Network Cables.

Coaxial cable.

A type of cable that was once popular for Ethernet networks is coaxial cable, sometimes called thinnet or BNC cable because of the type of connectors used on each end of the cable. It was the original cable used in Ethernet networks and is still used almost universally for television connections. There are two types of coax cabling: Thinnet and Thicknet. The two differ in thickness and maximum cable distance that the signal can travel.

Thinnet: Thin coaxial cabling, known as RG 58, (which is a flexible coaxial cable about ¼-inch thick.) is used for connections that use a low power signal. In Ethernet, the maximum distance that data can be transmitted Is 185 meters.

Thicknet: This coaxial cable, also known as RG-8, gets its name by being a thicker cable than thinnet. Thicknet cable is about ½-inch thick and is used for connections that require a higher power signal. The maximum travel distance between nodes using thick coaxial cables is 500 meters.


Twisted Pair Cable.

Twisted pair cabling gets its name by having four pairs of wires that are twisted to help reduce crosstalk or Electromagnetic interference from outside electrical devices. There are two forms of twisted pair cabling, unshielded twisted pair (UTP) and shielded twisted pair (STP).

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP)

The typical twisted pair cable for network use contains four pairs of wires. Each member of the pair of wires contained in the cable is twisted around the other. The twists in the wires help shield against electromagnetic interference. The maximum distance of UTP is 100 meters. UTP cabling typically has only an outer covering (jacket) consisting of some type of non-conducting material. UTP cabling seems to generate the lowest expectations of twisted-pair cable. Its great popularity is mostly due to the cost and ease of installation. With every new generation of UTP cable, network engineers think they have reached the limits of the UTP cable’s bandwidth and capabilities. However, cable manufacturers continue to extend its capabilities.


Shielded Twisted Pair (STP)

STP cabling is a type of copper cabling that is used in networks where fast data rates are required. STP cabling includes metal shielding over each individual pair of copper wires. This type of shielding protects cable from external EMI (electromagnetic interferences). STP cables are also referred to as Ethernet cables. STP cables provide additional protection to the internal copper, thus data rates are Increased and more reliable.


Cable categories.

Twisted pair cable comes in various grades called categories. These categories are specified by the ANSI/EIA standard 568. (ANSI stands for American National Standards Institute; EIA stands for Electronic Industries Association.) The standards indicate the data capacity, also known as the bandwidth, of the cable. Although higher-category cables are more expensive than lower-category cables, the real cost of installing Ethernet cabling is the labor required to actually pull the cables through the walls.


Fiber-optic Cable.

Fiber-optic cables use optical fibers that carry digital data signals in the form of modulated pulses of light. Fiber optic cables are able to carry data for long distances. An optical fiber consists of an extremely thin cylinder of glass, called the core. The core is wrapped in a cladding, which is denser glass material that reflects light back to the core.  Fiber optic cable has helped make a lot of the advances in networking over the last few years. The use of fiber cables provides for an increase in the distance data can travel between nodes, as well as speeds that are, well, as fast as light.
There are two types of fiber-optic cables: single-mode fiber (SMF) and multimode fiber (MMF).


Single-mode fiber:

SMF cables are thinner Than MMF cables. SMF uses a single ray of light, known as a mode, to carry the transmission over long distances. SMF cable is more reliable and supports a much higher bandwidth and longer distances than MMF cables.

Multimode fiber:

MMF cabling is made for shorter distances. MMF Uses multiple rays of light simultaneously, with each ray of light running at a different reflection angle to carry the transmissions. So the distance and Speed are less.

Fiber-optic cable supports up to 1000 stations and can carry the signal up to and beyond 2 kilometers. Fiber-optic cables are also highly secure from outside interference, such as radio transmitters, arc welders, fluorescent lights, and other sources of electrical noise.