Hello Friends! Today, we will explain about what is networking cable and their color code; involving with types of networking cable with specification with ease. After reading this article; you will definitely fully aware about Networking Cable and its Types without getting any obstacle.
What is Networking Cable?
Networking cable is a networking hardware that is used to connect computers, devices, and network components, for making data transmission in between them. Networking cables come in various types, including Ethernet cables (such as Cat5e, Cat6) and fiber optic cables. These cables are able to carry electrical signals or light pulses to make communication within LAN networks or wide area networks (WANs).
Ethernet cables implement the copper wires to transmit data via electrical impulses; but in fiber optic cables, using the thin strands of glass or plastic to transmit data as pulses of light. So, they are offering faster speeds and greater bandwidth.
‘Networking Cable Types’ Tutorial Headlines:
In this section, we will show you all headlines about this entire article; you can check them as your choice; below shown all:
- What is Networking Cable?
- Types of Cables in Networking
- Coaxial Cable in Networking
- Twisted-Pair Cables in Networking
- Fiber Optic Cables in Networking
- USB Cables in Networking
- Power over Ethernet Cables in Networking
- HDMI Cables in Networking
- Networking Cable Color Code
- FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
- What are different types of networking cables with examples?
- How do I choose the right networking cable for my needs?
- What is the maximum length for networking cables?
- What is the difference between UTP and STP cables?
- Can I use a Cat6 cable with a Cat5e cable?
- What is Power over Ethernet (PoE) and can it be used with any networking cable?
- How do I terminate networking cable?
- Can networking cables be used outdoors?
Let’s Get Started!!
Types of Cables in Networking
There are different types of networking cables that are facilitating the transmission of data in between devices. Here are some of the most common types of cables in networking, including:
Coaxial Cable in Networking
Coaxial cables have been widely used in networking for transmitting high-frequency signals with low losses in cable television and broadband internet. It consists of a copper conductor, an insulator shielding around it, and a braided metal mesh that prevents signal interference and cross-talk.
Coaxial cable is also called the coax. The core copper conductor is going to use for the transmission of signals, as well as the insulator is used to offer the insulation to the copper conductor. The insulator is surrounded by the braided metal conductor that helps to prevent the interference of electrical signals and prevent cross-talk. This entire setup is again covered with a protective plastic layer to provide extra safety to the cable.
Types of Coaxial Cables Used in Networking
RG-6: This coaxial cable is better for high-frequency applications and is commonly used for satellite and cable TV.
RG-11: RG-11 is a thicker, higher-gauge cable that is suitable for longer runs and higher frequency applications, such as in-building distribution systems and underground conduit.
RG-59: This is the industry standard cable for video and is commonly used for analog video and CCTV installations.
RG-8: This type of coaxial cable is suitable for high-power signal transmission and is often used in amateur radio applications.
Coaxial Cables Connectors in Networking
There are several types of coaxial cable connectors used in networking, including:
F-Series Connectors: These connectors are primarily used for connecting satellite and cable television. They come in different widths with position configurations of four, six, and eight conductors.
N-Series Connectors: These connectors are similar to the F-Series but also have a pin that is fitted over the central conductor. They are used in various applications, including video and audio signal transmission.
BNC Connectors: Originally designed for military use, the Bayonet Neil-Concelman (BNC) coaxial connector is a miniature-to-sub miniature RF connector used in test instruments, radio, television, and video signal transmission.
RCA Connectors: Also known as cinch connectors, these connectors were initially designed for audio signal transmission but are now widely used in video as well. They are commonly recognized as the red, white, and yellow cords that plug into the back of televisions
Specifications of Coaxial Cables in Networking
|Satellite and cable TV
|In-building distribution systems and underground conduit
|Analog video and CCTV installations
|Amateur radio applications
Twisted-Pair Cables in Networking
Twisted-pair cables are a common type of electrical cable used in telecommunications and computer networks. Twisted-pair cables consist two insulated copper wires twisted together. This twisting reduces electromagnetic interference and crosstalk between neighbouring pairs, improving signal quality.
Types of Twisted-Pair Cables Used in Networking
There are commonly two types of twisted-pair cable, including:
Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP): UTP cable consists of two insulated copper wires twisted together without getting any extra insulation or shielding. UTP cables are more commonly implemented in most of local area networks (LANs) cause of their cost-affordability, higher flexibility, and easy installation and maintenance.
Shielded Twisted Pair (STP): STP cables consist the additional shielding to offer the extra protection against external interference. They are often utilised in environments with higher interference and where additional noise immunity is needed.
Twisted-Pair Cables Connectors in Networking
RJ-45 Connector: The RJ-45 (Registered Jack 45) connector is the most widely used connector for Ethernet networking. It has eight pins and is often associated with UTP cables.
RJ-11 Connector: Similar in appearance to the RJ-45 but smaller, the RJ-11 connector has four or six pins. It is commonly used for telephone connections.
Modular Connectors (Like as 8P8C): These connectors have eight positions and eight contacts (8P8C) and are often referred to as modular connectors. RJ-45 is a specific type of 8P8C connector commonly used in networking.
