Feeling messed up with which networking cable to choose? Well, it’s a familiar feeling for most of us, especially when we have so many options around. However, you’re in luck today. Here is a guide to choosing a networking cable that serves your needs best.
Let’s get straight to the point:- to choose the right Ethernet or other networking cables; you must first define:
The signal’s nature to be transmitted: Telephone network, Internet / Ethernet, video, television, etc.
The necessary shielding: With or without shielding? Will the cables be affected by external disturbances (magnetic, electromagnetic, etc.)?
The grade: This is the compromise between the nature of the signal and the most appropriate shielding.
The orientation of the plugs: Connection provided by a “straight” or “crossed” cord.
Categories of Networking Cables
To help you among the multitude of types of cables available, we came up with some categories to simplify the choice:
Category 5e: Suitable for personal networks (especially ADSL). Outdoor cat5 cable is widely in use nowadays.
Category 6: This is the minimum standard for business networks and allows the use of Gigabit Ethernet.
Category 6a: More suited to professional networks, this category authorizes “full-duplex” mode (transmission and reception of data simultaneously).
Categories 7 and 7a: Reserved for very high speeds, it is currently the most efficient cable type.
Tips To Choosing the Right Network Cable
To simplify all this, we have listed some classic use cases that you might encounter:
Case 1: It includes all these scenarios:
1. Linking your network equipment to the home.
2. Connect my computer to an internet box.
3. Connect a switch to an internet box.
4. Link two computers together.
5. Connect my TV to the box.
6. Connect a computer to a switch.
7. Link my game console to my internet box.
Here is the network cable you need:
a). CAT 5e patch cables with UTP shielding if the length is less than 5 meters, and the environment is not disturbed.
b). CAT 5e with F / UTP shielding if the length is less than 20 meters or the environment may be disturbed.
c). CAT 5e with SF / UTP shielding if the environment is strongly disturbed (quite rare in a domestic environment).
What is a CAT5e cable?
CAT5e is also referred to as “Category 5e cable” and is an approved network cable since 1999. CAT5e provides significant improvements over the previous version, including ten times faster speed and longer distances accessible without interference. CAT5e patch cables are typically 0.20mm² twisted pair cables used in Gigabit networks overruns of up to 100m.
Note: We recommend that you use a multi-strand cable to have good flexibility and ease of use.
Case 2: It includes scenarios like:
1. If you wish to run cables in your home.
2. Connect the floors of your house to the network.
3. Connect remote rooms in your home to the network.
4. Wire your new apartment or house to take advantage of the wired network.
5. Run cables on the walls or the floor of your office.
Here is the network cable you need:
a). CAT 6 / 6a with F / UTP shielding – generally used in the construction industry for its good quality/price ratio.
b). CAT 6 / 6a with SF / UTP shielding if the environment is likely to be disturbed.
Tip: We recommend using a single-stranded cable as it facilitates the cables’ passage and guarantees resistance over time.
We hope that now you know which networking cables you need for which purpose. Stay tuned for more such posts and if you like this one, feel free to share it around your friend circle.