In spite of developments in the field of wireless technologies, a lot of computer networks still rely on cables as a physical medium through which network devices transfers information from one device to another. Several standard types of network cables are commonly used by various local area networks. A network may utilize only one type of cable or a variety of cable types depending its topology, protocol, and size. Selecting the right cables is necessary for the development of a successful network. Listed below are the available network cables in the market today.
- Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) Cable. Unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cables are widely used in the computer and telecommunications industry as Ethernet cables and telephone wires. In this type of cable, conductors which form a single circuit are twisted around each other in order to cancel out electromagnetic interference (EMI) from external sources. The standard connector for UTP cables is an RJ-45 connector, a plastic connector that looks like a large telephone-style connector. A slot allows the RJ-45 to be inserted only one way. This standard designates which wire goes with each pin inside the connector. UTP cables are the least expensive cables out there, but they may be susceptible to radio and electrical frequency interference. They should not be too close to electric motors, fluorescent lights, etc.
- Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) Cable. If the network cables are to be placed in an environment with lots of potential interference, or if the network is an extremely sensitive environment that may be susceptible to electrical currents, shielded twisted pair cables may be the solution. Aside from shielding the cables from possible interference, STP cables also help to extend the maximum distance of the cables. This type of network cables come in three configurations: (1) each pair of wires is individually shielded with foil; (2) there is a foil or braid shield inside the jacket covering all wires; and (3) there is a shield around each individual pair, as well as around the entire group of wires.
- Coaxial Cable. Coaxial cables have a single copper conductor at its center. A plastic layer provides insulation between the center conductor and a braided metal shield. This metal shield helps block any outside interference from fluorescent lights, motors, and other computers. Though some say that coaxial cabling is difficult to install, it is highly resistant to signal interference. In addition, it can support greater cable lengths between network devices than twisted pair cables.
- Fiber Optic Cable. Fiber optic cables consist of a center glass core surrounded by several layers of protective materials. They transmit light rather than electronic signals, thereby eliminating problems related to electrical interference. Fiber optic cables are ideal for environments with large amounts of electrical interference. They have become the standard for connecting networks between buildings because they are immune to the effects of moisture and lighting. They also have the ability to transmit signals over much longer distances than coaxial and twisted pair and carry information at vastly greater speeds.This capacity broadens communication possibilities to include services such as video conferencing and interactive services.
A Plus Cable Runners is a leading communications Network Installation Services provider in the field of structured cabling. Call us today at 727-647-0961 to know more about the services we offer.