Imagine picking up a landline phone and making a call or plugging your computer in with an Ethernet cable. Both of these utilize cables in the communication cable family. So why are some communication cables also called Ethernet cables, while others have unusual names like jelly filled cables? The cables get their name from their most common use, while communication cable just defines the general use of the cables in that family. Picture communication cables as a family tree, and each branch of the tree is a different type of cable within the family. However, there are a few more branches in the communication cable family than just Ethernet and jelly filled, so let’s get into the types of communication cables.
If you’ve ever had to get behind your TV to adjust the connection, you probably tightened the coaxial cable. For anyone transmitting data, video, radio, digital audio, and cable TV, the coaxial cable has proven to be the best option available for decades. In general, coaxial cables work by connecting a satellite antenna to someone’s home or office building. In fact, coaxial cables remain as the standard cable for most satellite television companies, along with a few other cables like an HDMI, for instance.
Different types of coaxial cables serve different needs. First, there’s a hardline cable, which simply has a metal shield along with copper wires inside. Next, there’s a triaxial cable, which is similar to a hardline cable, only there’s additional shielding to protect the cable from signals that could counteract the connection.
One of the most flexible communication cables is a CCTV cable, and the reason these cables are flexible is because they’re usually installed in awkward places. For instance, many homes and businesses have video surveillance to protect their property and assets, and people usually install CCTV cameras in ceilings or on the outside of buildings. So that requires workers to run CCTV cables through ceilings, walls, and sometimes floors.
Some of the most common types of CCTV cables are RG59, RG6, and even Ethernet and coaxial cables. However, most professionals consider RG59 cables the standard for any CCTV installation. On the other hand, if you’re experiencing problems with poor video quality or interruptions, you may want RG6 cables because they have additional shielding to counteract interruptions.
Possibly the most familiar of all the cables in this list are Ethernet cables—sometimes referred to as LAN cables. Ethernet cables help households and businesses connect to the internet by connecting the cable to the router, which provides network signals for other devices. If you’ve ever had to call your internet provider’s customer support about a network problem, they usually walk you through a few steps. One of the steps, after unplugging the router and plugging it back in, is they’ll have you check that your ethernet cable isn’t loose or plugged in incorrectly.
Ethernet cables utilize different types of construction. For example, the most common cables are category cables, also known as Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat6a. Each of these category cables has advantages; for instance, a higher number (Cat6 vs. Cat5e) indicates a larger bandwidth. In addition, each of these category cables can have a different construction. For example, most of the copper cables will have a twisted construction. From there, you can decide if you want a shielded or unshielded cable. In general, the shielded cables have a layer of shielding that reduces the risk of connection issues—you can probably guess what the unshielded cable doesn’t have. Lastly, if you’re looking for the fastest data transmission speeds available, consider fiber optic Ethernet cables. The technology of fiber optics essentially uses the speed of light to its advantage, while standard copper cables use electrical currents.
When’s the last time you saw a landline phone in someone’s home? It’s weird, right? Yet, while landline phones aren’t very common in households anymore, businesses and office buildings still use them regularly. When we think of a telephone cable, many of us picture the typical RJ12 cable—a thin cable with a clear end connector. We usually picture telephone cables as the RJ12 because that’s what most household phones have, and some businesses have them too. However, to avoid network interruptions, some manufacturers are designing phone docks with Ethernet and coaxial connectors because those cables offer a better connection. Some phone system installers still choose RJ12 cables, while others are taking advantage of Ethernet or coaxial capabilities. There’s no right or wrong way to set up your phones, as long as you’re using the appropriate cable.
Jelly Filled Cables
The cable with the most interesting name, jelly filled cables, looks exactly like what the name implies. Jelly filled cables are commonly installed underground, leaving them prone to moisture and damage over time. So instead of digging up traditional cables every time they’re damaged, you can use jelly filled cables to reduce, or possibly eliminate, the chance for moisture to damage the cable. In most jelly filled cables, there’s an insulation layer of some sort, but all of them have petroleum jelly filling any gaps around the wires. The petroleum jelly resists moisture and protects the cable from damage.
So now that you understand that some of these cables overlap in terms of their applications, you can see how versatile they are. For instance, Ethernet cables can connect your phones, and they more commonly connect you to the internet. There are several uses for most of these types of communication cables, but their primary use is to allow you to communicate efficiently with the help of technology.
If you’re in the market for communication cables, CableWholesale has an extensive inventory of high-quality cables to shop from. We stock everything from 1000 ft. Ethernet cables to coaxial cables to telephone cables and more. However, we don’t stop at great products; we have an experienced team that can help you find the best cable for your needs and ultimately provide excellent customer support. If you don’t know which of our cables would best suit your needs, contact us today, and we’ll be happy to help you find what you need.