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5 Steps To Choosing Network Cables

When you compare the high cost of network failures to the cost of installing network cabling, the difference can be thousands of dollars. So it makes sense to invest in network cables. But carefully choose the right network cable since the right network cable will make a huge difference in the performance of your network. On the other hand, wrong cable will not only decrease the performance, but also cause expensive repairs in the future.


Nowadays, Ethernet networks strive for high reliability and performance, so finding the right network cable is a must. But installing cables in the office is easier than installing them in industrial facilities. Cables, connectors and switches must be perfectly connected to the machines in order to avoid hazardous situations. One mistake can cost you thousands of dollars. Thus, follow our simple 5-step guide to help you choose the right network cables.


Flex And Environmental Factors – In order to find the right network cable you need to consider environmental factors. Cables with high bandwidth capability are required for enclosed environments where vibration is restricted. But if you plan to use the cables for factory floors or for the machines with high to very high vibration, then make sure you buy flexible network cabling with high level of connectivity protection against liquids and torsion.


Shielded Vs Unshielded – The search is not over yet. You have to choose between shielded and unshielded network cables as well. Unshielded cables are the most common network cables used in most environments. Unlike the unshielded network cable, the shielded ones are especially designed for high noise environments. In order to protect the strength of the signal and reduce interference, a foil or a braid is used to wrap the cable. To increase noise protection, a combination of a foil and braid is also used.


Twisted Or Bonded-Pair Conductors – Bonded-pair network cables deal better with the rigors of installation by using specific manufacturing techniques, in order to attach the insulation of the cable pairs along their longitudinal axes. Twisted pair network cable construction on the other hand is prone to pair-gaping during installation as well as impedance mismatches. Keep in mind that if twisted pair conductors have gaps, then they will decrease the performance of the cable. The bonded-pair ones will continue to perform well, even if the cable is pulled or twisted.


Data Rate Requirements – You will find various types of cables that transmit data at a certain speed. For example, Cat5e is an ideal network cable for connections up to 100 Mbps. Compared to cat5 and cat5e, cat6 delivers faster speed and smoother connection. Usually people buy it for connections up to 10 Gb. Even though cat5 and cat 5e work well with Gigabit Ethernet routers, cat 6 deals better with gigabit speeds, allowing faster and more reliable connection.


Jacket Options – If you want to improve the performance of the network cable, then choosing the right jacket material is a must. Cables with PVC jacket are known as general purpose cables. These cables are used for installation with no specific fire safety requirements. Cables with PUR jacket are far more resistant to abrasion and have high level of tolerance to solvents, while the network cables with TPE jacket have greater oil and coolant resistance.