Ethernet and network cables are some of the most important things we’ve created over the past decade. These have allowed us to have internet connectivity and all the things that come with it. However, only a few people understand how they really work. That’s why we’ve written this article to help you learn more about them.
If you’ve been reading around about networks and the cables used in connections, you’ve probably come across the term Ethernet cables. This is sometimes used interchangeably with network cables, but are they actually the same? To give you a basic understanding of Ethernet connections, we’ll show you what they actually are.
Ethernet vs. Network Cable
When searching for definitions of these two terms, you will find that both of them are used to transmit data from one storage location to another. This understandably leads to confusion. However, if you dig a little deeper, they actually differ in three aspects, which are range, classification, and application.
A network cable is an umbrella of different types of connections, and Ethernet is one of them. Any cable that you use to connect one network to another is classified as a network cable. On the other hand, an Ethernet cable is only used in Ethernet environments such as LAN, WAN, or MAN. It also often has a copper core.
Another important difference between Ethernet and network cables is how they are classified. There are different types or classifications of network cables, and while an Ethernet cable is technically also a network cable, it is still subdivided into different categories. For example, anything from Cat5 to Cat7 cable is considered an Ethernet cable.
A network is generally defined as any connection made between at least two devices. This means that all connections, including wireless connections such as Wi-Fi or WLAN, are under the umbrella of a network. On the other hand, Ethernet cables are only used in wired connections.
Benefits of Using Ethernet Cables
With the sudden rise of wireless connections in the past decade, we all can’t help but assume that the days of Ethernet cables are now over. However, you might be surprised that there are actually plenty of benefits that you can only get with the use of Ethernet cables, rendering them irreplaceable.
Internet speed is one of the biggest advantages of Ethernet cables. Since data transmission is faster through a cable instead of wireless, you can achieve speeds of 10Gbps without breaking a sweat. Yes, we’re talking about gigabytes, not the megabytes you usually find in wireless connections.
Upgraded Ethernet cables can even reach up to 100Gbps. That’s more than a hundred times faster than you’re usual Wi-Fi connection.
Another important benefit of using Ethernet connections is security. Even though wireless connections seem like they’re an upgrade, their security measures are falling behind.
Hackers or even ordinary people with basic knowledge about network connections can easily access your network and retrieve your information. On the other hand, Ethernet connections transfer data through a cable, keeping your data incalculably safer.
Have you ever lost your cool and felt the undeniable rage building up inside of you because of a slow internet connection? Well, that only happens in wireless connections. Since data travels through signals sent in the air, radio frequencies can easily interfere with the connection.
On the other hand, Ethernet cables are not affected by this frequency, making them the superior option when it comes to the reliability of the connection. However, you need to ensure that you’ve arranged your network cables properly. Otherwise, certain external elements such as electric cables, temperature, and even zip ties will affect its speed.
If you wish to learn more about Ethernet connections and network cables, you can find ACI training courses that offer the best education on these subjects. You can use this knowledge both for professional and personal development.
One of the most common misconceptions about Ethernet cables is that they consume a huge amount of power as compared to wireless connections because you need to plug them in. However, if you take a look at all the different types of Ethernet cables, some of them, such as the Cat6, actually have lower power requirements than their wireless counterparts.
Without Ethernet and network cables, millions of businesses, individuals, and even government organizations will not be able to function properly. That’s how important these cables are in our lives, and that’s also why you should take the time to learn more about them. If you wish to maximize their capabilities, understanding the basics of Ethernet and network cables would go a long way.