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text 2019-12-05 13:00
Wired or Wireless: How to Choose Your Connection Type

Millennials know that Wi-Fi is superior no matter what you say. In 2019, you can play console-level games without a single cable, or even an actual physical console. You can put up a video of activity now while doing that activity, without a huge workstation setup.

We want to have seamless smart home routines and over the air software updates for our cars. We also don’t like it when our video buffers or when we experience friction in our media exchange. To make sure Wi-Fi is consistent, fast and available everywhere, a completely new industry has sprung up of Wi-Fi nodes. They help eliminate Wi-Fi dead zones.


We tend to do forget sometimes that Wi-Fi does not just exist, it’s available in the air. It comes from the router we have hidden in our closet or shoved behind the cabinet.

At the end of that router, there is an Ethernet cable. One that you do have to occasionally replace. The nature of this Ethernet cable depends on whether your internet needs are for your home or office. While there are multiple iterations of this cable, two of them are the most popular: Cat5e cable and Cat6a cable.


The main difference between them is the speed and reliability of the internet connection. This is not to say that either is bad. Cat5e cable is perfect for household uses, whereas the Cat6a cable is perfect for office-related use.


Let us walk through a general home and office use case scenario:


Home Internet Use:


Homes vary in sizes, but if you take a standard three-bedroom house, it is likely that just one router is not going to do the trick. This is where Wi-Fi nodes come in. You can use one Cat5e cable for the main router to connect to your modem, and then add the nodes simply with their power plugs around the house. This will create a mesh Wi-Fi network in your house, making connectivity that much better in all corners of the house. Say goodbye to buffering!


In a home, internet usage is generally that of entertainment or education. With a reliable connection, that is a result of this cable and the mesh network, your Wi-Fi can be better. This means you can stream movies without buffering at high resolutions, play games online seamlessly as well as take online classes and attend webinars.


For Office Internet Usage:


Now if the office only had two, three or even five devices that needed to connect to the internet, the obvious choice would be Wi-Fi. But if that is not the case, and you need to get internet access to more devices, then go with wired connections. Offices require seamless internet as their work depends on it. You should go with the Cat6a cable as it works at a bandwidth of 250 MHz.


You need to have an Ethernet cable per computer. But computers are not the only thing that requires an Ethernet cable in an office. Depending on the kind of company, it might have to maintain servers. This is where the use of the Cat6a cable really comes in handy.

The speed it gives can give instantaneous connections for over 10 people at the same time.


The difference in such Ethernet cables is not that one is superior to the other, but that their uses are generally different. There is no harm if you use these cables interchangeably, but it might affect the productivity of the office a little bit.


The advantage of such a wired connection is that they are speedier, and the obstacles that apply to Wi-Fi, don’t apply here. These obstacles include the placement of the router, walls, trees, and other objects. Wired connections don’t have such issues.


As opposed to wired connections, when you want to go with Wi-Fi, you should take care of the wiring of the router. And these cables are top of the line right now and will be for the coming wave of extensive internet usage over the next couple of years.


At SF Cable, we have Ethernet cables in all varieties, and CAT6a and CAT5e are some of the most popular amongst all. You can get them in a variety of colors and lengths.


Source: https://www.sfcable.com/blog/wired-wireless-choose-connection-type

Source: www.sfcable.com/blog/wired-wireless-choose-connection-type
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text 2019-07-24 12:56
4 Things to Take Care of in a Data Center

In 2017, at the Worldwide Developer Conference, in the opening video, Apple showed a very interesting thing. They wanted to highlight the fact that the world cannot be without apps. A data center employee accidentally unplugged the servers to plug in his waterfall, and in doing so, turned off the data center. This turned off all the apps and there was an APP-pocalypse.


What this also highlighted was that without data centers, most apps would stop working! Apps heavily depend on the cloud infrastructure that Amazon, Google and Microsoft (mainly) provide. So the app that you use most could stop working if the data center stopped working.


The data center needs to run perfectly if it is going to be able to deliver that kind of consistency. To ensure that it runs smoothly at all times, you have to keep in mind 4 main things:


1. Cabling

  • Structured Cabling
  • Unstructured Cabling

2. Cooling
3. Security
4. Electricity


Let’s look at all of these metrics in detail:


1. Cabling:


Servers require bulk Ethernet cables and there are two ways to set the servers up in terms of cabling:


Structured cabling: This type of cabling uses predefined points of connection and pathways, based on already existing standards. The bandwidth required by the system determines the kind of cabling to use when it comes to structured design. You have to label the cables accurately. Structured cabling is a well-organized system.


Unstructured cabling: This kind of cabling is Point-to-Point cabling. It does not have defined connection points or pathways. The airflow in this type of system can be restricted and this can create cooling issues. Because it is unorganized, it can be difficult to move or add servers to this system, and it increases the downtime in case of issues that need fixing.