Tera Connector: The Tera connector is a specialized connector designed for use with Category 7 (Cat7) cables. It provides additional shielding and is designed to support higher frequencies.
GG45 Connector: The GG45 connector is designed to be backward-compatible with the RJ-45 connector but offers additional features to support higher data rates.
ARJ45 Connector: The ARJ45 connector is another enhanced connector designed for high-speed data transmission and is backward-compatible with the standard RJ-45 connector.
Modular Plugs and Jacks: These are modular components used to terminate the ends of twisted-pair cables. Modular plugs are attached to the cable ends, while jacks are connectors on devices or wall outlets.
Twisted-Pair Cables Specifications in Networking
Maximum Data Rate
UTP (e.g., Cat5e)
|Fast Ethernet, Gigabit Ethernet
UTP (e.g., Cat6
|10 Gigabit Ethernet
UTP (e.g., Cat6a)
|10 Gigabit Ethernet
UTP (e.g., Cat7)
|10 Gigabit Ethernet, Some 25/40 Gbps Ethernet
STP (e.g., Cat7a)
10 Gigabit Ethernet, Some 25/40 Gbps
STP (e.g., Cat8)
|25/40 Gigabit Ethernet, Data Centers
Fiber Optic Cables in Networking
Fiber optic cables are long-distance network telecommunications networking cables that are using the light pulses to transmit information via strands of glass or plastic. They provide several benefits over traditional electrical cables, such as higher bandwidth, faster speeds, and immunity to electromagnetic interference.
Fiber Optic Cables Structure
Core and Cladding: Fiber optic cables consist of a core (where the light travels) and cladding (a layer that reflects the light back into the core). The core is typically made of glass or plastic.
Multimode and Single Mode: There are two main types of fiber optic cables – multimode and single mode. Multimode cables allow multiple modes of light to propagate and are suitable for shorter distances, while single-mode cables support a single mode of light and are used for longer distances.
Types of Fiber Optic Cables Used in Networking
The two main categories are single-mode and multimode fibers, and within these categories, there are different cable designs.
OS1 and OS2: These are standard single-mode fibers designed for long-distance transmissions. OS1 is optimized for indoor use, while OS2 is suitable for outdoor and longer-distance applications, such as undersea cabling.
OM1, OM2, OM3, and OM4: These are different generations of multimode fibers, with OM1 being the oldest and OM4 being the most advanced. Each generation offers improved performance in terms of bandwidth and distance.
OM5: This is a recently developed multimode fiber designed for use with short-range, high-speed applications, such as data center interconnects using wavelength division multiplexing (WDM).
Fiber Optic Cables Connectors in Networking
SC: Square Connector, used for high-density applications and long-distance transmissions.
LC: Lucent Connector, used for high-density applications and short-distance transmissions.
ST: Straight Tip Connector, used for connecting optical fibers to network devices.
MTP: Multiple-Fiber Push-On/Pull-Off Connector, used for high-density applications and data centers.
Fiber Optic Cables Specifications
|9 µm (micrometers)
|50 µm or 62.5 µm (micrometers)
Mode of Propagation
|One (the fundamental mode)
|Multiple (multiple modes of light propagation)
|1310 nm and 1550 nm
|850 nm and 1300 nm (OM1 and OM2), 850 nm (OM3 and OM4)
|Lower compared to single-mode
Maximum Distance (LANs)
|Up to tens of kilometers
|Up to several hundred meters (depends on the type)
Typical Distance (Data Centers)
|Up to hundreds of kilometers
|Up to several hundred meters (depends on the type)
|High (e.g., 10 Gbps, 40 Gbps, 100 Gbps)
|Moderate to high (e.g., 1 Gbps, 10 Gbps, 40 Gbps)
|LED or laser diode
|Varies (e.g., orange for OM1, OM2; aqua for OM3, OM4)
|Long-distance telecommunications, high-speed networking
|Short-distance data communication, LANs, data centers
USB Cables in Networking
USB cables are designed for connecting devices to a host, like a computer or charger, and are not ideal for networking due to their limitations in terms of distance and data transfer rates compared to dedicated networking cables. USB cables are generally used for shorter-distance data transfer and power delivery.
USB-Based Networking Technologies
USB to Ethernet Adapters: These adapters allow you to connect an Ethernet cable to a device that lacks an Ethernet port, like some laptops and tablets. The USB side is connected to the device, and the Ethernet side is connected to the network.
USB Network Adapters: There are USB-based network adapters that provide Wi-Fi connectivity. These adapters allow devices without built-in Wi-Fi capability to connect to wireless networks.
USB Tethering: Some smartphones support USB tethering, where you can connect your smartphone to a computer using a USB cable and use the phone’s cellular data connection to provide internet access to the computer.
