The Different Kinds Of Cables Explained

When it comes to cabling your business’ IT infrastructure, there are many options from which to choose. You might be a bit confused, and unsure about the type of infrastructure that’s right for your company’s specific needs. But there’s no need to worry! We’re happy to help you figure out what kinds of cabling will make the most sense.

Monmouth County, NJ companies in need of voice and data cabling can count on us to provide them with a job well done at a reasonable price. Today, we’re going to delve into three common types of cables to help you better understand how they differ, and what situations they are best applied to. Read on about to learn more, then touch base.

Category 5 and Cat5e

Category 5, more commonly known as cat5, cables carry signals via a twisted pair system. In other words, they include two conductors that are twisted together, thus eliminating EMI (or electromagnetic interference). To speak in less scientific jargon, cat5 cables are the most basic way to carry a signal. Chances are, your network of computers connect to the internet individual via Ethernet cables—which are the most common use for cat5 cables these days.

Nowadays, most cat5 cables have been enhanced to tighten crosstalk, and those cables are called cat5e. However, cat5 and cat5e cables do not differ in terms of bandwidth. Your office’s Ethernet cables are likely of the cat5e variety.


The cat5 was surpassed by the cat5e, but it doesn’t stop there. Cat6 cables now exist, giving networks even further performance enhancement. Namely, they possess even more tightened and complete crosstalk specifications, and come with 10-gigabit Ethernet. Cat6 cables can communicate at virtually twice the speed of their cat5 counterparts.

Optical Fiber

As far as the world of cabling goes, optical fiber in correlation to category 5 and 6 cables is like comparing apples and oranges. Fiber optics employs total internal reflection to deploy data from point a to point b at high speeds with laser light via mirrors. Beyond speed, fiber optics is downright cleaner than copper cabling. There is no such thing as electrical interference because fiber optics uses light, rather than electricity, thus allowing it to be applied in virtually any location.

While optical fiber is technically the superior performing cable type, that doesn’t mean it’s certainly necessary for your business. Fiber optics is ideal for some situations, but for a variety of other networks, cat5 and cat6 cables do the trick just fine. As you might imagine, fiber optics is a bit pricier than copper cabling.

Either way, if you need assistance with voice and data cabling for your Mercer County, NJ area business, we’ll be glad to consult you and get you squared away with the most appropriate infrastructure. Reach out today to learn more about what cables are right for YOUR business!