2. Cooling:


In a setup, that has a huge number of servers: Ethernet cables, optic cables, and constant flow of electricity, it can get plenty hot. Excessive heat is not a good thing in such close quarters. So to maintain a cooler atmosphere in a data center, you can scale back on lighting. Once set up, it only requires little daily changes, so less lighting or special lighting, depending on the frequency of humans going in, can help in maintaining the temperature. Natural ventilation can also help to some level but you would need to outfit dedicated cooling units per a certain number of racks, as well as manage the overall environment. With a smart environmental management system in place, you can make sure that your servers shut down before succumbing to fluctuations in temperature.


3. Security:


A data center houses sensitive data about apps, customer data, etc. Therefore, it is imperative that you take measures to maintain tight security. You should install security cameras in a way that you can see all corners and aisles. They should also be of the kind that let you see any activity in low light. However, it is not enough to protect it against data breaches and human errors. You also have to have measures in place in case of natural calamities. Take into account the design of the infrastructure so that it can withstand earthquakes, floods, etc. These precautions can save you a massive loss of data and expense in the long run.


4. Electricity:


Just like you have to account for other calamities, you also have to keep in mind that electricity can stop without notice, for multiple reasons. This is why you have to have a backup power supply in case your electricity fails. This way your backup power kicks in before anything goes majorly wrong.


These are the four most important things that you have to take care of in a data center. Apart from these things, there are other equally important but second level details to keep in mind, such as what Ethernet cable you want to use, how many server racks you want to have, the material for the infrastructure, the lighting you want in the data center, etc.


The world needs apps, and apps function if you take care of these four things in a data center. Keeping it connected to the internet with the right Ethernet cable is the most important thing.


If you found this article useful, here are some other articles that may be of interest.


Types of Computer Cables You Must Know About

8 Ingenious Hacks to Hide Every Cable in Your Room

Understanding the Utility and Importance of Ethernet Ports

Source: www.sooperarticles.com/communications-articles/broadband-internet-articles/4-things-take-care-data-center-1732931.html
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text 2019-07-22 09:25
Cat 7 vs Cat 8 Cables: What's the Difference?

Supposedly, you have to install data cables for your newly built house. But don’t have any clue about them. And we all know that it can get overwhelming with the variety of ethernet cables available in the market such as Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, Cat7, cat8, and so on.


So, if you are selecting the cable for your place then it is important to understand their features and capabilities.


Presently, Cat 7 and Cat 8 cables are marking their presence in the market with their efficiency and compatibilities with other ports. And complicated questions are bound to arise like if using Cat 8 with standard Cat 7 would work or not.



To answer such questions before they arise, let’s understand Cat 7 and Cat 8 in details including their main differentiating point.


General Information:


Cat 7 Cables:


Category 7 cable known as a Cat7 or Cat-7 cable is used to cable the infrastructure of Gigabit Ethernet. It offers up to 600MHz. A perfect choice to cable your smart home. After cabling, you can even check for the automation ideas. It supports high-speed ethernet communication up to 10 Gbps. These are backward compatible with Cat6, Cat5, and Cat5e categories. It provides a 100-meter 4-connector channel with shielded cabling. They require twisted wires to become a full shield system. Such systems are known as screen shielded twisted pair (SSTP) or screened foiled twisted pair (SFTP) wiring. It eliminates alien cross-talk with improved noise resistance. It allows users to get higher speeds with longer cables.


Cat 8 Cables:


Category 8, Cat8 cable or Cat-8 cable is an ethernet cable which is a different type of cable standing apart from the previous cables. It supports a frequency of up to 2GHz(2000 MHz). It is limited up to the 30-meter 2-connector channel. It requires shielded cabling as well. The major point to consider is that it can support a speed of 35 Gbps or 40 Gbps. Overall, its physical appearance is similar to lower category cables. They terminate in RJ45 connections or non-RJ45 connections. It is compatible with all its backward versions. You can use it with the standard connectors of previous versions such as Cat-7.


Cat 7 Vs Cat 8 Comparison


While comparing these cables transmission frequency and cabling length are of great importance. Here is the detailed comparison:




Cat7 cable offers performance up to 600 MHz Whereas Cat8 offers up to 2000 MHz


Cabling Length:


The maximum cabling length of Cat 7 network is 100m with 10 Gbps. Whereas Cat8 is limited to 30m cabling length with 25 Gbps or 40 Gbps.




If we consider pricing, Cat 8 cables are more expensive than other standards considering its unique features.




Both the cables have shielding cable construction. Cat 7 cable offers extensive shielding for reduced attenuation. And they require special GigaGate45 connectors to attain the full advantage of its higher performance features.


