1. Three Most Common Types Of Cables Used In Local Area Network
Coaxial cable comes in two versions: Thinnet and Thicknet. Thinnet looks like regular TV cable. It is about 1/4 inch in diameter and is very flexible and easy to work with. In contrast, Thicknet is about 1/2 inch in diameter and not very flexible. Thicknet is older and not very common anymore except as a backbone within and between buildings. Coax transmits at 10 Mbps.
Twisted Pair Cable
Twisted pair cable looks like telephone wire and consists of insulated strands of copper wire twisted together. There are two versions of twisted pair cable: Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) and Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP). STP is commonly used in Token Ring networks and UTP in Ethernet networks where it is referred to as “10Base-T”, transmission rates vary between 10-100 Mbps.
Fiber Optic Cable
The bulk fiber optic cable consists of a thin cylinder of glass surrounded by glass cladding, encased in protective outer sheath. Fiber optic cable transmits data signals in the form of light, can transmit over long distances (over 2 km) but is expensive.
2. The pros and cons of the basic cable types
PRO–Flexible and easy to install, relatively good resistance to electronic interference, electronic support components are relatively inexpensive.
CON–Short cable length, more expensive than UTP, unsecure, hard to change configuration, thinnet generally not good for use between buildings.
PRO–Most flexible, cheapest cable (but requires expensive support components), easy to install, easy to add users, may be able to use existing phone cable if data grade.
CON–Shortest usable cable length, susceptible to electrical interference, unsecure, generally not good for use between buildings.
Fiber Optic Cable
PRO–Fastest transmission rate, not susceptible to electrical interference, secure, light weight, low ttenuation, high bandwidth, good for use between buildings.
CON–relatively expensive, relatively difficult to work with.
3. What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing Cable?
Cost – What is the budget and how much can be spent on cabling?
Reliability – How dependent are your organization’s operations on the network?
Speed – How many concurrent users are there be and how critical is response time?
Security – How important is it to protect data from possible interception?
Growth – What are the organization’s plans for growth?
Administration – How will the network be administered?
Electrical Interference – What is the physical environment in which the network will operate?
Existing Cable – Are there conduits or cabling already in place that might be useable.
Currently, people more often use extensively by bulk fiber optic cable to provide fast connections to the Internet. Being light weight and less likely to get trapped, bulk fiber optic cables make it more preferable to cable installation companies. Fibre optic cable is often used in backbone networks because of its wide bandwidth and cost effectiveness. Aslo bulk fiber optic cables have various types, such as tight buffered fiber, loose tube cable, large core fiber, simplex cable, duplex cable, ribbon cable, distribution cable, breakout cable, waterproof cables, elc. There is also corning optical cable available, which is manufactured by Corning company.