Types of data cables

Types of data cables

A data cable is used to transmit information between systems in binary electrical signal form. The binary data comprises a sequence of zeros and ones as electrical signals. We need some transmission mechanism to transfer data from any source to a destination. Data cables provide that connection between different hardware elements and make data transmission possible. Not only this, but data cables also facilitate a computer to communicate with another computer.

The type of data cabling you use or require depends significantly on the environment. For instance, Ethernet cables such as CAT5e and CAT6 cables help transfer data between two different computers in a network. On the other hand, coaxial cables and USB cables connect peripheral devices such as printers and cameras to the computer.

Types of Data Cable

Data cables can broadly be classified into three main types depending on the frequencies at which they carry signals and their applications:

Coax Cables

Coax cables or coaxial cables are used in older computer networks. Shielded twisted pair cables have now replaced them as a standard in the computer industry. However, coax cable networks still use cables for providing television communication data. Coaxial cables are large round wires that have an internal core wire sending the data. A shield and an insulator surround the core cable to preserve the data signal.

Fiber Optic

Fiber optic cables are used wherever fast data connections are required. Fiber is commonly used by cable and telephone companies to provide a quick and secure Internet connection. Fiber optics make use of glass and light as the mechanics to transmit data. The optic fiber cables are quite fragile and require network cards and a unique plug to transmit signals.

Twisted Pair

Twister pair wires are primarily used in telephony and computer network cabling. These cables contain two copper wires – one for carrying the signal and the other for ground reference. Most cable networks are wired with shielded twisted pair cable. These wires have a cover that helps minimize signal degradation from other sources. The twisted-pair cables get their name from the twists present in the wires throughout the cabling. These twists help preserve data transmission and keep the problem of signal deterioration at bay. However, if this type of cable is used more than 300 feet at a stretch, there tends to be degradation of the signal.

Twisted Pair Cables are further classified into two types:

  • Shielded Twisted Pair: These cables have a metal shield covering over the insulated conductor.
  • Unshielded Twisted Pair: These cable types do not have an additional metal shield over the conductor.

Data cable transmits telephone signals, cable TV signals, and Internet communication. However, each type of data cable operates in a different way. Suppose you are working on LAN networks or Ethernet. In that case, you should preferably go for a cabling service with twisted-pair cables. However, if you require a higher frequency and something that would work on a TV, you should choose coaxial cables. For cost-effective, lightweight, and broader bandwidth, go for fiber optic cables.

Regarding data cabling and computer networking, it is best to speak to the IT service and IT support industry professionals. Contact Priority Networks Inc for more information on data cables and data cabling services.

Massimo DeRocchis

My life has been surrounded with computers since I was a child, from my first job as a Computer Assembly Assistant to the current ownership of Priority Networks, a dental focused networking company. Starting with an Apple computer connecting to other networks when I was only 13 years old, I quickly knew this passion would lead to bigger ventures. As the internet started to evolve, I immediately worked for an Internet Service Provider (ISP). This gave me insight to the power of worldwide internet communications and the capabilities of sharing data across multiple networks simultaneously. The dedication towards this field has given me the advantage of understanding new technologies and grasping complicated issues quickly from software, hardware, networking, security, management and much more. As a Computer Network Manager for Tesma International, a division of Magna International, I gained the experience of becoming a qualified NAI Network Sniffer, EDI Communications Specialist, Head Securities Manager, MRP Manufacturing Integration Manager, and received several enhanced managerial and technological training courses. Moving forward to today, I apply all my knowledge, training and years of solid network experience to deliver the very best support to all my customers at Priority Networks.