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Choosing The Cabling For Your Office





? What sort of cabling should you use in your offices, cat5, cat6, cat7? You see when you are considering office cabling, you need to choose a grade that is suitable for your needs.

There is no point in having a higher grade than you need just as it is inadvisable to use a lower grade when you require the next level up. So consider carefully your actual requirements before deciding. Your contractor will be able to advise you on what will be best.

Obviously, the higher category cabling is more expensive and cost must come into your plans too. Your budget will need to cover not only the cost of the cabling but also installation and full testing. You should also think about the lifespan of the cabling you choose. As a general rule, the higher the grade, the longer the lifespan. The different grades allow for different levels of use, so if you only have a small office with a limited network, a cat 5e might be enough. On the other hand if your office is a large one or is expanding, then you will require cat 6 or cat 7 cabling to satisfy your usage.

Cat 5e cabling will become less used as technology advances and you should realise that it has a lifespan of approximately five years. It is generally used for networks like the 100BASE-TX Ethernet but cannot support systems above this and is limited to 100m in length. So do take time to think about where your business is likely to be in say 3 years time when considering this level of cabling.

Cat 6 cabling is compatible with cat 5 and cat 5e, so can be used in conjunction. Category 6 cable is capable of a much higher workload and is suitable for use in fast Ethernet, gigabit Ethernet and 10 gigabit Ethernet. This cabling features a more rigorous spec for system noise and crosstalk, which reduces interference. Its lifespan is generally around 10 years, so this is a longer term choice for your offices.

Cat 7 cabling is currently the most advanced at the present time and can support networks and applications exceeding 10 gigabit Ethernet. The lifespan of category 7 cabling is approximately 15 years. This level of cabling incorporates even more stringent specifications against 'cross talk' and to accomplish this, individual wire pairs plus the entire cable is shielded. This is high performance cabling for larger networked offices.

There are several points to consider when choosing the right sort of cabling for your office networks and these include: the cost of the cabling, installation and testing. You should also take into account the lifecycle of the cabling and where you plan to be in x number of years and if you need to upgrade, how much that will cost.

Do not forget that if the system fails for any reason, how long and how much it will cost for that down time. You do need the right tools for the job, so do talk to your contractor and obtain all the information you can so that you can make an informed choice.


About Author Graham Baylis :

Running a business these days means using computers and many other types of IT equipment. This collection of IT hardware is a vital part of any enterprise these days, and it needs support. Computers do go wrong and users make mistakes, many of which require expert help to fix. Graham Baylis knows all of this only too well and is working with MJC in the Midlands to spread the word. See <a href="http://www.mjcgroup.co.uk" target="_blank">http://www.mjcgroup.co.uk</a>


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Article Added on Friday, July 30, 2010
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