Even in light of this seemingly wireless-everything world in which we live, network cables still have a place—and a rather important one at that. Whether you are the administrator of a large corporate network or simply in charge of your own home network cabling kingdom, you will be faced with the task of selecting cables.
Because there are different types of cables with specific benefits tied to specific situations, it is important to get a good understanding of what’s available to help you make the right choice the first time.
Who let the CAT’s out?
If you’ve spent any time at all looking for Ethernet cables, whether in-store or online, you’ll no doubt have seen a lot of mention of cats. Choosing Cat 5, Cat 6 or versions thereof should be the first order of business when cable shopping.
- Cat 5
You can consider this the slow cooker of cables not just because it is slow but because it’s so on its way out that you may only find it in your grandmother’s house and the old-fashioned corner barbershop owned and operated by Art (who has owned and operated it for the past 60 years).
Ok, well maybe it’s not that almost-obsolete but it’s getting there. What you need to know about Cat 5 cables is that they provided Ethernet and Fast Ethernet compatibility and, while once the golden standard for speed and reliability these are likely the cables you will now be replacing. Fortunately, newer versions are backward compatible with these.
- Cat 5e
Cat 5e moved cable speed from the slow cooker to the stovetop and added compatibility for up to 1 Gigabit Ethernet transmissions over short distances. The advent of Cat 5e offers [Read more…] about Detangling the mystery of network cabling