USB Cables Specifications
Data Transfer Rate
|Up to 12 Mbps
|Basic peripherals (keyboards, mice)
|Up to 480 Mbps
|Printers, cameras, external drives
|Up to 5 Gbps
|Yes (900 mA)
|External hard drives, HD webcams
USB 3.1 Gen 1
|Up to 5 Gbps
|Yes (900 mA)
|Similar to USB 3.0, but with reversible connectors
USB 3.1 Gen 2
|Up to 10 Gbps
|Yes (900 mA)
|High-speed data transfer
|Up to 20 Gbps
|Yes (900 mA)
|High-speed data transfer
|Up to 40 Gbps
|Yes (up to 100W)
|High-speed data transfer, power delivery, video output
Power over Ethernet Cables (PoE) in Networking
Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a technology that allows Ethernet cables to transmit data and power simultaneously using a single network cable. It enables one RJ45 cable to provide both data connection and electric power to powered devices (PDs) such as wireless access points, IP cameras, and VoIP phones.
PoE has several advantages and applications in networking:
Cost Savings: PoE reduces installation costs by eliminating the need for separate electrical wiring and simplifies the deployment of powered devices in various locations.
Safety: PoE utilizes a relatively low voltage, presenting low risks of electrical hazards.
Reliability: PoE adheres to IEEE’s strict 802.3 standard specifications.
Scalability: PoE allows for easy addition of new equipment to a network.
Smart Home and Business Applications: PoE is used in both smart home applications and business premises they help to offer the cost-effective solutions for powering devices in several locations.
HDMI Cables in Networking
HDMI cables with Ethernet allow for simplified network management by incorporating fast network data delivery between IP-based devices with the HDMI cable. The HDMI Ethernet Channel enables with the dedicated data channel that helping to provides bi-directional networking at speeds of up to 100 Mb per second. They also allowing multiple devices to share an Internet connection and facilitating the simplified method for making connection the HDMI-enabled devices to one another.
Ethernet-enabled HDMI cables can then carry data transmissions from a main source to other IP-based home entertainment devices, eliminating the need for extra cables while delivering a high-quality interactive home theater experience to its users.
HDMI-over-Ethernet cable was first introduced with HDMI 1.4, and depending on speed and bandwidth, there are three variations of HDMI with Ethernet: Standard with Ethernet, High-speed with Ethernet, and Ultra-high-speed with Ethernet.
Networking Cable Color Code
Networking cables come in various colors, and each color typically represents a specific function or standard. While there is no universally accepted standard for cable colors, some widely accepted color codes exist in the industry.
Here are some common cable colors and their meanings:
Grey: Represents standard network connections.
Black: Used as a generic, default color.
Purple: Represents non-Ethernet digital connections.
Blue: Denotes network connectivity.
Yellow: Generally used for wired security cameras.
Orange: Another color used for Ethernet cables.
For Ethernet cables, the color code is related to the wiring of the cables. The most common standards are T-568A and T-568B, which have specific color codes for the wires. The color codes for these standards are as follows:
T-568A: Green, Solid Green, White/Green, White/Orange, Blue, Solid Blue, Dotted Blue, Dotted Green, Dotted Orange, and Dotted White.
T-568B: Solid Orange, Dotted Orange, Dotted Green, White/Green, White/Orange, Blue, Solid Blue, Dotted Blue, Dotted Green, Dotted Orange, and Dotted White.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
What are different types of networking cables with examples?
There are different types of networking cable, include Ethernet cables (Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, Cat7, Cat8), fiber optic cables (single-mode and multi-mode), and coaxial cables. Each type serves different goals and has varying data transfer abilities.
How do I choose the right networking cable for my needs?
Consider factors like as the required data transfer speed, distance, and environmental conditions. For shorter distances and basic home networking, Cat5e or Cat6 cables are often sufficient. For higher speeds and longer distances, consider Cat6a, Cat7, or Cat8 cables.
What is the maximum length for networking cables?
The maximum length depends on the type of cable. For Ethernet cables (Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a), the typical maximum length is 100 meters (about 328 feet). Fiber optic cables can support longer distances, ranging from several hundred meters to several KMs.
What is the difference between UTP and STP cables?
UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) cables have no additional shielding, while STP (Shielded Twisted Pair) cables have a layer of shielding to reduce electromagnetic interference. UTP cables are commonly used in home and office environments, while STP cables are often used in areas with high interference.
Can I use a Cat6 cable with a Cat5e cable?
Yes, you can use a Cat6 cable with a Cat5e cable, but the overall network performance will be limited to the specifications of the lower category cable. It’s generally recommended to use the same category of cables for consistency and optimal performance.
What is Power over Ethernet (PoE) and can it be used with any networking cable?
PoE allows power to be transmitted over the same Ethernet cable used for data transfer. It can be used with certain Ethernet cables, such as Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, and higher categories, which have the necessary conductors to carry power.
How do I terminate networking cable?
Termination involves attaching connectors to the ends of the cable. Common connectors include RJ45 for Ethernet cables. You can use a crimper tool to attach the connectors properly.
Can networking cables be used outdoors?
While standard Ethernet cables are not designed for outdoor use, there are outdoor-rated cables available. These cables are getting the additional protection against moisture and UV exposure.
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