Computer cabling is a term that is used to refer to wires and cables that are used with computers, monitors, printers, servers etc. Cables are used for interconnecting devices in the computer system. There are many types of cables available depending on the applications they are used for. These include USB cable, HDMI cable, Ethernet cable etc.
Serial cables- connect one device to another
Network cable can be divided into 4 major categories which are explained below. They include: ·
It is important to know the various types of network cabling because each one has their own advantages and disadvantages. Cable type would also depend on the distance that you need between two PC's, if it is short then UTP or STP cable could be used, when distances exceed 90 metres then fibre optic cabling is almost exclusively used.
In some situations such as CATV and mobile phone signal boosters coaxial cabling is still extensively used for higher speeds and longer distances use coaxial cable.
Unshielded twisted pair cables can be easily recognized as they have many coloured wires inside a plastic covering. They are the most common type of network cables that are widely used by companies and individuals for short distance connections. UTP cables come in two categories which include 25-pair cables and 23-pair cables.
Shielded twisted pair cables provides extra protection from electromagnetic interference when compared to non-shielded twisted pairs. They look very similar to normal UTP cable but have a metallic foil wrapped around each of the individual pairs along with a layer of insulation to prevent any crosstalk.
Computer cabling is essentially made up of two parts. These are the electrical components which carry electric pulses between different devices and the physical infrastructure needed to house them
To carry electric current from one device to another. For example, printer cable must be able to carry an electric current from a computer's USB port all the way to a printer which may be located around 9 feet away whilst still carrying data with it reliably.
To physically connect individual computer components within a machine or network in order that they may communicate with each other effectively.
With network computer cabling the standard for reliable transmission is 90 metres when transmitting over Cat5e cables through cat8 cables.
While there are many types of computer cabling options available now days, let us understand the basics and range of network cabling available
Category 5e (Cat5e) cable was developed to improve upon the capabilities of category 5 (Cat5) cabling which was derived from its predecessor, category 3 (Cat3). This contemporary cable is backwards compatible with Cat5 and Cat3. The differences between these types of cabling are subtle but they do exist. However, Cat5 and Cat3 no longer exist in most buildings so focus only needs to fall on Cat5e installations and above
Cat5e is mainly used for an economical installation when a maximum of 1 Gigabit Network speeds are required. In the majority of new installations, a minimum of cat6 and above is installed.
Cat6a cabling is an enhanced version of cat6 cable. It has been designed to carry data at high speeds over long distances. Cat6a cables have a bandwidth capability of 500 MHz as compared to 250 MHz for standard Cat 6 cable
It is the first cable ratified for 10 Gigabit Ethernet over the standardised 90m network cabling link. This distance is the one which all Category cables are measured against one another for capabilities
Cat8 cabling is the standard for 25 Gigabit and 40 gigabit cabling installations. This is why cat7 cabling is sometimes known as the “Lost Standard” Cat7 doesn’t improve much on Cat6a cabling. However, cat8 cabling opens up a whole new world of transmission possibilities such as 25 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit speeds
Category 6 (Cat6) cable was developed to increase the number of available channels within a certain cable, which means that it can handle more internet traffic than previous standards such as Cat 5e cables
A larger amount of data transfer also means that this type of cabling is better than Cat5e when it comes to sending and receiving signals for phone or video conferencing, VoIP and streaming services including high definition audio and video etc. When compared with category 5e cables, category 6 cables have more stringent specifications as they are required to perform at a higher standard. In terms of performance, Cat6 cables provide Gigabit Ethernet like Cat5e cabling but also has the ability up to a maximum of 55m to transmit 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) bandwidth
Cat7 cabling has better specifications when compared to Cat6 cabling, which means that it is capable of transferring data at even higher speeds. It can handle frequencies up to 600 MHz, supports bandwidths of 10 gigabits per second (Gbps). Cat7a has capabilities up to 1000MHz
Both cat7 and Cat8 are suitable for use in harsh environments as they have been designed to withstand high temperatures and humidity levels. This is why they are often used in industrial settings such as factories or power generating stations where there are larger causes of electrical interference
These type of cables are also more suitable to higher power loads and therefore the driving force behind the upgrades to power over Ethernet which currently drive Wi-Fi, CCTV cameras and VOIP Phones. As these cables are able to carry more power, they will start to power televisions computers and a large range of technology devices.
Therefore, the role of computer cabling is forever evolving.
In modern technology almost all technology will have its own industry standard connection and a network cable for connection to the network or internet For example, flat screen monitors require HDMI, DVI or VGA cables in order to transfer information from a local device so that they can function. However, they also have computer cabling to connect the Tv to the internet or the main company server. Network computer cabling can also be used to transmit signals from HDMI sources over the cabling so it can run at longer distances.
Cat6a is usually the minimum standard for these types of transmissions.
Computer cables are used extensively throughout everyday life and play a pivotal role in our current technological age. Cable infrastructure can be found everywhere we go; schools, warehouses highways, homes and offices all require different types of physical cabling.
To provide a secure and aesthetically pleasing way for you to route cabling around your computer network the correct design and containment should be considered.
If cables are poorly contained or protected an Ethernet cable is left exposed. Thus, if cables are installed in a building without any form of protection they may suffer from the following;
Any of these situations could cause the wire to stop working and disconnect that device from the network entirely. Even at a minimum it could affect the cable to not perform at its premium and thus only provide a fraction of its transmission capabilities.
If you are a professional or a home user, who is concerned about maximizing his/her investment in cabling infrastructure. Learning the basics of computer cabling and connectors is definitely a good idea. Even if you are not able to do cable termination or cable testing yourself, you will be at ease in dealing with your contractor(s) and will know what they expect from you and vice versa.
Our expert team are there to assist from the very beginning through survey, implementation and installation.