Today, Ethernet cables serve as the most common medium for the means of data transfer in our society, and they play an integral role in network speed and accuracy along with their stability depending on the cable type. Despite this, they are generally the last components to get any attention when setting up a wired Internet network.
In the last few years, however, Ethernet cables have experienced diversification as the demand for Internet across the globe can become commonplace. Over time, alongside the Internet of Things (IoT), Ethernet cables turned into an inseparable part of our lives; thus, they have undergone significant changes to meet the uses and demands of the ever-changing digital world.
For the development of intelligent buildings, along with the development of WLAN (Wi-Fi) and IoT, Ethernet cables must be capable of two vital tasks. First, they must be capable of data transmission, and second, they must be capable of providing a steady power supply. The power supply refers to Power over Ethernet (PoE), wherein the cable utilizes Ethernet as the medium for electrical power as well.
The main purpose of PoE is to gradually unify all low-energy consumption terminals. Generally, this is easier when it utilizes a twisted-pair copper cable to create a network which can link different terminals with power outlets. As such, it can connect various units including IP digital phones, digital cameras, wireless access points, LED lighting, smart control systems, and high resolution audio/video equipment.
Different Types of Ethernet Cables
There are a few Ethernet cables to choose between, those of which include Cat5, Cat5E, Cat6, and Cat6A cable types, and they are further distinguished as either being flat cables or round cables.
Flat Ethernet cables are used in the military, robotics, aerospace, and various other sectors, and they are especially useful where high-end computing is in demand. Furthermore, they provide efficiency in packaging and flexibility, and they have the ability to reduce noise and vibration during operation.
Round Ethernet cables are a type of insulated wire that contains several layers of a filler substance. This design helps to minimize the heat produced by the cables due to friction, and the filler material protects the cable from the operating environment. Generally, the use of round cables is most common in industrial and manufacturing fields.
Major Cable Types
Apart from flat and round Ethernet cables, there are a few classifications based on build categories. Surfacing in the 1990s, Cat5 is widely popular and is equipped to support faster network speeds of up to 100Mbps. Shortly after, the Cat5E was developed and made to support Gigabit network applications with higher efficiency. In the last few years, Cat6 cables and connectors have garnered popularity, making them important for creating a network that supports Gigabit network applications as well. In contrast, Cat6A cables, where the “A” standards for augmented, support data rates of 10 Gigabytes per second up to 100 meters and bandwidths of up to 500 MHz. Additionally, they are much lighter and thinner than their counterparts, making them ideal for healthcare and educational institutes. Lastly, they provide Power over Ethernet (PoE).
ASAP Components is a leading distributor of countless cable types, all of which are vetted for fit and function before being shipped out to customers. With over 2 billion new, used, obsolete, and hard-to-find options, customers can easily source everything they need with ease. Kickoff the procurement process with a competitive quote on any desired item(s) and see how ASAP Components can serve as your strategic sourcing partner!
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