Network Cabling is the intermediary of data transmission that moves from one computer or network device to another. You’ll find a number of types of cable which are commonly used in network topologies. Usually, a small network only needs one type of network cabling. Meanwhile, along with the growing of the network, it may need to use a variety of types of network cabling.
Basically, a network topology requires a type of network cabling or the combination of two or more types of network cabling. type of cable chosen for a network is related to the network’s topology, protocol, and size. Therefore understanding the quality, functions, and characteristics of each type of cables is really necessary to add up your computer networking skills.
Types of Network Cabling for Computer Networking
Twisted Pair Cable (UTP)
There are two types of Twisted Pair Cable, such as Shielded UTP cable and Unshielded UTP cable. Shielded UTP has a sheath wrapping, but the Unshielded UTP cable has no sheath wrapping. This type of cable uses an RJ-11 or RJ-45 connector. Twisted Pair Cable (also known as 10 BaseT) is suitable for a small, medium, or large computer networking which requires flexibility and the capacity to develop in accordance with the growth of the network.
Generally, the Twisted Pair cable is more reliable than a thin coax, as the HUB has the capability of correcting data errors and increases the speed of data transmission. Using this HUB, you can assemble it into a larger network.
Currently, there are several grades or categories of Twisted Pair cable. The fifth category is the most reliable, widely compatible, and the most preferable. It works well on a 10 Mbps of network speed, and Fast Ethernet. You can buy a Category Twisted Pair 5 cable that has been created, or you may also create your own.
A straight-through cable is used to connect computers to the HUB. But a crossed cable is used to connect a HUB to the other HUBs. There are some exceptions, such as some type of uplink port HUB which has been crossed internally. In which, it allows you to uplink a HUB with a straight cable instead.
At a straight-through cable, the 1, 2, 3, and 6 cables at one end and the other 1, 2, 3, and 6 cables at the other end. At a crossed cable, the orders of the wires are changed from one end to the other end (wire 1 to 3, and 2 to 6). To illustrate the sequence the number 1, hold the RJ-45 end with copper facing on you.
Although the coaxial cable is more expensive and more difficult to use than a Twisted Pair cable, it’s one of the network devices that is most widely used for LAN media. This cable has a high bandwidth, so it can be used for broadband communication. Commonly, coaxial cable is divided into two types, such as:
Thick Coaxial Cable
This cable is typically used for the installation of an Ethernet backbone network between skyscrapers. It can reach a distance of 500 – 2,500 meters by using a repeater.
Thin Coax Cable
The Thin Coax Cable is also known as 10 Base 2. This kind of coaxial cable is suitable for home or office network consists of two or three computers. The price of this TV antenna cable-like is not too expensive and easy installation.
The installation process of Thin Coax cable is using a BNC connector. On such type of network, to connect to every computer is using a T-connector and each of the ends is using a terminator or a 50-ohm cover if you are not using a HUB.
Fiber Optic (F/O)
The Fiber Optic cable is indeed very rarely used for a computer networking. Usually, only large companies use Fiber Optic cable for a computer networking. From all types of network cabling, the price of Fiber Optic cable is the most expensive, and the installation process is more difficult.
However, there’s no doubt if any network uses Fiber Optic cable will be capable in terms of reliability and data transmission speed. The data transmission speed of the Fiber Optic cable is more than 100 Mbps and free of noise.
In the recent years, the telephone cable is one of the types of network cabling that has been widely used in some types of computer networks, especially LAN. Typically this type of cable is used to connect networks between skyscrapers. Normally, the telephone is strong enough and has a steel wire within it.
Usually, the telephone cable is suitable for outdoor. It consists of three wires. In which, the two wires are used as data transmission and another one is used to the brace to avoid broken when it expanded. It would be better if the end of the steel as the brace is connected to the grounding. This way is useful to avoid any problem when there is a lightning. So in essence, only two out of three wires are used for the networking in a telephone cable.