If you wish to connect two or more PCs or other networking equipment, you will need to use a type of network cable. The types vary, determined by how the cabling is manufactured and the types of wires and metals that are utilized. Below are the various types of network cabling with a discussion regarding their specifications and the ways they are used.
Coaxial cables are composed of braiding, conductor, insulator, and sheath. The sheath wraps around the braiding, braiding covers insulation, and insulation covers the conductor. Coaxial cables come in both single-core and multi-core types. A single-core utilizes a single central conductor. In contrast, multi-core utilizes several conductors.
Twisted-pair cables are made up of color-coded pairs of insulated copper wires. Two wires are twisted around each other, forming a pair. There are typically four pairs of twisted-pair cables. Each pair has one striped color wire and a solid-colored wire.
The two kinds of twisted-pair cables are STP (shielded twisted-pair) and UTP (unshielded twisted pair). Each pair of wires in an STP cable is wrapped with an extra metal shield. UTP has all its wires wrapped to make up a single sheath.
Fiber-optic cabling is composed of a buffer, cladding, core, and jacket. Typically, the core is made of micro-thin strands of plastic or glass, which are capable of carrying data over long distances. Cladding is wrapped around the core, the buffer is wrapped around the cladding, and the jacket is wrapped around the buffer.
The choice of network cabling is determined by the type of data, the volume of data, and the speed needed for transferring the data.
In use for more than four decades, coaxial cables are no longer used for computer network cabling. Twisted-pair cables are also known as ethernet cables, which are used for LAN computer networks. Fiber-optic cables are best for transmitting data over long distances. They are now the top choice for network cabling.
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