Is it too late to say Happy New Year? We don’t think so considering some of us are restarting our new year resolutions in February. January was our trial free month. Now excuse me as I go for a brisk walk around the building a few times to get my steps in. (Yes, I am participating in a FitBit challenge, judge me)
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
Have you ever wondered what the personality of your network is? If not, should you? It is something to ponder. I mean think about it…
Is your network calm?
Is your network crazy?
Is your network energetic?
Is your network romantic?
Or maybe your network has a split personality…
Seriously, the personality traits of your network could go on and on. It would probably be in your best interest to nail down what its personality and mindset is so you can better support it, or change it!
Well, this is where we are here to help! We have broken down what all the colors mean as it pertains to your network. So let’s take a deep psychological look at what the color of your Ethernet cabling means for your network (or at least humor us in our feeble attempt at some lightheartedness). Don’t forget to let us know what personality your network has.
(click images below to enlarge)
(This blog is an updated and extended version of a post, by our CEO, we released in September 2009)
If you’ve ever installed a network, either for your home, office or business, you’ve probably asked yourself- With so many different types of network cabling, what do I really need? Is it a CAT5, 5E, 6, 6A, shielded or unshielded, UTP or STP? Do I need a patch/straight through cable or a crossover cable? With so many different kinds of network cables to choose from, which one is right for your needs?
What types of network cable are available currently?
Cat5 has been replaced by Cat5E as the general standard networking cable in new installations, with the improved signal carrying capacity being the primary reason. A Cat5 cable can support Ethernet and Fast Ethernet. Cat5E (Cat5 enhanced) supports Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet speeds over short distances and is backward compatible with Cat5. Cat5E cable also has improved durability, due to improvements in the quality of the PVC protective jacket. It is more than suitable for most data cabling requirements.
Cat6 is one of the newest versions of network cabling, and is very similar to Cat5E, but specifically designed to consistently deliver 1 Gigabit Ethernet. It is used in installations where a Cat6 Certified Network is required.
While Cat5E and Cat6 can support Gigabit speeds, Cat6A (Cat6 Augmented) is certified to 10 Gigabit speeds and is backward compatible with the all the existing standards, and is suitable for industries utilizing high-performance computing platforms to support very high bandwidth-intensive applications. 10G/Cat 6A applications would be server farms, storage area networks, data centers & riser backbones.
Few people label (or desire to label) all the ports of their patch panels. The result is you having NO clue what cable goes where. If you are lucky you know which ones are connected to something and which ones are not.
I used to be in the same position myself at our old building. I had a normal patch panel and a bad habit of not labeling (or remembering) which cable went where. When a new workstation was added it was quite frustrating for me to have to figure out what port on the patch panel went to that data port at the workstation so I could connect it to the data switch. [Read more…] about A Guide to LED patch panels