Computer networking has come a long way over the years. There have been many developments in this particular area. Computer networking is a very technical field and requires sufficient knowledge to ensure that a network operates optimal efficiency. There are many ways of building computer networks and key among them is by using networking cables.
Computer network cabling can be achieved using a wide range of cable types; from fibre optic to coaxial cabling. Today fibre is one of the most preferred ways of doing cabling more so for the backbone infrastructure. The backbone infrastructure is what is responsible for delivering the service from the provider to the user. Fibre optic cable has immense bandwidth capacity; up to Gigabit speeds.
Internet users are becoming more demanding in terms of data consumption. From video conferencing needs to heavy downloads; the need for efficient computer network design has never been more vital. Apart from the speeds that fibre optic cabling presents, it is also preferred due to the fact that signal attenuation is significantly low in comparison to other cable types. What this means is that a signal sent through fibre optic will travel for a very long distance before it needs to be regenerated.
Fibre transmits signals in form of light; this means that as opposed to other cabling methods which use copper wire, fibre optic uses cylindrical glass or plastic fibres. The signal enters the cable in one end in the form of light and is internally reflected all the way to the opposite end. This form of transmission causes no heating on the cable itself. This means that the cable will last for longer because there is not heat damage. One disadvantage of fibre however is the fact that it is quite costly both to manufacture and install.
Coaxial cabling makes use of copper as the media of transmission. The coaxial cable connects to a device via a BNC connector. As far as computer networks go, this is quite an archaic method of cabling. This is mostly due to the fact that it presents the issue of 'noise' in a network. The noise could come in the form of crosstalk, inter-modulation among others. This is a very undesirable problem for any network.
Unshielded twisted pair, commonly referred to as UTP is also another type of cable used in networking. This cable connects to the device via the RJ connector. The most common connector is referred to as the RJ-45 which is used in Local Area Network connections. UTP cabling is prone to electrical interference which may in turn affect the quality of the signal. The transmission speeds are however quite good.
There is also the Shielded Twisted Pair or simply STP which is quite affordable but still experiences problems in areas of high interference. The choice of network cable is determined by the type of network being created and also the size. Different cabling will have different ranges within which they can operate with maximum efficiency. It is important to consider this when performing the cabling.
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