Network Cables – A Blessing In Disguise To The World Of Computers

Gone are the days when people were relying only on a telephone (Landline) to pass on a message at the earliest. With the introduction of computers to the world, connectivity has improved to a great extent and so is the need for sharing documents and files between computers.

The Internet has taken a greater place with the fiber optic cables connecting various networks to each other. It is not only Television and Telephone that use cables to get connected but also the internet is accessed through a network cable.

Even though we have gone wireless, network cables are still in place to ensure better connectivity in places which have a huge requirement. Network cables are believed to be a safer option over wireless connectivity to share information. The network cables are a variety and each one is designed to serve specific purposes. Below is a brief description of a few types which are widely used in today’s world of connectivity.



Co – axial Cables

These were invented in the 1880s, quite early for the internet though. Coax was then known as a wire that connected television sets through home antennas.

It was also a standard for 10Mbps Ethernet cables in the beginning era of the internet.

There are two types in this – thin or thick. An inner copper wire of certain thickness insulated by another shield is what a co axial cable is made up of.

It was so swift that network administrators found it difficult to install and maintain both the thin ones and the thick ones.



Twisted Pair Cables

As a solution to the difficulty faced in using co axial cables, the twisted pair cables were introduced in the 1990s. They were the leading standard for Ethernet starting with 10Mbps and then improved to 100mbps and 10Gbps. twisted pair cables contain 8 wires bundled together in pairs which are known to minimize electromagnetic artifacts. In this there are two standards:

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP)
Shielded Twisted Pair (STP)

UTP is lower in cost while STP is comparatively expensive but is used in network types like Fiber Distributed Data Interface commonly known to people as FDDI


Fiber Optics

Fiber optics came as a miraculous invention to those who were looking for that perfect connectivity.

Fiber optics use strands of glass transmit the pulses of light. They bend however you want them to even though they are made of glass a blessing for wide area network (WAN) installations.

It helps long distance underground cabling and outdoor cabling in office spaces which communicated high volumes of data. There are two types of fiber optic cables:

  • Single Mode for long distance communication

  • Multimode for local networks


4. USB cables

With increased need for peripheral devices, Universal Serial Cables were introduced. A USB cable connects a computer to its peripherals such as a keyboard, mouse, printer, joystick etc. There are special network adapters known as dongles which connect Ethernet cable to USB port indirectly. USB cables consist of twisted pair wiring.

 Serial and Parallel Cables

With co axial cables and twisted pair Netwek Kabel lacking Ethernet capability during the 1980s and 1990s, serial and parallel cables were used for PC to PC networking. Serial ports connect two PCs to transfer data at a speed of 0.115 to 0.45 Mbps.

Crossover Cables

Modem cables are crossover cables. They join two network devices of similar types like two PCs or network switches.  It was mostly used to connect two PCs directly. Ethernet crossover cables are color coded and manufacturers mark them to distinguish from ordinary cables. Even though most home networks are connected through routers, they do have built in crossover cables where the requirement is large.

Along with these type of cables, with improvement in the mode of data transmission, there is continued improvement in network cabling also. There is almost a new invention of network cable each day based on one’s own requirement. There are also a variety of manipulations and combinations being made with the existing cables to meet the data needs in terms of speed and connectivity. Speed is, however, the first priority factor while choosing a data cable, especially for a commercial purpose