Different Types of Cables in Networking

Before we discuss networking cables, let us know what networking actually is. The network is the interconnection of the different systems and devices. In our daily life, we consist of a bunch of devices like desktop systems, mobile devices, laptops, Ipads, etc. All these are interconnected to each other to share, receive, and retrieve information from the devices. We can send work to a printer, print the copy, send a streaming video to the other system user and we can also use it to share the internet connection.

Network cables types and specifications

Most of the network users don’t have any idea about the interconnection of the network and how it’s going to work. As long as they got the required information from the internet, the users don’t care how the information is going to pass from one system to the other system.

To communicate with all these devices, we need a connector to connect between the devices is called a cable. Since we are using it to connect the networks we call it the networking cable.

The networking cables are used to connect multiple devices to each other and a single central device. The central device is called the switch.

The best example of a networking cable is a computer lab. In the computer lab, we connect multiple computers to a single central device called switch using the networking cables. The sheer number of cables in a computer lab requires certain safety measures to be put in place to reduce the risk of tripping or electrocution. IndustriTAG industrial labels and other similar labels are often used in large computer labs to identify the type of electrical cable being used so that you know how to safely handle it.

In some cases, the computers are connected to a wall socket and this wall socket is again connect through another cable to a cabinet or a panel. These cabinets or panel then again connects to a switch.

We have switches at home too but most of the homes don’t have any wall sockets. All the devices can connect directly to the switch.

When it comes to connecting the networks, we can connect them in two different ways

  1. Wired Connection
  2. Wireless connection

Wired vs wireless

For the Wired connection, we connect through the different cables like twisted pairs, coaxial cables, Ethernet cables, fiber optic cables, etc. There are many more cables for the wired connection.

Whereas in the wireless connection, it exists after the wired connection. Mobile devices, radios use wireless connections. Normally, the very known best example of a Wireless connection is Wi-Fi.

Networking Cables

Networking cables can be of different types of copper cables, fiber cables. The copper cables are cheaper than fiber cables. And these copper cables are mostly used for short-range communications.

The transmission can be done in the form of electrical signals.

The Copper networking cables means it gets affected by outside interference.

Coming to the fiber optic cables, it is the set of strands of glasses. The data we can send through the fiber in the form of light signals. Fiber optic cables are more expensive than copper networking cables.

It is mostly used for longer-distance communications since it is highly expensive. The main reason most prefer fiber optic cables because it doesn’t get affected by outside interference during data transmission.

The networking cables use an ethernet protocol. We have known protocol consists of a set of rules. The Ethernet cables are made of many different parts. In the physical layer, it describes the different cablings with their speed. In the medium access layer, it describes how the data get transmitted and formatted.

The main aim of the ethernet cables is, we can communicate even on different cables and at different speeds. Suppose User A has a network speed of one-gigabit connection wants to send a message to User B

which has a 20-gigabit speed. The message is first moved into the media access control to prepare the message format according to the media access control rules and follows the physical rules to send the message to another network device. After the message is received at the other end, it decodes the message at the physical layer and sends it to the receiver device. Even in the different connection speeds, we can deliver the information on the receiver side of the network. The standard used for the Ethernet LAN is 802.3 and was developed by the IEEE.

Different types of Networking Cables

  • Twisted Pair Cables

The Twisted pair cable is one type of Ethernet cable. These are used for connection in the local area networks. The Twisted pair cables are connected to the local router or a modem so that we can provide internet access to the local devices. One end of the Twisted pair cable consists of the interface card and the other end plugs are connected to a router sitch or a modem.

The Below figure represents the Twisted pair cable.

Twisted pair cable

These Ethernet Twisted pairs are dived into two types

  1. Unshielded Twisted pairs
  2. Shielded Twisted pairs
  • Unshielded Twisted pair

The Unshielded twisted pairs are the most common type of cables. It consists of four different color code wires that are twisted into pairs. Now, why do these colors are getting twisted? To prevent Electromagnetic interference and crosstalk, the Unshielded twisted pairs are get twisted in pairs. The Twisted pair cables are mostly used in homes and for many business purposes.

  • Shielded Twisted pair

It is similar to the shielded twisted pairs, the main difference between the two is a foil shield is wrapped around the color-coded pairs alike from the Unshielded twisted pairs. It has an extra layer of protection to prevent electromagnetic Interference. It is mostly used in Industries.

