Technology in all fields advances at a blistering rate, and it can be difficult for business owners to keep up. This is especially true in the field of network equipment and cabling—it can be easy to not even think about the kind of cabling you have for your business property, but if it’s been a long time since you installed your network, there’s a chance you’re dealing with outdated cables that are preventing you from getting the best level of service you could otherwise be achieving.
Here’s an overview of some of the different types of network cabling in West Virginia you should be familiar with:
- Coaxial cables: These cables feature a single copper conductor in the middle, and an insulating plastic layer. This type of cabling is highly resistant to signal obstructions, but can be difficult to install. It’s capable of providing service over long distances between network devices.
- Fiber optic cables: This type of cable is the best option on the market now for businesses that want to maximize their bandwidth and get the best speed for data transmissions. This type of cabling is capable of running everywhere, because it uses light instead of electricity for signal transmission, which means there will be very little resistance and no need to boost the signal. If your business has already started reaching its bandwidth limits, using fiber optic cables is the best way to future-proof your network.
- Shielded twisted pair: STP cable is a type of copper telephone wire often used in business properties. Its external shield serves as a ground.
- Unshielded twisted pair: UTP cable comes in several different categories, and for now remains the most popular network cable for businesses (though fiber optic is rapidly growing). Here are a few examples of some UTP cables:
- Cat5: Category 5 cable was standard in the 1990s, but is now outdated. If you’re still using Cat5 cabling in your business, there’s a good chance you’re feeling hamstrung with your bandwidth. If you are still doing fine with your IT, there’s no need to upgrade, so long as it’s working for you, but if you want to look into more advanced technologies, you’ll have to upgrade your cabling.
- Cat5e: This is far and away the most common cabling used in commercial and home networks, and it became standard in 2001. It features a copper cable and supports up to 1 gbps speed. If you’re looking for increased speeds, you’ll want to look to other types of cables.
- Cat6: Cat6 was introduced in 2002 and provides the same speeds as Cat5e, but more than double the bandwidth. If you’ve got more tech in your business, this is an ideal cable selection.
- Cat6a: Transmission frequencies with Cat6a come at higher bandwidth, and a big jump in speed over Cat5e and Cat6.
- Cat7: Cat7 is the newest generation of UTP cable, but isn’t that big of an upgrade over Cat6a—it just has a slightly higher bandwidth.
For more information about the different types of network cabling in West Virginia, contact the team at GlobalTech Communications today.