Which Patch Cables Should You Choose for Your Home's Wired Network System?

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Which Patch Cables Should You Choose for Your Home's Wired Network System?

28 April 2020
 Categories: , Blog

The increasing need for internet access has made it essential to have a home networking system. And while wireless networking is increasingly ubiquitous in homes across the world, many people still prefer a wired network system. And that is for a good reason. Wired network systems offer a wide range of benefits compared to their wireless counterparts. Some of these include higher speeds, improved security (wireless networks are vulnerable to hacking), and greater reliability because you do not have to worry about signal interference.

However, the trick to having the ideal wired home networking system is to invest in the right cabling. That in mind, here is a quick guide on the primary kinds of patch cables you can consider for your network system.

Unshielded Patch Cables

These cables are the most popular types of patch cabling you will find in the markets. They have the individual pairs of copper wires twisted together and encased inside a plastic cable tubing. One of the reasons many people prefer these cables is that they are affordable, costing less per metre compared to other types of cabling.

The cables also have a smaller diameter than other cabling types, which means they are much easier to work with when it comes to installation. On the downside, however, unshielded patch cables are generally more prone to radiofrequency and electromagnetic interference, which tends to affect the integrity of signals. Therefore, remember to keep the cabling far from things such as power cables to minimise the interference.

Shielded Patch Cables

Radiofrequency interference and electromagnetic interference will affect your internet signal's integrity by slowing down speeds, creating data errors, etc. To avoid this, consider shielded patch cabling. Unlike their unshielded counterparts, the twisted pairs of copper wires are confined in a mesh or foil shield before being enclosed in the plastic sheath or tubing. The mesh or foil protects against any form of electromagnetic or radiofrequency interference. Shielded patch cabling will also transmit data at higher speeds than unshielded options. However, the cabling is costlier than its unshielded counterpart, so keep that in mind when budgeting for the project. Also, the shielding increases the cabling's overall diameter as well as weight, which means installation can be a bit more complex.

Worth noting is that if you are looking to build a long-term, reliable, and durable home network infrastructure, it would be best to consider thicker cables. This will come in handy, especially where you need to run the cables, or patch leads, over longer distances.