Computers and other equipment data networks that need to be connected to the network will use either a copper cable, fiber optic or will connect to a wireless access point using radio as a medium. If you are linking to your Ethernet switch or network interface on something like a home broadband router then copper cable will be required to provide physical medium over which data communications protocol will run.
TCP / IP is far the most common data networking protocol suite in use, with the most common Ethernet data-link protocol. Ethernet runs on two pairs of copper wire with a pair using the transmission and the other pair to receive data signals between two connected devices, one of which will be computer and the other will be some kind of data-link layer switch.
Cables for use with network known by many terms including, Computer Cable, Ethernet Cable, Network Cable Patch Cable or even CAT5 cable. They are all essentially the same with 8 copper wire itself encased in some sort of insulating material, a full bundle of insulated wires rather hear an outer insulation layer. This Patch Cables are sometimes referred to as twisted pair, where four pairs of wires are twisted together with a precise number of twists per meter in an attempt to fight something known as “crosstalk”. That actually means stop signal pair of wires interfere with the signals of the second pair.
Most copper patch cables will be found with RJ-45 modular connectors on both ends for easy connection to a computer and Ethernet switches. The isolation of the individual wires are color coded so that each pair of wires can be easily identified and properly. This patch cables evolved from cables originally designed to connect phones and the most common standard for telephone cables was know as a Category 3 or Cat3 for short. Unfortunately, these cables were not very good to carry high speed data in modern data networks in these days we will use Cat5, Cat5e or Cat6 cable.
Category 5 cable is a cable rate performance up to 100MHz and can be used for 10Mbps, 100Mbps or 1000Mbps Ethernet signals using 10BaseT, 100BaseTX or 1000BASE standards. For 1000BASE standard, it is often recommended that Category 5e (enhanced) is used because of its ability to better combat crosstalk. Cat5e still has bandwidth capacity and the original CAT5 traditional 100MHz. A lot of professional organizations are now at Category 6 cable in an attempt to future proof their data networks because it has a bandwidth capacity of up to 250MHz and even better, better crosstalk specifications. In addition, Cat6 cable can be used with the new 10GBase standard for 10 Gigabit Ethernet. For home users Cat5e will provide adequate performance for most applications, but what you want to pay a little extra for Cat6 cable then it is fully backward compatible.
Ethernet cables have limits on the maximum length of cable may be used, and this is due to feature the work with Ethernet standard known as collision detection. The distance for any Ethernet Patch Cable whether Cat5, Cat5e or Cat6 is 100 meters when used in Half-duplex mode. If you need a longer cable run of the repeater or bridge would be used, otherwise you could experience some performance problems.
You can buy Ethernet patch cables in various lengths or even buy roll cable if you have multiple cables and feel confident to secure the RJ-45 connector. For home users, buy a patch cable to the appropriate length is easy and cables come in a wide range of colors so you can color code system.
There are occasions when you might want to connect two computers or two Ethernet switches together. If you need to do this then you have what is known as a crossover cable, but does you have the ability to sense the type of connection. Crossover cables have pins 1 to 3 and 2 to 6 across from end to end, and in other instances you may need crossover cable are when you need to connect the router to router, Hub to Hub or Hub Switch.
I would recommend buying Ethernet patch cable network unless you have a local outlet where prices are comparable.