Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Ethernet Networking Cables In A Wireless World

Networking cables have taken over our life in today's connected world. We have our televisions, gaming consoles, computers, media players; external drives all connected together feeding each other information and grabbing information from the internet.

While wireless still plays a big part in our lives it is still limited by its speed and distance and also the fact that it is susceptible to interference from other devices. This means that wired connections still have a large role to play in our lives connecting up all our devices at the fastest possible speeds.

There are various types of cables for networking and we are going to look at the most common.

Cat 3 Cables

These are very old style cables and only support speeds of 10Mbps over Ethernet. These cables are rarely used now.

Cat 5

Cat 5 is an Ethernet cable standard. These cables are 4 twisted pairs and are often used in high signal networks and most cables are unshielded. The recommended run length of Cat5 and Cat5e cables is 100 meters and when exceeded are usually terminated at a switch or Hub. Cat5 cables have been pretty much superseded by Cat5e cables which have now become the standard for Ethernet connections.
These cables run at speeds of up to 100Mbps.

Cat 5e

Cat5e Ethernet cables are the most common type of network cables found in homes and businesses around the world today. Cat 5e cables are not only suitable for Ethernet they can also be used for voice signals and other applications.

Most of the networked products in your house from your TV box to printer and router are likely to be connected to your router via a category 5e cable. Cat 5e cables are 10 times faster than standard Cat 5e cables over short distances by using all four pairs in the cable and can run at Gigabit Ethernet speeds (Up To 1000Mbps)

Cat 5e is backward compatible with Cat 5 and Cat 3

Cat 6

Category 6 cable is one of  the latest in line of Cat cables and can support 10 Gigabit Ethernet (with obvious distance limitations) Although still not as popular as Cat 5e cable the cable is becoming more popular with those that stream media around their homes via media centres, transferring large amounts of data or by those that just want to future proof their connections. The 10 Gigabit speeds are only possible with the right equipment.

Cat 6 is backward compatible and can be used in place of Cat3 and Cat5 cable without issues.

Fiber Optic Cables

These are only worth a short mention as the cost of running a fibre network in your home or business is very expensive and relatively specialised. Fiber cables are becoming more common in getting fast broadband into people’s homes. Certain fiber optic cable has been seen to reach speeds of 14 terabytes per second over a long distance. Although fiber optic has been around a while it is still considered a relatively new technology when it comes to having it in our homes and businesses. Fiber optic cable is a combination of glass strands inside insulated cable that use pulses of light to carry data

Author Bio: Craig is the author of www.computerlearnhow.com which offers a variety of tutorials and general computing help as well as news and reviews on the latest technology.Read our guidelines to be a Guest Author at TechGau.Org
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Gautham A S

Gautham A S is a personal tech columnist and blogging expert at TechGau.Org, one of the leading Tech, How-To and Blogging Tips blogs in the world..