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Basic knowledge of network cabling

Basic knowledge of network cabling

We explain the different types of network cabling. Some types of cables are outdated and are no longer used today.

Technology is changing fast. This also applies to the network options for the data center. You’ve probably already heard some of the terms. These include cabling, network, CAT 3, CAT 5E , RJ-45, shielded twisted pair , unshielded twisted pair, coaxial cable , fiber optic and so on.

You may also solve with one or the other technical term, a shielded-twisted-What? out. Maybe it does not apply anymore what you have learned in training.

Wiring standards are typically changed every five to ten years. Our expert Carrie Higbie has put together this basic article for you.

But let’s start from the beginning. If you want to understand the area of ​​network cabling, then you must first check Sopto and understand the technical terms.

UTP cabling

This cable has four cable pairs that are inside the outer shell. The number of turns per centimeter varies to avoid interference from the other twisted wires. This type of network cabling is available in different types. Due to advances in technology, various cabling may not be used anymore.

UTP cables are connected to an RJ-45 (Registered Jack) connector. You’ve probably seen such a plug before. 100BaseT is short for this type of cable used for 100 Mbps Ethernet.

Disadvantages: UTP cables are prone to radio waves and electrical frequencies. That brings us to the next guy.

STP cabling (Shielded Twisted Pair – shielded cables)

STP is great when there may be electrical interference. The extra shielding, however, makes the cable bulky. 100Base TX is the abbreviation for STP, which is used for 100 Mbps Ethernet.


Coaxial cables rely on a single copper conductor in the core. This is insulated by a plastic layer and a metallic shielding braid. This blocks interferences. Coaxial cables are cumbersome to install. But they support longer ranges than twisted pair. There are two kinds:

Thinnet thin coaxial cable

10Base2 refers to thin coaxial cables used in Ethernet. The two stands for a maximum length of 200 meters.

Thicknet – thick coaxial cable

W10Base5 is a thick coaxial cable for use with Ethernet. The five stands for a maximum length of 500 meters. This type has an additional plastic layer that keeps moisture out. The disadvantage is that these cables are not easy to bend and are thus difficult to install.

Coaxial cables are connected to BNC connectors (Bayone-Neill-Concelman). Since the connections in a network are basically the weak points, it is best to use BNC connections for coaxial cables that crimp on the cable and can not be screwed.

Fiber Optic Cable – Fiber Optic Cable

Fiber optic or fiber optic cables are made of glass in the center. There are many protective layers. Such cables are designed to carry light and no electrical signals. For this reason, electrical interference is not a problem. Signals can be transmitted further than with coaxial or TP cables. In addition, higher speeds are possible. Fiber optic cables are often used in videoconferencing systems, among others.