What is Network Cabling?

network-cablingNetwork cabling is a catchall term to describe the act of connecting multiple network devices to each other through a data transfer medium. There is a variety of methods used to connect these devices, and which method is used is largely dependent on the type of network to be installed. Each type of cable has different characteristics and capabilities, and choosing the right type of cable to use for a particular network is an integral key to the network’s efficiency and long-term viability.

Common Cabling Terms

Structured Cabling

Structured cabling is a widely used, standardized method of linking network devices. It is found in all manner of buildings from apartment complexes and home to universities and hospitals. It often used both copper cable and fiber optic cable. Because this method of installation is standardized, it is often easy to repair and maintain.

Component Cabling

Component cabling is used to connect end-user devices to a larger network. Today, one of the most common forms of component cabling involves connecting an HDTV to an HD Converter box. As technology increases, component cables are used to bridge the gap.

Data Cabling

Data cabling is another term that can describe many things. Essentially, data cable is any medium on which data can be transferred. In fact, a piece of string between two tin cans could be considered a form of data cable, but it is not very efficient. Commonly used cables are Ethernet cables, token ring cables, coaxial cables, and fiber cables. This is also sometimes referred to as network cabling or network cable.

The Components of a Business Network

A business network normally comprises four components the server, the network switch, the data cables, and the end-devices.

The Server

The server is a dedicated computer that will be responsible for running a business’s network. From the server, the network administrator can install security software, monitor usage, and set privileges and restrictions.

The Network Switch

The network switch allows multiple devices to transmit data at the same time. With this switch, multiple end-devices can share the same bandwidth at the same time.

The Data Cables

These will be discussed in detail later, but it is these cables that allow data to be transferred within the network.

End Devices

These are the personal PCs or printers found throughout the office.

Commonly Used Data Cables

Unshielded Twisted Pairs

UTPS are the most commonly used and affordable types of cable. These cables are placed into six categories CAT-1 is lowest amount of data transmitted per second, and CAT-6 is the highest amount of data transmitted per second.

Shielded Twisted Pairs

STP is just like UTP with the addition of a shielding element that protects it from electronic interference.

Coaxial Cable

Coaxial Cable is a heavy-duty version of data cable. It is very durable and can remain viable over long distances.

Fiber Optic Cable

Fiber Optic Cable is the fastest, most secure, and can transmit data over the greatest distance, but it is also fragile and expensive to install.

What is Cable Testing?

Cable testing is used during the installation process and to diagnose the source of any problems that occur after installation. The process of testing data cable is constantly evolving with networking technology. As the technology improves, the means of testing the cable must improve as well.

What to Look for in a Professional Network Cabling Installer?

When looking to hire a professional network cabling installer, business owners should first ask to see references and certifications. Along with a professional and an efficient manner, certifications and references ensure that a network will be installed using accepted standards and practices.

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