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Structure Cabling has become quite popular for inter-connecting the various active devices in an IP network. Copper cabling has been used in the communications industry for over 100 years and it is still used in several networks today. Though presently there have been some major advances in network technology in modern years, fiber-optic network optics and wireless networks are now gradually emerging up but still, copper cable are dominating because of their affordability, reliability and speed. There are few types of copper network cable available like –
Cat 3 – These cables are simply twisted pairs of wire. They are very slow and outdated and nowadays are harder to find in any modern network.
Cat 5e – These are the most common form of network cable which is based on a similar twisted-pair form to Cat 3 cables. Most home and office networks use Cat 5e for an Ethernet network. These cables have a bandwidth of 100MHz which is sufficient for most day-to-day use.
Cat 6 – These are higher grades than Cat 5e with a bigger bandwidth of 250Mhz giving better characteristics for Power over Ethernet.
Cat 6a – These cables offer significantly more bandwidth at around 500Mhz, so they are popular for high-end applications like 10 Gigabit Ethernet.
Cat 7 and Cat 7a are the fastest forms of copper wire network cable. This cable offers the fastest speeds and a bandwidth of up to 600MHz for CAT7 and 1000MHz for Cat 7 a. These are the most expensive range of copper cables.
Optical Fiber –
An optical fiber is a glass or plastic fiber that carries light along its length. It is a combination of science and engineering towards the practical application of knowledge in optical sciences to communications. These cables are widely used in communications because they permit transmission over longer distances and higher bandwidths than other forms of communications. Instead of metal wires, fibers are used because signals travel along them with less loss and they are also immune to electromagnetic interference. Light is kept in the core of the optical fiber by total internal reflection so the fiber acts as a waveguide.