Data Network Cabling

Many people think the term networking cabling systems encompass everything to do with cables and networking which is not entirely incorrect however they are totally different when it comes to the functions they provide although there is some overlapping in certain circumstances. Let’s look at each term separately.

Data cabling

When installing cables for data transfer there are many different devices that will use cabling not just computers and depending on what you are installing will depend on the type of data cable that you will need and they are three main types:

  • Twisted pair
  • Coax-copper
  • Optic cables-fibre
  • Twisted Pair
Cat5 Network Cabling

Sexy Cat5 Network Cabling

The telecommunication industry and computer networks will more often than not use this type of cabling. The way this cable is constructed helps prevent signal degradation due to the twisting however the maximum length of cable would only be around 100 meters before the signal started to degrade.

  • There are two types of twisted pair cabling:
  • STP-this has an extra metal shield that covers the insulated twisted pair.
  • UTP-same as the STP but has no metal shield and is most commonly manufactured as a RJ45 connector.
  • STP cable has one extra metal shield covering the insulated twisted pair conductors. But this is absent in UTP cables. The most common UTP connector is RJ45.



You will find coaxial cable used in older computer networks. Apart from computer networks coax cable will be used in digital telephone networks being able to carry up to 600Mbps.There is a solid copper core covered with insulation which in turn is covered with a metal foil conductor. Different connectors are used for different devices; RG-58 thin Ethernet, RG-11 thick Ethernet and RG-059 Cable TV.


Fibre Optic

Although not new to the industry fibre optics is becoming the most extensively used cable today by telephone and cable TV companies due to the amount of data that can be carried and the speed at which it is done. Data is transmitted in the form of light signals with the cable having an inner fibre core covered with a protective cladding.

The benefits of fibre cable is that it is extremely light and the signal does not degrade like copper cable however it is much more to manufacture and is extremely fragile due to the glass construction of the core.


Network Cabling

The term network cabling simply refers to the process of connecting computers to each other via cables so that they can “talk” to each other. No matter if it is only two computers at home or call centers with 2000 work stations it is possible to network them for various reasons depending on your needs. In order to network a system you will use as described above some sort of data cabling.

Networks are designed so that, small or big, users can share various resources and communicate easier. I suppose a good way of thinking about it, if you’re old enough to remember, is that each office had someone who used to wheel around their trolley transferring messages to various employees and getting copies made etc, the networking of an office has eliminated most of what they used to do.

Here are a few reasons why networking is beneficial:

  • File sharing.-share application files
  • Hardware sharing-share devices such as printers
  • Program sharing- spreadsheets and word processors can be shared