Network Cable Guide: An Ultimate Guide on Different Types of Network Cables

Wi-Fi offers the benefits of convenience and being good enough for most uses. However, ethernet offers the benefits of better speed, lower latency, and more reliable connections. So, when a network connection requires maximum speed and stability, you should wire the connection for the best results. Also, security cameras, gaming PCs, consoles, and devices for high-quality entertainment like 4K video streaming require faster communication, so you should consider choosing cables. However, which type of network cables do you need? Let’s read the network cable guide to find the answer.

What Are Network Cables?

Network cables link one network component to another or connect two or more nodes to share resources to cut operational costs and increase efficiency. 

Some shared resources include scanners, printers, storage spaces, and computing power. Depending on the robustness and physical and logical topologies, you’ll need to use different cables within the network topology. 

There are various technologies used for network linkages. Short distances in offices, patch cables are mainly in use. Twisted pairs or coaxial cables are ideal for premises. Optical fiber cables are the best for long distances for applications requiring massive bandwidth. Power lines are primarily for network links in homes and industrial applications. 

Network Cable Guide: Network Cables Types

Below are the various network cable types.

Twisted Pair

The twisted pair has two copper conductors with a plastic insulator material. One of the wires transmits signals to the receiver and the other acts only as a ground reference. This cable is for home and corporate communication networks. There are two types of twisted pair cables, namely shielded and unshielded. You can use twisted-pair cables for various applications in networking and communication, for example, in telephone lines, Digital Subscriber Lines, and local area networks.

Twisted Pair

Caption: Twisted Pair

Ethernet Crossover Cable

An Ethernet crossover cable connects computing nodes directly within the network. It links two components of the same type, for instance, when connecting two computers or switches within the network. However, most network components nowadays support auto crossover technologies.

Fiber Optic Cable

You can call it optical–fiber cable, which is an association similar to an electrical cable but has one or more optical fibers that transmit light. The optical fiber components are usually in plastic layers and a protective tube suitable for the environment to install the cables. Various types of cables use diverse applications, for example, long-distance communications or providing a high-speed data connection between different parts of a network within the premises.

Fiber-optic Cables are responsible for transferring more data over longer distances and faster than other mediums. This technology provides homes and businesses with fiber-optic internet, phone, and TV services.

Fibre Optic Cable

Caption: Fibre Optic Cable

Coaxial Cable

It is a network cable consisting of an inner conductor surrounded by a concentric conducting shield insulated by a dielectric material. Most of these cables also have a protective outer jacket. Coaxial cables mainly carry high-frequency signals with low attenuations. It’s mainly for telephone lines, high-speed computer data cables, and television cable signals. They also connect radio receivers and transmitters.

Coaxial Cable

Caption: Coaxial Cable

Patch Cable

It links digital and optical devices to one another for signal transmission. It helps to attach or link devices of diverse types. For instance, they are connecting a hub or router to a computer. They are commonly produced in many different colors to differentiate them from each other. Patch cables include headphone extensions, microphone cables, and modular Ethernet cables.

You can use the patch cable as the ethernet cable because both are the same in copper networks. However, patch cables are best suited for smaller distances from the patch to the switch.

Patch Ethernet Cable

Caption: Patch Ethernet Cable

Power Lines

PLCs carry data on a conductor used simultaneously for AC power transmission or power distribution to end users. We need different PLC technologies for various applications, from internet connectivity to home automation. Often PLC technologies confine themselves to a specific type of wire, but some occasionally cross between different levels. Usually, transformers obstruct propagating signals that require numerous technologies to form extensive networks. Various frequencies and data rates are used in a variety of situations.

Conclusion

When choosing a Cable for a network, the network cable guide helps you with several factors to consider, such as expansion capabilities, cost, signal attenuation, bandwidth, and electromagnetic interference (EMI). Every network system requires specific needs, and each cable has a different specification to fulfill them. These will affect the network design; hence, you need to consider four critical considerations if you want a reliable, secure, and efficient network. These include inbuilt security measures, standardization of software and hardware, network resiliency, and redundancy. For all your network equipment-related queries, feel free to contact Cloom Tech.

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