Network cabling is much more than buying high-quality cables and connecting them to devices. If you want to ensure a seamless work of all equipment in the building while avoiding unexpected downtime, you need to choose the right type of network cabling.
Different cabling solutions may be suitable for different company needs. If you don’t have an idea of what cable type you require, you have some research ahead of you. We asked specialists dealing with Ottawa data cabling by Firewall Technical to list the most popular types of networking cabling.
First Things First: Determining The Needs
Before you dive into the complex world of network cabling types, you have to figure out what you actually want from the cables. Do you need an extremely fast internet for one part of the office? Or maybe you have an executive office where certain infrastructure is paramount to proper functioning?
Let’s say you manage a large facility, which requires security, automatic doorways, special equipment, refrigeration, and much more. Or maybe you need to make IT decisions for a plant, which requires industrial-strength cables to withstand extreme environments. Heavy-duty cabling is substantially different from regular network cabling.
Another thing to consider is whether you are laying the network in a new building or planning to do some re-cabling. For example, changing a simple cable network to a heavy-duty cabling to withstand chemicals and hazards is different from doing network cabling from scratch.
The various types of network cables exist to accommodate any situation. However, networking cabling also involves proper installation. In many cases, network cabling is a tough task, which needs to be executed by professionals. Re-cabling and fixing mistakes is always costly.
Different Types of Network Cabling
Let’s take a closer look at the options you may be facing.
- Category 5 Network Cabling
Category 5 or Cat5 network cabling has been around for over 20 years. If you have such cabling in place, and it satisfies your needs, don’t rush to replace it. If you are looking for more advanced technologies, Cat5 won’t do the trick.
- Category 5e Network Cabling
Category 5e or Cat5e network cabling powers the equipment and internet you initially use it for. Purchasing a faster cable won’t speed up the Internet.
Cat5e has been around since the early 2000’s. So if your building is that old, that’s probably what you’ll be getting. If you know that your network will require a higher speed than 350 Mbit/s, you need to change the cabling.
Today, Cat5 and Cat5e cables are becoming obsolete. If you have expansion plans for the future, consider changing the cables.
- Category 6 Network Cabling
Category 6 or Cat6 network cabling is the minimum requirement for PoE devices, VoIP telephone systems, cameras, automatic door access and the like. The bandwidth for this cable is 200 MHz as opposed to 100 MHz for Cat5e.
Extra high-quality video performance for training conferences may not be achieved by such cabling.
- Category 6a Network Cabling
Category 6a or Cat6a network cabling can double the transmission frequency to an impressive 500 MHz. This cable is recommended for companies which are planning an upgrade within the next 8 to10 years. It’s not a perfect long-term option
- Category 7 Network Cabling
Category 7 or Cat7 network cabling is designed for Gigabit Ethernet. It allows higher speeds than the previously described options. Many businesses can work without Cat7.
- Fiber Optic Cable
When you reach the bandwidth limit with Cat6, fiber optic cable is a way to go. These cables are used for connecting network segments, such as floors and building. But you can’t use them for complete network wiring. Instead of electricity, such a cable uses light to transmit signals.
These cables have a greater bandwidth and higher speed than other options. Different types of fiber optic cables exist for different company needs.
Overall, it’s easy to make a mistake when choosing the best network cabling solutions, especially if your business has special needs. The best way to go is to hire a network cabling specialist to get proper recommendations.