What Is the Maximum Length for Each Type of Network Cable?

What Is the Maximum Length for Each Type of Network Cable?

Many of us use network cables for devices in various settings, such as sharing data and important information in offices or data centers. Each network cable is different, with certain features and structures that make them unique. The length of each network cable varies and influences various aspects of a cable’s ability within a network. Knowing these cable lengths will give you a better understanding of why some cables have the length they do and how that length affects a network.

Ethernet Cables

Many high-speed connections are possible thanks to the efficiency of ethernet cables. These cables generally have a maximum length of 328 feet or 100 meters, regardless of whether they are shielded or unshielded twisted pairs. If the ethernet cable runs longer than this length, the signal loss will begin, resulting in reduced speed and a weaker signal.

All categories of ethernet cable must remain at this length or lower regardless of their bandwidth or transfer speed, as the ethernet channel—the end-to-end connection between two devices—begins to thin out as lengths increase. Shorter cables will create stronger connections because the channel isn’t as spread out, so it’s best to keep the maximum length of each network cable in mind when creating your network.

Coaxial Cables

When you need to connect to an internet or cable provider, a coaxial cable is ideal for your devices. The bandwidth of a coaxial cable is higher than a twisted pair ethernet cable due to its multiplied maximum length. A coaxial cable may reach a distance of 1,604.4 feet, or 500 meters, before signal loss may occur.

This length and higher bandwidth make coaxial cables optimal for networks spanning greater distances. However, various types of coaxial cables will have different maximum lengths, such as the RG6 running as far as 1,000ft or an RG59 having a maximum distance of 750 feet. It’s important to take note of the coaxial you use so that you know the maximum length of the network cable and can achieve a stable connection over various distances.

Fiber Optic Cables

A fiber optic cable will be a great addition to any network because it provides faster transfer speeds and greater bandwidth than cables that use metal conduits. These cables outclass some of the most reliable network cables and make great computer cables for transferring large amounts of data over long distances. They have a greater maximum distance than ethernet and coaxial cables, with an estimated 66,000 feet for multimode cables and 660,000 feet for single mode. These maximum lengths mean fiber optic cables may run for miles before losing signal, allowing them to connect a whole network within a multi-story building.

Having the best cable for your networking needs is an important aspect of any network cable. Remember the maximum length of these network cables to ensure you have the signal strength and reliable connection you want in your network.

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