Different types of network cable

by | Nov 6, 2013 | Electronics and Electrical

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Without network cables it would be impossible to transfer data between computers on a network. There are a number of different types of network cabling available and the choice is dependent on the topography and structure of the network itself. The most frequently used are Cat 6 network cables, coaxial and fiber optic.

Unshielded twisted pair cable is the common choice for most Ethernet networks. These cables are constructed of four pairs of conductors which are twisted in pairs and all housed in an outer sheath. The idea of twisting the conductors is to prevent cross talk and other forms of interference with the signal, this interference can come from other network devices. Twisted pairs help minimize failures in the network.

Cat 6 network cables are a step up from cat 5 and even Cat 5e cables. Cat 6 cables have an internal separator which keeps the twisted pairs isolated from one another; this feature reduces crosstalk and allows for significantly higher data transfer speeds, these cables have twice the bandwidth of Cat 5 Ethernet cables.

Coax is another common type of cable used in networking. This type of cable has a single copper core which is encased in a plastic coating; this coating serves as an insulator between the conductor and the overall metal shield. This assembly is covered with an outer jacket, the thickness of the jacket can affect the flexibility of the cable but the thicker the jacket the greater the protection.

Fiber optic cables are rarely used in small, stand-alone networks; these cables are reserved for networks that span a great distance. Fiber optic cable does not transmit electrical pulses, it transmits light waves. This cable is almost impervious to electrical interference so it is an ideal network cable. Fiber optic cables can transmit data much faster than its copper counterpart.

Although wired networks are still used extensively for large corporate installations, the advent of wireless networking technology is having a profound effect on the industry. It will be some time though before wireless systems can match the security and integrity of wired systems. In the case of Cat 6 network cables, they can support 10 gigabyte data transfer and operate at blazing speeds. Many companies are in the process of upgrading their networks to take advantage of cat 6 cables.

Cat 6 network cables with or without boots are in stock and ready for immediate shipping from cables.com. Cables .com can custom manufacture your specific cable requirements, both length and color.


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