The speed of today’s computing is governed not only by the processors used, but by the overall infrastructure. An integral part of this is the cabling that connects the individual elements of a network to each other and to the outside world.
When planning upgrades and new installations, there are a number of cabling options to consider:
- Category 5 Ethernet
- Category 6 Gigabit Ethernet
- Fibre Optics
CAT6 Gigabit Ethernet
Cat 6 Gigabit Ethernet cabling offers a step up from Cat 5. With improved performance and greater speed of data transfer it is possible to create networks that are compatible with gigabit speeds. Cat 6 offers more than double the available bandwidth of Cat 5 with data transfers of up to 10,000 Mbits/second possible.
Cat 5 twisted pair Ethernet cabling is still industry standard for local network use. It’s cost and versatility are its main advantages. It is cheap to buy and options of solid conductor form and stranded conductor form mean that it can be used in a number of applications.
However, fibre optics are becoming a more popular data transfer medium in both new installations and upgrades, having several advantages over copper cabling. Firstly, fibres are able to carry greater bandwidth, meaning that more data is carried more reliably, with minimal loss in transmission quality.