For the Twisted pair cables, simply we have to connect the RJ45 connectors at both ends of the Twisted pairs.

Coaxial Cable connectors

All the specifications of the networking cables are present at the physical layer of the OSI model. The Below figure represents the coaxial cable.

Coaxial cable connector

It consists of a sheath at the outer cover layer. This sheath is a fire-resistant plastic. To reduce the electromagnetic interference the sheath is established at the outer covers of the coaxial cable. Under sheath, it consists of a Teflon insulator and a copper conductor is present at the center of the coaxial cable.

The coaxial cables are used to transmit high-frequency signals with fewer data losses. The Coaxial cables are mostly used in telephone systems, cable TVs, and broadband connection. we have many specifications in the coaxial cable, But most of them use the RG number. RG stands for the Radio guide. Each number uses different data cables. There are also many types of connectors in the coaxial cable. they are

  1. BNC connectors
  2. F-Type connectors
  3. SMC connectors
  4. N connectors

BNC and F-type connectors are also called the end type connectors. It can carry the information in the form of microwave signals.

SMA stands for the Subminiature version. It uses higher frequency microwave systems and Wi-Fi systems.

F-type connectors are mainly used in local connections like cable TV and cable Internet connection.

Fibre Optic cables

The Fibre Optic cables, simply carry the information in the form of light signals. It offers high maintenance cost and very expensive than the copper networking cables. These Fibre Optic cables can be of two types

  1. Single-mode
  2. Multimode

The below figure represent the structure of the coaxial cable. It consists of a core that surrounds several protective layers. The Outer layer we call the jacket is used to protect the inner components.

Fibre optics cable

The second layer of the Fibre optic cables, we call the buffer to encapsulates one or more optical cables to protect them from physical damage. And the layer around the fiber optic core, we call it the cladding. It is made of glass or a plastic

The cladding has two main properties. It is used to protect the core, the light bouncing and reflection allow fiber to bend around the corners without affecting the transmission of the signals.

The last layer of the fiber optic cable is the central core cable, which is made of glass fiber lights, The LED can travel through the cores.

Single Mode

The single-mode is designed to carry the signals with a single-mode. It means the light signal can travel in the same way and in the same pattern.

The single-mode only provides a single ray of light. It has a high data transfer rate event in long-distance communications.

Single-mode has a very tiny diameter of 9 microns or micrometers and with a width range of a maximum of 200 microns. The core of the optical cable is not visible without the help of any special equipment. The Light signals don’t traverse in different paths as the normal signals. Mostly the single mode is widely used for long-range communications. The best example is the WAN connection. WAN stands as the wide-area network.

Multimode Fiber

The Multimode fiber is mostly used for short-range communications. Within the campus or school, the multifiber model is benefited. It is different from the single mode, the light disperses in different directions and travel through the cladding core. These Multimedia links are used with a speed of 100 gigabits per second.

There are many more additional features in the multimode fiber

  • It has a higher diameter than the single-mode fiber.
  • The generated lights can travel in different directions. and it has greater attenuation than the single-mode fiber.

Straight through Cable

For the ethernet, there are two types of cables to construct. they are

  1. Straight through cable
  2. Cross over cable

Straight through cable is the most common cable that we use to construct the ethernet. It maps the pins directly to the other end which means one end of the cable will match with the other end of the cable. Similarly, different pins in cable do the same process in transmitting the data,

The below figure represents the digram for the straight-through cable


straight through cables

Cross Over cable

The cross over cables works similar to the Telephone cable. To understand the concept, let us take an example. When we speak via mic attached to our telephone, this information is sent to the other side of the speaker using a cross over the connection. The pins in the cross over cable receives the different pins.

From Router to Router, Switch to Switch, One PC to the other PC requires a cross over cable, PC to the router we use a cross over cable. We should be able to determine the cable connection must be used in the transmission of the data between the different device.

The below diagram represents the cross over the cable connection

Crossover cables

Roll Over Cable

The below-mentioned diagram is the rollover cable. The Pin connection at one end is reversed at the other end. The first pin is connected to the last pin at the other end of the device. Suppose if there are 8 pins in the roll-over cable the first pin connects to the 8th pin at the other end of the cable. Similarly, all the pins are sent the data in the reverse order pins.

