Ethernet Cabling Basics
In this article we will cover some of the ethernet cabling basics you will need to comprehend before an installation or troubleshooting
With everything moving online nowadays it’s becoming increasingly important to have a fast, reliable internet connection. This maybe because you have to do online Zoom meetings or are just fed up with the TV buffering every time to try to stream or download content. Even in the days of wireless, something that I spend more and more of my time installing is data cabling within domestic housing. As you are reading this article, you may be wondering, is it worth installing data cabling within my home? Or, what are the advantages of doing so. In this post I discuss the advantages that having a home wired network has along with some disadvantages. I hope you find the following useful, let’s begin.
Ethernet Wiring Can Provide a More Reliable and Fast Connection
Once network cabling has been physically installed and is all up and running it can really improve the reliability of your internet connection. This is because with the cables travelling through the copper wiring you do not have to worry so much about interfering signals or wireless channels that your broadband router transmits on.
We have lost count of the number of times we have seen broadband users complain of poor and unreliable performance with streamed services such as Netflix to discover that this was due to a WiFi connection being used, particularly where the WiFi router was located in another room. This could have been instantly fixed by using an Ethernet cable. We absolutely understand that laying cables can be a pain but, given how often streamed services are used, the effort will repay itself many, many times.
Home network cabling will help overcome this as the signal would be confined onto the copper conductors of the data cable. This helps maximize internet speed and solves WIFI blackspots. There are other solutions available to you like Powerline adapters which send data signals down existing mains wiring which can sometime be used for good effect but a dedicated Ethernet cable will always win in terms of reliability.
What Is Ethernet?
The word ‘Ethernet’ refers to a specific family of computer networking technologies which are used for local area networks (LANs). This frame based technology defines specific standards under which LANs operate. Simply put, Ethernet is a system which allows computers within a network to connect to and interact with each other directly. It differs from the Internet in that there is no worldwide web; the connection is limited to the local computers which are hooked up to that specific network. An Ethernet user could access another computer’s files or a company database, for example, but could not use a web browser without having another, different connection to the Internet.
RJ45 or RJ11 ??
RJ45 is mostly used with Ethernet cables while RJ11 is connecting to telephone units. RJ45 has 8 wires inside while Rj11 has 4 wires. RJ45 is bigger in size than RJ11. You cannot plug-in the RJ45 cable connector into an RJ11 jack/interface/port/slot, however, you can do the opposite.
What is CAT5e Cable?
CAT5e, also known as Category 5e or Category 5 Enhanced, is a network cable standard ratified in 1999. CAT5e offers significantly improved performance over the old CAT5 standard, including up to 10 times faster speeds and a significantly greater ability to traverse distances without being impacted by crosstalk. CAT5e cables are typically 24-gauge twisted pair wires, which can support Gigabit networks at segment distances up to 100 m.
What is CAT6 Cable?
CAT6, the nowadays standard in ethernet wiring, derived from Category 6, came out only a few years after CAT5e. CAT6 is a standardized twisted pair cable for Ethernet that is backward compatible with CAT5/5e and CAT3 cable standards.
Like CAT5e, CAT6 cables support Gigabit Ethernet segments up to 100 m, but they also allow for use in 10-Gigabit networks over a limited distance. At the beginning of this century, CAT5e typically ran to the workstations, whereas CAT6 was used as the backbone infrastructure from router to switches.
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