Common Types of Network Cabling for Businesses

No two business cabling systems as the same. There are several different types of network cables that can be installed to ensure the efficient transmission of data, depending on the needs of the network, the location of a business and other core business requirements. Other factors such as the environment in which the cabling is installed will also determine the types of cables used.

Typical types of cables that comprise a network system include:

  • Coaxial cables
  • Fibre Optic cables
  • Shielded or Unshielded Twisted Pair Cables (STP or UTP)

Read on to find out more about the common types of network cabling used to support the smooth running of multiple pieces of IT equipment and devices in businesses today.

Network Cable Categories

Today businesses are demanding higher levels of bandwidth and increasingly complex applications to support growth. As a result, there is a greater need for cables that have enhanced components to deliver the fast and reliable transmission of data.

There are specific categories of network cabling, ranging from category 3 (Cat3) right up to category 7 (Cat7). These vary in frequency and characteristics, making them ideal for specific applications. The following is a brief overview of the most commonly used network cables in businesses today:

Cat5e

Cat5e is an enhanced version of Cat5 cabling designed to keep pace with advances in technology. This type of twisted pair cabling is relatively inexpensive and offers increased bandwidth (100 megahertz), improved signal-carrying capacity, and prevents any operational issues during system upgrades.

Cat6

Businesses growing at a rapid pace and requiring advanced applications can benefit from Cat6 cabling. Although more expensive that Cat5e cabling, Cat6 offers better transmission performance and a much higher bandwidth level (250 megahertz). It also spans far greater distances in terms of signal reach.

Cat7

This type of twisted pair cabling offers increased performance and better protection from outside noise and interference – making it ideal for environments where there is a lot of high speed data transfer in large cables. The bandwidth (of 600MHZ) is even greater than Cat5e and Cat6 cabling, making it particularly beneficial for large businesses.

Fibre Optic Cabling

Fibre optic cables are best for providing high levels of bandwidth over long distances. Unlike the above copper cables, which can run POE applications up to a 90/100m limit, fibre optic cabling can reach distances of up to 40km. Further benefits include a resistance to outside noise and influences, making it ideal for linking separate cabinets.

Structured Network Cabling at LeadingEdge

Structured network cabling is essential to business performance and success, as explored in our page on 5 Benefits of Structured Network Cabling. Therefore at LeadingEdge we recognise the importance of planning and installing cabling so it’s tailored to the unique requirements of each business.

As specialists in providing sufficient cabling to businesses of all sizes, we take into account a range of factors for determining the types of network cables that are needed to form a highly reliable and structured system for your organisation.

These include:

  • The architectural structure and size of the building in which your business is housed.
  • Customer requirements and speed at which information needs to be transferred.
  • The types of equipment and devices used within your business.
  • The configuration of your current network.
  • The function of the new system.