25 Sep Network Data Cabling Systems – The Basics Uncovered
A well designed structured network data cabling system is an intricate yet logical web of cabling that along with the associated necessary components can support a wide variety of different hardware, such as your telecommunications system and transferring of different types of data through computer networks.
Having a reliable network cabling system is essential for the smooth running of your business, therefore there are a number of things that you should consider before having one installed.
Consider both your current and future needs when deciding the size of your new cabling system as it is highly unlikely that your network is going to get smaller in the coming years.
Networking technology and related software applications are constantly advancing and evolving which means both your personal and business needs for voice, data and media systems are also likely to expand in the coming future.
Therefore, it is always a good idea to take these future changes into account when deciding on your choice of network cabling system and also to have more cabling installed than you currently need, so that it is already easily accessible for later use.
When choosing a cabling system that fits your needs remember that cheaper isn’t always better, that said you don’t always need the highest priced products either.
Look for products that not only have a good reputation but also a high rated proven performance; the same applies to the installer as even the best produced cables and hardware need to be installed correctly in order to avoid future problems. Up to 70% of all networking problems are due to shoddy workmanship and poor cabling techniques.
There are a number of standards and guidelines that have been out by the Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA), American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) for the cabling industry within the US to ensure the proper design, installation and maintenance of cabling systems.
Network Cabling Methods
Before we look at the different types of cable it is worth noting that there are two main methods used in a structured network cabling system and both of these two necessary components play their own individual roles.
- Backbone Cabling
- Horizontal Cabling
Backbone cabling is also known as vertical cabling as it runs between the different floors of a building and is the infrastructure used to connect the building’s entrance facilities, equipment rooms and telecommunications systems.
Horizontal cabling is the system that is used to connect the telecommunications network to each individual outlet on any given floor.
Both of these methods generally use the same types of cables, though the ones used for backbone cabling do have a much higher requirement, due to having to pass between the different floors.
Types of Cable
There are 4 main types of cable available for your network cabling system and theses are:
- Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP)
- Shielded/Screened Twisted Pair (STP) (ScTP)
Twisted pair cables are the most widely used type of cable as it is the easiest to install along with being the most economical choice.
Unshielded twisted pair is basically a cable that contains wires which are twisted together with-in an external protective jacket that is made out of a non-conductive material. This type of cable is traditionally used in horizontal cabling to connect the telecommunications systems.
Whereas shielded and screened twisted pair cables consist of twisted wires enclosed in a shield of mesh or foil and is more costly option than UTP. However STP cable does come with some advantages as it is less susceptible to noise and external electromagnetic interference.
Plus shielded twisted pair can handle a higher amount of data being transferred, so this type is often the choice of cable used to connect Ethernet networks.
Coaxial cable is a specially built copper cable that contains components such as a metal shield that are designed to block signal interference and in the past this was the most widely used cable in network cabling systems.
However due to the fact that coax can be difficult to install, plus is more costly than twisted pair it is gradually being faded out. That said, due to its ability to provide huge amounts of bandwidth and block interference it is still a popular choice for use with cable television, video systems and closed-circuit T.V.
Fiber-optic cable is said to be the superior option of cable for all networking needs for businesses as not only is it easy to install, is resistant to electromagnetic interference, has greater bandwidth and transmission distances, but also has a high security factor. It is extremely difficult to try and tap or monitor any conversation flow on this type of fibre.
Fiber optic cable does come with an expensive initial cost though as installers need to have both the expertise and specialist equipment to properly lay out a fiber-optic network. However it is a wise choice of long-term investment as future overhead costs would be a lot lower than when using coaxial cabling.
These days a business cannot run effectively without a reliable network cabling system that not only meets it every day needs, but is also easily adaptable enough to meet future requirements too.
Our trained experts are here waiting to assist you in planning the right network cabling system for your business that will provide you with many years of service, so why not give us a call today… 1-877-832-1206