Installing IT and network cables is relatively easy if you’re a little technology-savvy, but if you can’t tell your Ethernet cables from your Internet you can always hire an IT professional to install the cables for you.
IT and network cables are used to connect and transfer data between computers and a network. Over 70% of households in the UK have access to the internet and with this surge in technology; know-how when it comes to IT is becoming increasingly important.
There are a few different types of network cable and to decide which one you will need depends on your structure. There are four main types of network cable; unshielded twisted pair (UTP), coaxial cable, Ethernet crossover cable, Fiber optic network cables.
- The unshielded twisted pair is often used with Ethernet networks. It is comprised of four wires which are kept inside the lining of the cable, each pair is twisted (hence the name). It is twisted to prevent interference from other devices on the network. The way this cable is structured means it is a very reliable option and helps reduce the risk of network failure.
- An Ethernet crossover cable is used to connect an IT network with more than one computer, it also means the computers can be connected using network adaptors e.g. through the use of the network interface card (NIC). By using this type of network cable you will eliminate the need for network switches or routers.
- Coaxial cable is another type of network cable; however it isn’t used as much since UTP was developed. In the centre of the cable is a copper conductor, this is coated in plastic which acts as an insulator between the centre conductor and the metal shield. The entire cable is then covered with a coating; this may be any thickness, however the thicker the coating the less malleable the cable is, however it does provide further protection.
- Fiber optic network cables are usually used for networks that are spaced far apart and for this reason are not so common in the home. Because it spans large distances, the cabling has lots of layers of safety coating, to give it extra protection. Instead of transmitting electrical signals, it transmits light which means it is perfect for networks that are susceptible to electrical interference. Aside from that, it also transmits information very quickly and for this reason it is often used in big network environments such as businesses.
How to install fiber optic network cables:
Always hire a professional to safelyinstall IT and network cabling, they will:
- Place all parts of the network in the applicable room, remembering to place hubs and switches near the main computer on the network. Connect the cable to the computer and at the other end connect it to the wall outlet.
- Then plug the cable into a media converter (only if your computer has not got a specialised fiber optic outlet), this will change the date from light back into electricity. Then run a USB or Ethernet cable between the media converter to your computer.
- Run the fiber optic cables from the hub and plug in any additional computers through the cable.
- Ensure that the cables are not too taut when running from each device; it is also a good idea for safety reasons to tie cables together in twos instead of using tape.
How to install ethernet network cables
A professional will:
- Find a free Ethernet port on each piece of hardware you plan on connecting using the network cable. (Tip: These ports look like an enlarged telephone port)
- Connect one end of the network cable into the hardware; bear in mind they only fit in a certain orientation, so plug it in carefully and securely.
- Plug the other end of the network cable into the other piece of hardware and again, secure into place.
Cost of installing IT and network cabling
It you would like to hire a professional to supply and install your ITand networking cables a networking company will be able to give you aquote specific to your needs. However if you plan on doing the installationyourself then cables can cost anything from between £5 – £200 depending onyour requirements.