An optical fiber connector terminates the end of an optical fiber, and enables quicker connection and disconnection than splicing. The connectors mechanically couple and align the cores of fibers so that light can pass. Most optical fiber connectors are spring-loaded: The fiber endfaces of the two connectors are pressed together, resulting in a direct glass to glass or plastic to plastic contact, avoiding any glass to air or plastic to air interfaces, which would result in higher connector losses.
A variety of optical fiber connectors are available. The main differences among types of connectors are dimensions and methods of mechanical coupling. Generally, organizations will standardize on one kind of connector, depending on what equipment they commonly use, or per type of fiber (one for multimode, one for singlemode). In datacom and telecom applications nowadays small form factor connectors (e.g. LC) and multi-fiber connectors (e.g. MTP) are replacing the traditional connectors (e.g. SC), mainly to pack more connectors on the overcrowded faceplate, and thus reducing the footprint of the systems.