Cable types and form the medium through which transmission of data and information from one network device to another is effected. In some cases, a certain network can only utilize a specific type of cable while in other cases, any network can use any type of cable. It is important to be well versed with the various types of cables.
Types of Cables To start with, coaxial cables are the most common types of cables. They were invented in the 1880s and were used to connect the television sets to the home antennas. They consist of an inner copper wire of varying thickness that is surrounded by insulation and other shielding. Installers have to be aware that their thickness can cause a lot of difficulty in installation and the maintenance of thinnet and thicknet.
Second, the twisted pair Cable types emerged in the 1990s as the leading and preferred data cabling standard for ethernet. They include cat 3, cat 5, and cat5 e. The twisted pair cables are available in two main types: Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) and Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP). Most modern ethernet cable applications use UTP because it is more economical.
Ethernet cable wiring is mostly used in the set up of local networks. Typically, they are used in the connection of routers to modems as well as computers. They are available in three main forms: cat 5, cat 5e, and cat 6.
Third, cross over cables are cables which join two network devices which have some similarity in terms of type. It was more common a long time ago when there was a need of connecting two PCs. The need of cross over cables have been eliminated through the constant use of cables with built-in cross over capabilities.
Lastly, fiber optic cable is comprised of a center glass core that is surrounded by a number of layers of a protective material. Instead of transmitting electric signals, it transmits light thus eliminating the problem that comes with electrical interference. It has proven effective in network transmission between buildings because it has immunity in lighting and moisture. Compared to twisted pair and coaxial, it can do signal transmission over a longer distance. In addition to that, it can carry information in a greater speed. Fiber cables come as multimode or signal mode.
Different types of cables have different purposes and applications. It is therefore important that one makes an effort to differentiate them in order to do a professional work in cable installation and maintenance. Overall, becoming familiar with the different types of cables will help a client make an informed decision.