As Category 7 cables offer 1 100-meter 4-connector channel with shielded cabling, even if it operates at a higher frequency, there would be no improvement in data rate. Because 10GBase-T is still the fastest twisted pair-based data rate recognized by IEEE 802.3. Hence, even if a Category 7 cabling system is there in your network, any available active equipment would have limitations up to 10-Gbit/sec performance. It is not a recognized category by TIA.


Category 8 cables require shielded cabling. Unlike Cat5e to Cat6A, it does not come with an unshielded twisted pair. The most likely cable construction for Category 8 will be 22-AWG S/FTP cabling.


Features Summary:



Pros And Cons:


Cat 7 Cables:


  • Pros – Shielded with a higher operating frequency than Cat6a cables.
  • Cons – They are a bit expensive. They require 40 to 60% more space to contain the cable and different connections. Their testing is trickier and requires modern test equipment. There is no real speed advantage over a good Cat6a system.


Cat 8 Cables:


  • Pros – The fastest copper network is available for any distance.
  • Cons – Due to different connectors, they are not compatible with cat5e and cat 6 cables. These cables are expensive than the previous versions.


Pick Your Choice!


These cables are modern-day products designed to cable appropriate environments. Based on the feature comparison, you can pick your choice to make a that fits your requirement and helps you render maximum data speed.


Here is a detailed overview of the differences between Cat 7 and Cat 8 cables. Understand their features and their use cases for a high-speed network system. 


Still confused which cable to pick? Post your query in the comment section below and we’ll try our best to help you out.

Source: www.sfcable.com/blog/cat-7-vs-cat-8-cables-difference
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text 2019-07-11 10:41
The Future of Network Cabling: Fiber & Copper Together

With the technological advancements & increasing internet speed raises a question as to whether to use traditional copper as the physical interconnector or upgrade to fiber to support these higher speeds.


In this blog post, we are going to see the main difference and consequences of using both on the same platform.


Size And Space:


The main difference will be fluctuation in size and weight. Everyone has seen a traditional Cat5/Cat6 and a fiber cable. The clear difference here is that a duplex fiber optic cable provides 25 percent space savings and 50 percent weight savings over shielded bulk cat5e cable. Moreover, optical fiber cables are lighter, thinner, and more efficient than their copper counterparts. However, it is important to note that fiber cables are a bit more fragile and require special tools to terminate connections.


Transmission Speed:


Traditional Cat5 twisted pair copper cables support a transmission rate of 100 Megabits per second. On the same side, Cat 6 supports an impressive rate of 10 Gigabits per second up to a distance of 300 feet.



Whereas new fiber cables and new transmission protocols are booming each and every day. For mobile military platforms, fiber can support anywhere from 100Mbps up 10 Gbps. However, in data centers and service provider interconnects, fiber support the speed of 40, 50, 75, and 100 Gbps. And you can even see 400Gbps speed tested and implemented.


Signal Loss:


One of the major disadvantages of copper bulk ethernet cable is that they experience mass signal loss over long distances. If we look at the effective limit of a copper run, that is about 100 meters. Other distances longer than that require ethernet switch, ethernet extender or media converter that can basically link two runs of copper together. Another way is to terminate the copper run and add a link to a fiber connection for the additional distance.


On the other hand, fiber optic cables can run without significant signal loss over longer distances. As new technologies are constantly coming ahead, a single mode fiber can support up to 100 Gbps up to 10km without any significant signal loss.


EMI And Cross Talk:


Copper cabling is responsive to crosstalk and both radio frequency and EMI as it transfers an electrical signal. Cat6 Ethernet cables lessen the interference, but it does not escape it. The interference can be controlled with several measures which include an internal spline to separate the twisted pairs.


As the fiber optic cable doesn’t carry electricity but light, it is immune to the interference problem which can plague copper cabling.


Environmental Concerns:


Copper cables can potentially be a fire hazard in the long run. Because there is an electrical current passing through a plug which can wear over time. Whereas there is no electricity involved in the transmission of fiber optic signals, there is no concern of fire. Many users believe that fiber’s size and weight make it less resistant to the installation. But the fact is fiber is more durable with a higher tension limit than copper and stands up to environmental changes.


But why till date many of the platforms still use traditional bulk cat5e cable/cat 5 cables?

  • Till the date, fiber was an expensive cable. The overall economics of fiber has changed globally over the years; hence, the cost is becoming a less mitigation factor.
  • Fiber is sensitive metal. It reacts on twisting and kinking. It is a complex install. It changes rapidly with newer fibers, connectors and installation tools.
  • There is a huge installed base of copper, which is here to stay. Hence, many of them feel that the change of copper cables to fiber is optional.
  • A huge number of devices which need to connect still have only copper connector interfaces.


