Cabling are used to connect and transfer data and information between computers, routers, switches and storage area networks . These cables are essentially the carrier or media through which data flows.
The following are the different types of cables used:
Coaxial cabling has a single copper conductor at its center. A plastic layer provides insulation between the center conductor and a braided metal shield. The metal shield helps to block any outside interference from fluorescent lights, motors, and other computers.
- Although 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 cable. The two types of coaxial cabling are thick coaxial and thin coaxial.
- Thin coaxial cable is also referred to as thinnet. 10Base2 refers to the specifications for thin coaxial cable carrying Ethernet signals. The 2 refers to the approximate maximum segment length being 200 meters.
- Thick coaxial cable is also referred to as thicknet. 10Base5 refers to the specifications for thick coaxial cable carrying Ethernet signals. The 5 refers to the maximum segment length being 500 meters.
Unshielded twisted pair (UTP)
Unshielded twisted pair (UTP) is the most popular and is generally the best option for school networks .
- The quality of UTP may vary from telephone-grade wire to extremely high-speed cable.
- The cable has four pairs of wires inside the jacket. Each pair is twisted with a different number of twists per inch to help eliminate interference from adjacent pairs and other electrical devices.
- The tighter the twisting, the higher the supported transmission rate and the greater the cost per foot.
Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) Cable
- Although UTP cable is the least expensive cable, it may be susceptible to radio and electrical frequency interference (it should not be too close to electric motors, fluorescent lights, etc.).
- Shielded cables can also help to extend the maximum distance of the cables.
Shielded twisted pair cable is available in three different configurations:
- Each pair of wires is individually shielded with foil.
- There is a foil or braid shield inside the jacket covering all wires (as a group).
- There is a shield around each individual pair, as well as around the entire group of wires (referred to as double shield twisted pair).
Fiber Optic Cable
Fiber optic cabling consists of a center glass core surrounded by several layers of protective materials . It transmits light rather than electronic signals eliminating the problem of electrical interference. This makes it ideal for certain environments that contain a large amount of electrical interference. It has also made it the standard for connecting networks between buildings, due to its immunity to the effects of moisture and lighting.