When you compare the high cost of network failures against the cost of installing network cabling, the difference would definitely be thousands of dollars. With that being said, it only makes sense to invest in the right network cables. Carefully choosing the right network cables will spell the huge difference in the performance of your network. Installing the wrong cables will not only result to poor performance, it can also cost you a fortune when it comes to future repairs.

When it comes to designing a network, one of the most essential decisions you’ll make is choosing and installing the right cable for your network. Even if you hire professional cabling contractors, it’s still necessary for you to know what they’re doing and what to look for so that you can properly evaluate their work. Nowadays, Ethernet networks aim for high reliability and performance, so finding the correct network cable is a must. Cables, connectors, and switches must be connected properly to the computers to avoid hazardous incidents. Not making the right steps in installing the cables on your network could cost you thousands of dollars. So here’s a step-by-step guide to help you decide and choose the right network cables to use for your network.

Flex and Environmental Factors

You need to consider environmental factors in order to find the network cable that’s suitable for you. Cables with high bandwidth capability are required for closed environments where vibration is restricted. But if you are planning to use the cables for factory floors or for computers with high to very high vibration, then see to it that you get flexible network cabling that has a high level of connectivity protection against liquids and torsion.

Shielded vs. Unshielded

Unshielded cables are the most common network cables used in most network environments. Unlike the unshielded network cable, the shielded ones are designed specifically for high noise environments. In order to minimize the interference and to protect the signal strength, a foil or a braid is used to wrap the cable. You can also combine using the foil and braid to increase the noise protection.

Twisted or Bonded-Pair Conductors

Bonded-pair network cables respond better with the rigors of installation by using specific manufacturing techniques, in order to attach the insulation of the cable pairs along their longitudinal axes. As for the twisted pair network cable construction, it is more prone to pair-gaping during installation as well as impedance mismatches. Take note that if twisted pair conductors have gaps, they will decrease the performance of the cable. So if you want reliability even your cable is going to be pulled or twisted, the bonded-pair ones are guaranteed to continue to perform well.

Data Rate Requirements

There are different types of cables that transmit data at a particular speed. The Cat5e is a network cable that is ideal for connections of up to 100 Mbps. Compared to Cat5 and Cat5e, the Cat 6 cable can provide faster speed and smoother connection. It is usually used by people who have connections of up to 10 Gb. Although the Cat5 and Cat5e cables work quite well with Gigabit Ethernet routers, the Cat6 responds better when it comes to gigabit speeds, which gives faster and more reliable connection.

Jacket Options

If you want to enhance the performance of the network cable, it is also necessary to choose the proper jacket material. Cables with PVC jacket are known as general purpose cables. These cables are used for installation with no specific fire safety requirements. Cables with PUR jacket are way more resistant to abrasions and they have high tolerance to solvents, while the network cables with TPE jacket have better oil and coolant resistance.

This entry was posted by Staff Writer on Saturday, June 6, 2015 at 9:49:43 AM and is filed under Tech Tips & Tricks.

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