March 25, 2014

Though wireless network technology has evolved many folds, still people use wired networks at home and offices. They use cables as a medium to transfer information and communicate through networked devices. These cables do look similar to a naive; however, they are quite different. You must know what kind of cable you need for your LAN and for this; you must understand different types of cable available in the market.

Coaxial Cables
The Coaxed cables or coax are copper cables, which are a standard for 10Mbps Ethernet cables. Cable companies used these cables to connect TV sets with antennas. Even the telephone companies use these cables. Two major types of coax cable, which were used in 1980s and 1990s, were thinnet (10BASE2 standard) or thicknet (10BASE5 standard). These cables are widely used in office Ethernet and LANs. The cable has an inner copper wire of varied thicknesses, which is surrounded by insulation and other shielding.

Twisted Pair Cables
Twisted pair cables are made of two copper wires, which are twisted together to reduce electromagnetic field. These wires are often wound together in pairs. Ethernet twisted pair cables have up to 8 wires wound together in pairs. These wires were introduced during 1990s, starting with 10Mbps (Category 3 or Cat-3), which later on evolved as 100Mbps (Category 5 or Cat-5) and soon became high-speed 10Gbps wires. Twisted pair cables are of two types, Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) and Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP). Higher grade twisted pair is used in LANs as it is far cheaper than coaxial cable.

Fiber Optics
Fiber optic cables have made the dream of long distance calls, internet, and cable TV a reality. These cables transmit information through strands of glass and pulses of light. These cables can easily bend, as they are made of glass and are used in Wide Area Networks (WANs) where the communication traffic is high. Single mode and multimode are two types of fiber optics. Single mode fiber optics has higher bandwidth capacity; therefore, it is used in long-distance telecommunications networks. The local networks use multimode because they are cheaper.

USB Cables
USB cables have twisted pair wiring and are used to connect computer with peripheral devices such as mouse, keyboard, etc. They are not used for connecting a computer with another for networking. By using Dongles, an Ethernet cable can be easily connected to a USB port indirectly.

Crossover Cables
Crossover cables such as Null modem cables connect two similar devices, for example two PCs. It is constructed by crossing over the order of the wires so that it can connect two computers directly. It looks similar to regular Ethernet cable, so one needs to buy carefully.

We at Centex Technologies provide complete office computer networking solutions to our clients. For more information, call us at (855) 375-9654