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The Basics of Ethernet Cables

Wired networks rely on Ethernet cables to connect devices together. Local Area Networks (LANs) connect various types of devices including computer systems, switches, and routers with Ethernet cables.

Ethernet cables belong to two main categories. One is Category 5 or CAT5 and another is Category 6 or CAT6. Another type of cable, the Crossover Cable is used to connect two computers to each other. It is a special type of Ethernet cable.

The Crossover cable has a very different function from the traditional Ethernet cable. While an Ethernet cable connects a computer to a router or a switch, a Crossover Cable connects two computers together.

Further, Ethernet cables might be either Solid or Stranded. These are the two basic forms of cables. Solid Ethernet Cable perform better and offer better protection from electrical interference. The most common area where Solid Ethernet Cables are employed is in business and office networks.

ethernet cables basics

Stranded Ethernet Cables are less susceptible to cracking or breakage and suitable for networking professionals on the go. They are also common in home networks.

Ethernet Cable Limitations and Alternatives

Ethernet cables can traverse only limited distances based on their characteristics related to electrical signal transmission. Further, Ethernet cables rely on several different types of connectors including the RJ-45 connector. Connectors come in various configurations. A connector intended for a stranded cable does not work with a solid cable. However, certain connectors might work with both stranded and solid Ethernet cables.

To overcome some of the limitations inflicted by Ethernet cable configurations, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth Wireless technologies are in use by home and business networks. Wireless networks help connect devices seamlessly without the need for a physical medium for transfer of network data.

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