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Network cable speed recognition and what type of network cable do you need in which case

There are plenty of networking opportunities and network cables available. But there are so many types of network cables that it's difficult to know witch type of network cable you exactly need.

Witch network cable do I need?
If you want to work with Cat5e and Cat6 than you need a 1000 Mbps network switch (Ethernet Switch) for a remarkable improvement in the throughput of the data. Several network cables with category Cat5 connection to a 1000 Mbit switch goes also. For example, with 10 PCs connected to a network with Cat5 network cables you can get maximum speed of 100 Mbits 1 computer can still reach there maxiumum speed of the 1000 Mbit swich.

A 1 GB network that does not mean there goes 1GB over the cable, but the data goes in pairs added together,250 MB in 1 pair.

Types of data speeds of network cable
Cat4 10 MBit = 1,25 MByte
Cat5 100 MBit = 12,5 MByte
Cat5e 150 MBit = 18,75 MByte
Cat6 250 MBit = 31,25 Mbyte

On this site you can calculate from Megabytes to MBits and vise versa:

Specifications of network cables
UTP: Unshielded Twisted Pair, the normal network cables.
STP: Shielded Twisted Pair, network cables for in noisy environment.

With Cat5 you have UTP and FTP cables. If you aren't routing the cable along power cables, transformers, fluorescent fixture, etc. than you can use UTP cable. Otherwise you have FTP and FTP cable connectors. In FTP, the equipment must also support FTP. In FTP, the wires and the cable is shielded. The veins of Cat6 cables are always shielded. Cat6 cables are much more expensive. In CAT4 you often see that there are only 2 pairs, 4 threads can be used. Cat4 2 pairs are also used for the transmission of the signals. Cat5 also send the data in 2 pairs. In Cat5e all 4 pairs are used.

Conditions for network cabling 
The cable can't be longer than 7 meters from the connection to the computer..
The (thicker) network cable between the 2 connection boxes is allowed up to maximum 100 meters.

What are Cross linked network cables?
Cross linked cables are used to connect 2 computers with each other without using a hub or router to connect with. These network cables are not suitable for network connections.

This applies to all types of straight network cables. Whether it's CAT4, 5, 5e or 6. Doesn't matter if it are UTP or STP cables. Cross-link cables are in most cases not work unless you have a special NIC that can switch itself (as in certain IBM notebooks). From Cat5 you can not extend the cables with coupling connectors to use patch cables.

The future: Cat7
There is a Cat7 network cable in development.

These cables would theoretically transfer data of 10GB.
These aren't yet fully developed so fiber optic cables are currently the only good solution for such data rates.


digital signatures said...

Thanks! This article was very helpful and saved me many hours of digging and experimentation.

Jenifer said...

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Ethernet Cables

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