Network Cable

In order for you to get the PC hooked up, you will need the right cable so that it fit into the NIC Adapter or LAN Adapter at the rear of your computer.

Unless everything is wireless, the cable that you will need are usually known as Cat 5 cable or “twisted pair” cable which consist of 4 pair of twisted colored wire making it eight in total. The length of the cable that you will need depends on how far each computer is from your modem or router. The CAT 5 cable comes with a RJ-45 connector at both ends so that termination of these wire to your NIC Adapter or LAN Adapter is easily taken cared of.

You can always find ready-made CAT 5 cables at your nearest computer store. They usually come in lengths of 1Metre, 3Metre, 5Metre or 10Metre.

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Different Types of Cable To Consider

Your decision of cable to be use depends on the speed that you want for your network. You must always consider how difficult or easy it is to install the cable, how expensive these cabling solution will be,  what is the distance between computers and what are the likely security issues.

Traditional cabling such as coaxial, twisted-pair, and fiber-optic create more speed in your network connection . It costs slightly more than some other options because of the cable and the networking hardware. Traditional cabling also offers a secure connection.

For a more consistent and reliable networking usage, you should use Fast Ethernet cabling for a small business setup. Wireless connections can also work in a business outfit but it’s better to consider combining traditional wiring and wireless together. Combining wiring and wireless gives you more flexibility with your access points and you definitely have more distance coverage.

The two most common cabling used in small networks today are Coaxial and Twisted Pair, however, coaxial is nearly outdated by now. Coaxial cable resembled the cable that was used for your antennae to your television or VCR whilst twisted-pair looks similar to phone jack but it’s a bit larger in size.

Right Cabling Type

If you’re not sure which cable type is suitable for you, see below :

Choose coaxial cabling if :

1.     You have fewer than four PCs.
2.     You don’t have any portable computers (laptops, notebooks) on the network.
3.     You are not going to expand the network or are not going to use large graphic files, streaming audio, or video.

Choose 10Base-T cabling with a hub if:

a.     You have fewer than 10 PCs.
b.     The PCs are within 100Metres or so of each other.
c.     You have laptops or notebooks to connect to the network.
d.     You may need to add computers to the network in the near future.

Choose 100Base-TX (Fast Ethernet) cabling with a hub if:

i.     You plan to use large graphic files, streaming audio, or video.
ii.    You want a fast network for data exchange and gaming.
iii.   You have many laptops or notebooks.
iv.   You plan to add more computers into the network in the near future.

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