Quick Guide to Network and Data Cabling

In this quick guide, we will define what network and data cabling are. Also, we will reveal to you the different cabling types.

These cables are used for all kinds of office data cabling in Melbourne or anywhere in the world. With the explanation of the types of data cable, you will be able to determine which one is suitable for your office.

Let’s begin, shall we?

Network and Data Cabling

Network and cabling refer to the use of cables to connect as well as transfer information and data between computers, switches, storage area networks, CCTV, routers, etc. These network cables are the transporters of data from one device to another.

Different Cabling Types

Since network cabling is only possible with the use of network cables; therefore, you need to know the types used for networking and data connection. The type that you will use is dependent on the topology and structure of the system’s overall architecture.

Let’s take a look at them below:

1. Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP)

UTPs are the most appreciated data cable used on the globe. They can be used for computer networking and conventional telephone. They have different wiring systems which are:

i. CAT1: This wiring system is mainly used for the connection of telephone wires. Hence, if you want to connect to telephones, this is the best wire used.

ii. CAT2: This wiring system can support speeds that reach 4 Mbps. They are often used for token ring networks.

iii. CAT3 and CAT4: These wiring systems can supports speeds that are much higher than 4 Mbps even though token ring networks are what they are mainly used for. Hence, if you are using a token ring network with high speeds, these systems are more suitable than CAT2.

iv. CAT5: The CAT5e wire design has replaced the CAT5 and can provide an improved crosstalk specification. As a result of the upgrade, it can support speeds that reach 1 Gbps. When compared to other data cabling specifications, the CAT5e is used mostly across the globe.

v. CAT6: This has an advantage over the CAT5e in the sense that it can reach supports faster speeds. While a 100-meter length will provide speeds that reach 1 Gbps just like CAT5e, a 55-meter length will reach speeds of 10 Gbps.

If you choose to use this wire in your organization, then a specialized cable analyzer must be used who will then carry out a full test to determine if the standards and guidelines for CTA6 were followed when the cabling was installed.

vi. CAT7: This wiring system makes use of a new copper cable that supports speeds that can reach 10 Gbps and can reach a 100-meter length.

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP)

2. Shielded Twisted Pair (STP)

This copper wiring is similar to UTP in the sense that both make use of copper and are manufactured using the same process. The cable has 4 pairs of conductors or thin wires that are within the outer sheath or insulation of the cable.

The pairs of wires are then twisted further into many extra twists. The reason for these complex twists is to provide protection against any form of interference those other devices, as well as nearby cables, could present.

The only difference between STPs and UTPs is that the STP has an outer shield which the UTP lacks. This shield serves as a ground that is just added to the regular UTP telephone wires. Therefore, if you want to use a cable that will withstand potential interference and UTP electrical current risk, then we recommend you use STPs.

They can be used to increase the distance between individual cables. STPs are also used in office environments, commercial and retail sites. Even Ethernet networks make use of this cabling. 

3. Fiber Optic Cable

If you are looking for cabling that supports high bandwidths, then you should choose a fiber optic cable for the job. Apart from being particularly useful for high bandwidth needs, if you work or run a data center organization or one that requires high capacity installation such as airports, hospitals, banks, etc. then you should opt for this cabling.

In summary, any installation that involves the transfer of high data volumes, then it is a no-brainer picking any other cabling over fibre optic cable.

These wires are made up of a central core made from glass that is surrounded by several coats of shielding materials. Hence, the common electrical obtrusion problem that is due to light transmission instead of electronic signals is removed. Therefore, this cabling is suitable for areas that are filled with electrical interference. 

Fiber optic cables are now the main standard when it comes to connecting networks from building to building thanks to their moisture and lighting resistance. Another reason they are used for such connections is that they can run much longer than UTPs and STPs. Generally, they can reach farther lengths than copper cables.

These cables can reach a speed of 1 GBps at a length of 500 meters or 2km based on the speed you require. Visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiber-optic_cable to learn more about fiber optic cable.

Fiber Optic Cable

4. Coaxial

This wiring has just one copper conductor or wire in the center. A plastic coating offers the insulation necessary between the center conductor and the braided metal shield. This shield prevents external interference from fluorescence lights, other computers, and motors.

As far as signal obstructions are concerned, coaxial cables are very resistant. Nevertheless, the installation process is somewhat complicated. You can also use it at extended lengths for device connection when compared to the twisted pair (UTP or STP).

There are two main coaxial cable types which are thin and thick. The former cabling as its name implies is thinner compared to the latter that is much thicker.


We believe this quick guide has given you an understanding of network and data cabling. With the explanation above, you should know the type of cable to use when next you want to install network cabling in your office.

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