Understanding Network Cables

When it comes to electronics, it seems to be a jumble of cables, cords and other related devices. There are Ethernet cables and network cables and patch cables. In addition to this, there are many different types and generations of cables. These include Cat 5 Ethernet cable, Cat 6a cables and Cat 6 network cables. This article does not have the time or space to expand upon all the various types of cords/cables (yes, in general they are the same). It is also not possible to consider the specific purpose of all electronic equipment. Instead, it is simply going to focus on cutwork cables and, specifically Cat 6 network cables.

What are Network Cables?

Network cables are those specifically designed to connect the various components of a computer network. They are comprised of pairs of wires twisted together and covered with a sheath. The cables are given sequential numbers in accordance with their specific category, shortened to cat. As a result, you have Cat 5 Ethernet cable as well as Cat 6 network cables. The abbreviation “Cat” stands for category.

Essentially, the increase in number for each category is linked to an improvement in quality. This usually refers to an increase in speed and a decrease in crosstalk or interference. In addition to additional paired strands, Cat 6 network cable may feature a spline, usually nylon. This also helps reduce crosstalk (XT). It is not required in all types of network cables, including those of Ca 5 and Ca 6 as long as they meet the required established standards.

While a spline may be optional, a thicker sheath is more common. It, too, helps to protect against XT – this time of the near end variety (NEXT). It also is successful in reducing the incidence of alien crosstalk or AXT.

What do Cat 6 Network Cables do?

Cat 6 network cables are connectors. Cat 6 is one in a series of twisted pairs of cables. In fact, as the number 6 indicates, it is sixth in line.

They are part of a cable system or infrastructure. They are suited to connect specific types of networks. In particular, Cat 6 network cables are capable of uniting all the different hardware destinations on a gigabit LAN (Local area network). This includes the following networks:

  • 10BASE-T (Ethernet)
  • 100BASE-TX (Fast Ethernet)
  • 1000BASE-T (Gigabit Ethernet, or GbE)
  • 10GBASE-T (10-Gigabit Ethernet, or 10 GbE)

While Cat 6 network cables are diverse and provide improved performance over previous generations, they have not yet supplanted the 5th generation of network cables. In fact, Cat 6 network cables are also in danger of being supplanted by the next generation of network cables. This is the very nature of the technological revolution. For more information, visit Datacomm Cables Inc.

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