The first Pin data is received by the last pin of the other end data. These Roll Over cable can also be called the used cable or Cisco cable or console cables. The Roll Over cable is in light blue color. We use the Rollover cable to connect the desktop computers to a router configuration port.

Rollover cable

Different types of Ethernet Cables

All the Ethernet cables are used in the local area network. We found these Ethernet cables in the connection between the device or a router, a device or a switch, and a device and a modem. To provide internet access to all the devices, ethernet cables have been used. Let us discuss each type of cable in detail. They are

Twisted pair cable

The Twisted pair cables consist of RJ45 connectors at both ends of the cables. The Twisted pair cables are again divided into two types. Unshielded twisted pairs and the shielded twisted pairs. The Unshielded twists the color-coded cables to protect from electromagnetic interference.

The Shielded twisted pair consists of an extra layer to protect the inner cables from electromagnetic interference. The Unshielded are mostly used for home and business purposes. But the shielded twisted pairs are mostly used for industrial purposes.

Straight Over cable & cross Over Cable

Before transmission, the wires in the cables are arranged in a certain order. There are two types of pf arrangement. Straight over cable and the cross over cable.

The wiring order of the straight over cable and the Cross cable are different from each other. We use two different wiring standards like 568A and 568B. The Wiring order is different based on its colors. If both ends have the same standard wired connection we call it the straight over cable. It passes the signals from end to end connection.

The cross cable works similar to the straight over cable but only differs in one. The data transmission is done from one end standard to the other end standard. It contains two different standards in the transmission between the two devices.

In addition to the straight and cross over cable, there also consists of os different categories like CAT3, CAT5, CAT7, CAT6. The main difference between these categories is their speed. Each category differs from its speed. The numbers of this category represent the tights of the wires in each cable. The speeds are different for each category. CAT3 has a low-speed range of 10Mbps and CAT7 has a high-speed range of 10 gigabits per second.

Wireless Connection

  • The data can be transmitted through a signal.
  • In a wireless connection, there is no need for cables for the transmission of the data
  • In a wireless connection, the transmission of the data will be slower than the Ethernet connection
  • The delay in the data transmits and data loss may occur in the wireless connection
  • It is mostly used for long-range communication.
  • In a wireless connection, the data rate is slower than the ethernet connection

Ethernet Connection

  • In the Ethernet Connection, the data can be transmitted via using cables.
  • We cannot transmit the data in the form of signals.
  • Faster transmission of the data in the ethernet connection
  • There will be no delay in the data, and during data transmission, there is no loss of data.
  • It is mostly used for the short-range communications
  • The Ethernet connection has a higher data rate than the wireless connection.

Second Explanation of Networking cables

Before going to discuss Different Types of Cable in Networking let me tell you Networking cables are used to connect two or more devices such as a computer, printer, scanner, etc. to share the data, information, and resources to each other. There are Different Types of Cable in Networking that are used for different purposes and medium. Based on the network’s physical layer, topology and size different types of cable networks are used. Only up to limited distances or up to a few kilometers the devices can be connected.

Different types of technologies are used for network connections. For short-distance connections, patch cables are used in offices, for electrical connections twisted cables or coaxial cables are used within the buildings, for long-distance communication optical cables are used which requires high bandwidth. In several homes and industries for connection, power lines are used.

Types of Cables in Networking

There are different types of cable in networking these are the following:

  • Coaxial Cable
  • Twisted Pair Cable
  • Fibre Optics Cable
  • patch
  • Power lines

Coaxial Cable

Coaxial cable is a Types of Cable that has an inner conductor surrounded by a tubular insulating layer which is used as telephone trunk lines, broadband internet networking, carrying television signals and a connecting radio transmitter and receivers to their antennas.

The components used in coaxial cables are conductor, insulator, braided shield and sheath. The structure is like sheath cover the braiding and the braiding cover the insulator and the insulator cover the conductor.

Sheath:- It is used to prevent the coaxial cable from damage. The external part is made of the sheath.

Braided shield:- It protects the noises and other external interferences signals. And are made up of the same metal used to develop the core portion.

Insulation:- The core portion is protected by the insulator. The insulation is separated from braided shield because the core and braided are built by using the same metal, so if they touch each other they will create a short circuit. To avoid this insulation is used between them.

