Networking / Beginners

Network Cable

You can construct an Ethernet network by using one of two different types of cable: coaxial cable, which resembles TV cable, or twisted-pair cable, which looks like phone cable. Twisted-pair cable is sometimes called UTP, or 10BaseT cable, for reasons I try hard not to explain later (in the section, "Twisted-pair cable").

You may encounter other types of cable in an existing network: thick yellow cable that used to be the only type of cable used for Ethernet, fiber-optic cables that span long distances at high speeds, or thick twisted-pair bundles that carry multiple sets of twisted-pair cable between wiring closets in a large building. For all but the largest networks, the choice is between coaxial cable and twisted-pair cable.

A third choice - one that's becoming more popular every day - is to forego network cable and instead build your network using wireless network components.

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