In the meantime, there are various ways to handle this situation. Many bulk ethernet cables and switches support the connection of copper as well as fiber. This way, devices connected with either physical medium will be able to communicate with each other. In such a scenario, physical media converters can act as a bridge between the two media offering a range of configurations which support fiber in/copper out or copper in/fiber out or many other configurations.


When it comes to big enterprises and data service providers, they have the way to replace copper with fiber in almost every new deployment. However, mobile and airborne platforms lag behind this evolution for many reasons. Speed requirements are not that much in demand, but field repairs and deployments are often harder. And finally, there comes the cost factor. We can expect to see the continued evolution from copper to fiber, but at a controlled pace. In the meantime, we can continue seeing the physical intermediary technologies that co-exist for many years to come.


Though fiber cables have replaced the traditional ways the copper cables used to work, there is a way they can co-exist. Find out how


If you found this Blog post useful, here are some other Blog posts that may be of interest.




Source: www.sfcable.com/blog/future-network-cabling-fiber-copper-together
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text 2019-06-27 09:34
Cat 8 Cables: Soon to be a Boon in An Average User’s Life
Cat 8 cables are still new and shiny. Pretty much no one uses them at home, yet. They are incredibly fast at 25Gbps to 40Gbps speeds. That kind of speed is only useful in a more industrial setting and after all, only such settings can afford the cost of it.
The question to ask is what are the possible uses of such an extravagant speed that this particular network cable gives?
We associate Internet speed with getting information faster, getting data faster.
Since Cat 8 cables are made of copper as opposed to glass in optical fiber cables, they are more durable. They are more cost-effective as well.
Cat 8 cables are useful in data centers that power all kinds of businesses and the internet, as we know it. While having your Twitter feed update faster than you can blink is great, but there is more to it.
Having information about an accident on your daily commute route, before you leave for work is good so that you can avoid it. However, even this is a small issue in the face of getting information about an avalanche, landslide or a flood. This is not solely dependent on network cables but they are a big part of it. Getting the right information at the right time is what counts, at the end of the day.
Let us focus on two daily uses of the internet that your average consumer does not realize as heavy usage:

IoT enabled smart home:


That is the concept behind having smart homes, smart workspaces and smart cars, that it helps us be more proactive in how we live our lives. Machine learning techniques power these smarts. Humans are creatures of habit, and the idea behind machine learning is that it learns your habits, and your preferences to always give you the right information at the right time. All of these smart things work because of the internet. The faster the internet, the better your smart devices and setup work!
If you are looking to build a house from the ground up or changing all the cabling, you can put in Cat 8 cables. While it is not entirely necessary for perhaps a decade, it may be useful someday. It is a good thing that it is backwards compatible, like its predecessors. So even if you don’t immediately connect your modem and devices via a Cat 8 cable but perhaps a Cat 6 or Cat 7, you should be fine for a few years. 
When it comes to a smart home, it consists of smart thermostats, security cameras, smart doorbells, and smart lights, smart plugs, smart blinds, and smart garage doors. The high-speed internet that comes with this particular network cable keeps all of them connected to the internet, so you can be in touch with your home from wherever you are. If you forgot to turn off the lights, you can turn them off while getting to work. You can see who is at your front door by opening your security camera app even if you are sitting on a different continent. As simple as this sounds from the end user point of view, it takes continuous data transfers at very high speed.



Another industry where a faster network cable is good as well as necessary is entertainment. With cloud gaming gaining traction, both you and the data centers that host the game, need fast speed internet, to stream it in real time with virtually no lag. A Cat 6 cable helps you do just that, so all your gaming experience is fun. This is not limited to cloud gaming. You can use this cable for your gaming consoles as well, as most of them have an Ethernet port. Digital gaming or video gaming is the kind of activity where you will only be able to really enjoy the experience if it is fully immersive.
Gaming is no longer limited to console gaming or even cloud gaming, there is virtual reality gaming as well as augmented reality (multiplayer augmented reality gaming also exists) gaming. Both of these won’t function with a weak or slow internet connection.
Gaming is no longer just about gaming for yourself. There is a whole gaming community, many of who stream their adventures online. People play games online while talking about the game with anyone who wants to join in the conversation. This means that while you are streaming a game online, you are also live streaming video or audio of you playing that game. This requires a frictionless internet experience.
All of this is to say that as humans we are only going to need the internet to be faster and more reliable as our dependence on it increases day by day. So, you have to pay attention to what you are powering that internet with and if it is capable of withstanding that traffic in the long run.
Cat 8 cables will help you have that seamless smart home and gaming experience that you have always wanted. Take a look at why a fast reliable network cable influences that.
If you found this Article useful, here are some other Articles that may be of interest.
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