Conductor:-the electromagnetic signals are carried by the conductor.

The central core conductor of the coaxial cable is made up of solid or standard wire. This wire (we usually use copper) is also insulated by an insulating sheath. And this is again covered with an outer conductor. This may usually a metal foil or a braid or it can be a combination of the above two. These are again insulated with an insulating sheath. At last, the whole cable is enclosed by a plastic cover and it protects the cable.

Coaxial cables are developed for general purposes and are not for computer networks. They are started using network cables when there are no media used for computer networks. So the network administrations use coaxial for computer networks. Because of the low cost and long durability they are not used anymore.

Coaxial cable types of cable in networking
Coaxial Cable

Thick Coaxial cable

10BASE5 is a Types of Cable which is also known as thick Ethernet or thicket. The name 10BASE5 is derived from several characteristics of the physical medium. In 10BASE5, 10 refers to its transmission speed which is 10Mbit/second and the BASE is short for baseband signaling which is opposite to broadband, and the 5 stands for the maximum segment length of 500 meters (1,600ft).

Thin Coaxial cable

10BASE2 is a Types of Cable which is also known as a cheaper net, thin Ethernet, and thinnet. The name 10BASE2 is derived from the several characteristics of the physical medium. In the 10BASE2, 10 comes from the maximum transmission speed of 10 Mbit/second and the BASE is short for the baseband signaling, and 2 refers to the maximum segment length of 200 meters.

Uses of Coaxial Cable

  • Short coaxial cables are used for implementing the computer networks(thick 10BASE5 and thin 10BASE2).
  • Long-distance coaxial cable was used in the 20th century to connect television networks, radio networks, and the long-distance telephone networks.
  • Micro coaxial cables are used in a range of military equipment, consumer devices and also in ultrasound scanning equipment.
  • Coaxial cable is often used to carry data/signals from an antenna to the receiver– from a satellite dish to a satellite receiver, and from television antenna to a television receiver.

Twisted Pair Cable

Twisted pair cable is another types of cable in networking which is primarily developed a computer network. It is also known as Ethernet cable. All the Local Area Networks are processed by using this cable network. The cable is made up of two different wires which are wrapped and get twisted together. This cable method reduces the interferences of the electromagnetic spectrum, this helps to run devices smoother with low noises from external devices.

Twisted pair cable is a Types of Cable in which two conductors of a single circuit are twisted together for the purpose of improving electromagnetic compatibility. It reduces the electromagnetic radiation from the pair and crosstalk between neighboring pairs and improves the rejection of external electromagnetic interference. It was invented by Alexander Graham Bell.

Twisted pair cable types of cable in networking
Twisted pair cable

There are two types of Twisted pair cable.

  1. Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP)
  2. Shielded Twisted Pair (STP)

Unshielded Twisted Pair Cable Types

Unshielded twisted pair (UTP) cables are the most common cable used in computer networking as an ethernet cable for the data transmission from one device to another device. It is used for short and medium-length connections because of its relatively lower cost compared to the optical fiber and coaxial cable.

Shielded Twisted Pair Cable Types

Twisted pair cable is also a types of cable in networking and it is shielded in an attempt to prevent electromagnetic interference. Shielding provides an electrically conductive barrier to attenuate electromagnetic waves external to the shield and provides a conduction path by which induced currents can be circulated and returned to the source via ground reference connection.

Difference between UTP and STP

difference between utp and stp cable

Fiber Optic Cable

A Fiber Optic Cable is the most advanced types of cable in networking it is also known by the “Optical fiber Cable”. It is similar to an electrical cable, but containing one or more optical fibers that are used to carry light. The elements of the optical fiber are generally coated with plastic layers and contained in a protective tube suitable for the environment where the cable will be deployed.

Fiber Optic types of cable
Fiber Optic Cable

The fiber optic cable contains components such as core, cladding, buffer, and jacket. The core is built by using the glass or the plastic which can carry the data over long distances. The core is covered by cladding. The cladding is covered by buffer and the buffer is covered by the jacket.

Core:- the data signals are carried by the core as light.

Cladding:- the lights get reflected in the core.

Buffer:- buffer is used to protect the light from leaking.

Jacket:- and the jacket is used to protect from the damages that are physically happened.

The jacket or buffer on the patch chords is often color-coded to identify the type of fiber used.

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