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In the current time, communication is significantly reliant on the connection of a cable or a wire to make it effective. This is because it is done through electronic gadgets in order to send and receive information. The most popular kinds of cables used for communication today are the coaxial cable, fiber optic cable, and the twisted pair cable (Robertazzi, 2017). All of these cables could be used to facilitate network communication hence requiring to focus on their differences.
This type of cable tends to be the most popularly used since it is made up of just two wire which is insulated and twisted together. It is also used to make ordinary telephone cables as well as the data communication cables. This type of cable is also considered as the least costly when compared to other transmission media that are utilized for local area networks. It is easy to install as well as to work with. One of the disadvantages of the unshielded twisted pair cables is the vulnerability to be affected by electromagnetic interference. There are also some other interferences like noise and neighboring twisted pairs present in the environment. In order to deal with this disadvantage, one is supposed to shield the twisted pair while using a metallic braid or covering with the ability to reduce the interference. The UTP has various categories which vary in transmission distances. For instance, category 3 has a transmission feature of 16MHZ, category 4 has 20 MHZ, and category 5 has 100 MHZ.In regards to bandwidth, this type of cable has a lower bandwidth when compared to the fiber optic since it is less than 10Gbps. It has a lower cost per meter since it ranges from $4 to $6.
The termination costs of the UTP is nowadays easier than before due to the enhancement of technology which makes it less costly. This is seen when compared to fiber optic which is very difficult. Conversion is however difficult for this cable especially in the absence of media converters which facilitate the utilization of seamless connections. The UTP can transmit over long distances with the help of amplifiers and they are used in telephone networks. Coaxial Cable This type of cable has two conductors just like the twisted cable. However, it is constructed in a different way in order to facilitate its operation over a variety of frequencies. It has a hollow conductor that is on the outer side and is cylindrical in shape and surrounds one inner wire conductor. This cable has a diameter of 1 cm or 2.5 cm. It could be used over long distances and in many stations compared to the twisted cable (Oliviero & Woodward, 2014).
Coaxial cable is one of the most adaptable transmission media since it could be used in various ways. Therefore, it is used in the spreading of television, local area networks, telephone transmissions over long distances, and connection of computers over short distances. One of the advantages of the coaxial cable is that its frequency features are greater than those of the twisted pair. This makes it able to be used in higher data rates as well as frequencies. Its protected concentric structure increases its capacity to tolerate interferences compared to the twisted pair. Transmission from these cables is done through an analog or digital form.
Therefore, this affects the distance of transmitting the network as analog spectrum ranges to an approximate of 50MHZ whereas the digital reaches about a kilometer but there is a need to use repeaters for each kilometer if signals are intended to be transmitted over a significant distance. It is, however, difficult to convert the signals transmitted by this cable hence making it expensive compared to the twisted pair. Its cost per meter is about $1 hence making it cheaper than the twisted pair. The cost of installation is also higher when compared to the fiber optic since it lacks the ability to continuously reduce its prices as the fiber components do. The bandwidth of the coaxial cable is significantly lower than the fiber bandwidth since it does not even reach the ordinary performance of 10Gbps.
Cost is very critical when undertaking actions associated with system design since it usually affects the kind of cable one may use. Therefore, it is important to consider the fiber optic since it is higher compared to the rest of the cable type as it needs to ensure that every single format is off and on the fiber. It is however relatively costly compared to the universal UTP and significantly cheaper compared to the finest quality. In connection with termination costs, it is expensive to terminate fiber from the fields but the introduction of fiber tools have facilitated the action as well as the rate of termination. This kind of cable has an exceptional bandwidth compared to the rest since it has an ordinary performance that reaches 10 Gbps.
The signal from the fiber cable is created by light hence ensuring a minimal loss of signal during the process of transmission. This facilitates its speed and ensures that transmission is done over significant distances. This cable does not require a 100-meter restriction of distances like the unshielded twisted pair as its distances are influenced by the network, the style of cable, and the wavelength. The distance of transmission could be between 550 meters for 10 Gbps to about 40 km for a single mode cable (Ma & Jia, 2017). The optical fiber is used for various reasons which comprise of subscriber loops, local area network, metropolitan trucks, long-haul trunks, and rural exchange trunks. The conversion of the fiber optic signals has been difficult until recently when the media converters were introduced making it easier and less costly.
Therefore, since today communication relies on electronic gadgets, it is important to consider the differences among the cables used to facilitate communication. These differences reveal the most reliable cables as well as the most unreliable and expensive cables. One is hence able to make appropriate decisions about the kind of cables that suit their needs.
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