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Network Cable Types


There are several categories of network cables, listed below.

Main Cable Types

Coaxial cables

These are thick, shielded cables that are commonly used for television and internet connections. They are resistant to interference and have a high bandwidth.

Twisted pair cables

These are the most common type of network cables, and they are made up of two insulated copper wires that are twisted together. They are used for a variety of applications, including phone lines, Ethernet connections, and other types of data transmission. I've included a list of common and not-so-common cable types below.

Fiber optic cables

These are thin, flexible cables that are made of glass or plastic fibers and are used to transmit data over long distances. They are resistant to interference and have a high bandwidth, but they are more expensive and more difficult to install than twisted pair cables.

Powerline cables

These are cables that use the electrical wiring in a building to transmit data. They are a good option for homes and small businesses that do not have the infrastructure in place to support traditional network cables.

Ethernet Cables

Ethernet cables are a type of twisted pair cable that are commonly used to connect computers and other devices to a local area network (LAN) or the internet. There are several categories of Ethernet cables. Listed below are nine types of ethernet cables. Some are technically not ethernet, but I am including them here for historical purposes.

Category 1

Cat 1 Ethernet cables are a type of twisted pair cable that were used in the past for networking applications. They have a maximum transmission speed of 1 megabit per second (Mbps) and were primarily used for phone lines and other types of voice communication. Cat 1 cables are no longer commonly used for networking applications due to the availability of faster and more advanced options such as Cat 3, Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Cat 6a cables. However, they may still be used in some older phone systems or other legacy applications.

Category 2

Cat 2 Ethernet cables are a type of twisted pair cable that were used in the past for networking applications. They have a maximum transmission speed of 4 megabits per second (Mbps) and were primarily used for token ring networks, which are a type of LAN that uses a token-passing protocol to control access to shared media. Cat 2 cables are no longer commonly used due to the availability of faster and more advanced options such as Cat 3, Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Cat 6a cables.

Category 3

Cat 3 Ethernet cables are a type of twisted pair cable that were used in the past for networking applications. They have a maximum transmission speed of 16 megabits per second (Mbps) and were primarily used for phone lines and other types of voice communication. Cat 3 cables are no longer commonly used for networking applications due to the availability of faster and more advanced options such as Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Cat 6a cables. However, they may still be used in some older phone systems or other legacy applications.

Category 4

Cat 4 Ethernet cables are a type of twisted pair cable that were used in the past for networking applications. They have a maximum transmission speed of 16 megabits per second (Mbps) and were primarily used for token ring networks, which are a type of LAN that uses a token-passing protocol to control access to shared media. Cat 4 cables are no longer commonly used due to the availability of faster and more advanced options such as Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Cat 6a cables.

Category 5

Cat 5 Ethernet cables are a type of twisted pair cable that are commonly used for networking applications. They have a maximum transmission speed of 100 megabits per second (Mbps) and are suitable for applications that require moderate bandwidth. Cat 5 cables are widely used in many networking applications, including Ethernet connections and phone lines. However, they are no longer the fastest option and have been superseded by faster categories such as Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Cat 6a cables.

Category 5e

Cat 5e Ethernet cables are a type of twisted pair cable that are commonly used for networking applications. They are an enhanced version of Cat 5 cables and have a maximum transmission speed of 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps). Cat 5e cables are widely used in many networking applications, including Ethernet connections and phone lines. They are suitable for applications that require high bandwidth and are a good choice for modern networks. Cat 5e cables are backward compatible with Cat 5 cables, meaning they can be used in place of Cat 5 cables in most cases.

Category 6

Cat 6 Ethernet cables are a type of twisted pair cable that are commonly used for networking applications. They have a maximum transmission speed of 1,000 megabits per second (Mbps) and are suitable for applications that require high bandwidth. Cat 6 cables are commonly used in modern networks and are a good choice for applications that require fast data transfer speeds. They are backward compatible with Cat 5 and Cat 5e cables, meaning they can be used in place of those cables in most cases. Cat 6 cables are also more resistant to interference than Cat 5 and Cat 5e cables, making them a good choice for environments with a lot of electrical noise.

Category 6A

Cat 6A Ethernet cables are a type of twisted pair cable that are commonly used for networking applications. They are an enhanced version of Cat 6 cables and have a maximum transmission speed of 10,000 megabits per second (Mbps). Cat 6A cables are suitable for very high-bandwidth applications and are often used in data centers and other professional settings. They are backward compatible with Cat 5, Cat 5e, and Cat 6 cables, meaning they can be used in place of those cables in most cases. Cat 6A cables are also more resistant to interference than Cat 5, Cat 5e, and Cat 6 cables, making them a good choice for environments with a lot of electrical noise.

Category 7

Cat 7 Ethernet cables are a type of twisted pair cable that are commonly used for networking applications. They have a maximum transmission speed of 10,000 megabits per second (Mbps) and are suitable for very high-bandwidth applications. Cat 7 cables are often used in data centers and other professional settings. They are backward compatible with Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Cat 6a cables, meaning they can be used in place of those cables in most cases. Cat 7 cables are also more resistant to interference than other categories of Ethernet cables, making them a good choice for environments with a lot of electrical noise. However, they are more expensive and more difficult to install than other categories of Ethernet cables.

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Posted: 2022-12-27
By: dwirch
Viewed: 131 times

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