Networking Cables: How To Choose The Right Cable?
Role Of The Cable In A Computer Network
The cables that are used in computer networks are called data cables or communication cables. The purpose of cables in the network is to transfer the data and information, including sharing information between computers, routers, electrical equipment, and larger networks. This makes data cables vastly different from electrical cables because the latter transfer the electrical signal.
Common Types of Network and Communication Cables
There are various communication cables on the market for home networks, data centers, local area networks, private enterprise networks, and many others. The choice of the particular cable depends on the specific architecture of the network.
Standard communication cables are twisted pair cables (shielded and unshielded), coaxial cables, fiber optic cables, telcoflex central power office cables, combination cables, and speaker wire.
Most Popular Communication Cables On The Market
The most usual type of cable used in a computer network is a twisted pair cable. The two types of twisted pair cables used in computer networks are shielded twisted-pair cables (STP) and unshielded twisted-pair cables (UTP). The shielding improves the ability of the cable to handle electromagnetic interference. Read this blog to understand if you need a shielded cable for your network to prevent electromagnetic interference.
Computer networks may need cables to reduce data loss if the local network is large. Often, networks also need to be protected from electromagnetic interference, especially near telecommunications and power stations.
Coaxial cable is another widespread communication cable used primarily for video signals and long-distance Ethernet applications. Since coaxial and twisted pair cables are ubiquitous for networks, there is sometimes confusion about how their applications overlap. To summarize in just one sentence, twisted pair cables are perfect for short-distance applications, whereas coaxial cables are better for long-distance networking. If you wish to know more about the differences between coaxial and STP/UTP cables for networks, visit this blog.
Fiber Optic Cable is the newest generation, highest-speed network cable that uses transparent, flexible fiber optics to transfer data. Unlike coaxial and twisted pair cables, fiber optic cables can carry data to a distance of up to 100 km while also having an impressive bandwidth of up to 4700 MHz. Fiber optic cables are usually used in the networks that require high bandwidth, such as in data center cables and extended communication networks located in oceans.
Though still quite expensive, fiber optic cables are used more often in your average residential wiring, performing spectacularly there. The world leader in fiber optic networking is China, as 91 percent of the country's broadband connection comes from fiber.
Are Networking Cables Used For Direct Burial?
Twisted pair, coaxial, and fiber optic cables are suitable for direct burial; however, you should use the cable with an appropriate direct burial marking. Coaxial and twisted pair cables that can be used for direct burial have a special shielding, whereas fiber optic cables have armor. There are very specific rules about installing network cables outdoors that should be addressed prior to installation in most states.
Other Data And Network Communication Cables
Though twisted pair, coaxial, and fiber optic cables are the most common, there are no one-size-fits-all solutions. Some of the less common networking cable solutions are great for unique networks. Here is an overview of some of them.
Telcoflex central power office cables are used for telecommunication purposes in office buildings. They are convenient for this purpose because they fit into a cable tray.
Combination cables are unique cables that are used in home and commercial networks. They are the blend of different common types of communication cables (fiber optic, twisted pair, and coaxial) and are used when the network requires a non-standard solution. Some types of combinations in combination cables are Cat 5E+ RG6+ Fiber, Cat 6E+ RG6, and Cat 5E+ RG6.
Speaker Cables are often categorized as data cables as well. These are the cables used in audio systems to connect a speaker with an amplifier. For direct burial, look for a specific kind of speaker cable.
Where To Buy Network Cables?
At Nassau National Cable, we have an extensive collection that includes all types of common network cables at some of the best prices in the industry. Click this link to see the collection or contact our representatives at 1-516-482-6313 for assistance with your choice.