflected back down the fiber to the source of the light. Back reflections will harm laser light sources and interrupt the signal transmission. We may polish connector ferrules to various finishes to decrease back reflections.

In total, there are four different connector ferrule polishing styles. There are two main varieties of them: UPC and APC. The upc connector meaning is the Ultra Physical Contact Connector. The current trend is to include it in timeframes to allow operators to conduct network tests, such as with an OTDR. APC is the abbreviation of Angled Physical Contact, it is another type of connector. Nowadays, APC is the most used polishing technique than UPC.

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

Differences between UPC and APC Connector


The fiber endface is the fundamental difference between UPC and APC connectors. The endface of APC connectors is polished at an eight-degree angle, but the endface of UPC connectors is polished flat, albeit with a small curvature.

UPC APC polishing


Another visible difference between UPC and APC connectors is color. UPC connectors are blue, while UPC connectors are green.

Insertion Loss

Different polishing techniques determine the quality of optical fiber, which leads to differences in connector insertion and return loss. The signal loss caused by the connector or cable is referred to as insertion loss. Upc vs apc vs pc connectors should have an insertion loss of less than 0.3dB in general. Due to the narrower air gap, UPC connectors are usually easier to achieve reduced insertion loss than APC connectors.

Return Loss

Return loss, commonly referred to as reflection loss, is a signal reflection performance parameter. Because APC connectors’ end faces are beveled, their return loss is usually better than UPC connectors. The return loss of a PC fiber cable is typically -40dB. In comparison to PC, UPC return loss is larger, averaging -55dB. (or even higher). The return loss in the APC field is -65dB.

UPC APC type


Because APC is more sensitive to return loss, it is better suited for large bandwidth applications and long distance networks like FTTx, passive optical network (PON), and wavelength division multiplex (WDM). UPC is a better option if the return loss criterion is not large.


Many people may wonder whether the upc or apc connector is better. As you already have enough knowledge after reading this article, the answer should be depending on your needs.


Baudcom offers a variety of fiber optic patch cords with all types of connectors. For more information, please feel free to contact us.

Post time: 2021-06-29


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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