What Is A LAN Cable and LAN?
There was a question that came up not too long ago from someone browsing our website. They noticed that we commonly changed the terms in which we refer to our cables. Most notably is the way we mention Ethernet and Networking cable. In reality there really isn't any difference between the two terms. They can be both interchangeable when referring to our cables. The thing is though they were wondering what is a LAN cable and is there any difference between that and an ethernet cable? In this article we will break down this term for a better understanding on ethernet terminology.
What Is A LAN?
To begin this article lets first start with exactly what is a LAN? A LAN stands for local area network and it is a computer network that interconnects computers in a certain area such as homes, universities, offices, commercial buildings, labs and just about any place with a range of computers in a close vicinity. LANs are vital in computer networking and just about any computer you use is connected to another device in some way. Not only are there small scale network connections but they can vary in size. What about over large areas of land, say large corporations and governments? These are called wide area networks.
The beginning of a Local Area Network (LAN) began in the 1970's with the increase in the need for high speed interconnections of computers in universities and laboratories. With the introduction of ethernet by Xerox in 1973-1974 LAN would soon be off to the races. The first introduction of LAN is a major use case came with the install of it in 1977 at the Chase Bank in New York City.
Now that you've got a little bit of an intro and background to LAN let's dive into how does a LAN actually work?
What Products Are In A LAN?
Whether you're in your home or business you're probably going to be apart of some sort of LAN. The simplest way of setting up a Local Area Network (LAN) is to use an ethernet cable. But what about a LAN cable? This is where the customers question comes in to play. A LAN cable refers to the same thing as an ethernet or networking cables. So when shopping for a LAN cable and you come across an ethernet or networking cable you will be fine. So in definition a LAN cable is cable that connects to computers, network switches and then from the switch to a router, modem or dsl which powers your internet from a internet service provider. These devices when connected together with a wireless LAN, ethernet or networking cable form a LAN (Local Area Network).
Coaxial cable is a type of copper cable specially built with a metal shield and other components engineered to block signal interference. It is primarily used by cable TV companies to connect their satellite antenna facilities to customer homes and businesses. It is also sometimes used by telephone companies to connect central offices to telephone poles near customers. Some homes and offices use coaxial cable, too, but its widespread use as an Ethernet connectivity medium in enterprises and data centers has been supplanted by the deployment of twisted pair cabling.
Coaxial cable received its name because it includes one physical channel that carries the signal surrounded -- after a layer of insulation -- by another concentric physical channel, both running along the same axis. The outer channel serves as a ground. Many of these cables or pairs of coaxial tubes can be placed in a single outer sheathing and, with repeaters, can carry information for a great distance.
Coaxial cable was invented in 1880 by English engineer and mathematician Oliver Heaviside, who patented the invention and design that same year. AT&T established its first cross-continental coaxial transmission system in 1940. Depending on the carrier technology used and other factors, twisted pair copper wire and optical fiber are alternatives to coaxial cable.
How coaxial cables work
Coaxial cables have concentric layers of electrical conductors and insulating material. This construction ensures signals are enclosed within the cable and prevents electrical noise from interfering with the signal.
The center conductor layer is a thin conducting wire, either solid or braided copper. A dielectric layer, made up of an insulating material with very well-defined electrical characteristics, surrounds the wire. A shield layer then surrounds the dielectric layer with metal foil or braided copper mesh. The whole assembly is wrapped in an insulating jacket. The outer metal shield layer of the coaxial cable is typically grounded in the connectors at both ends to shield the signals and as a place for stray interference signals to dissipate.
Short for Category 5E, CAT5E cable is network Ethernet cabling that consists of four twisted pairs of copper wire terminated by RJ45 connectors. While the base standard set by TIA/EIA for CAT5E is 100 MHz, our CAT5E cable supports frequencies up to 350 MHz and for 10/100/1000 Base-T Ethernet. Additionally, CAT5E Ethernet cable can be used for voice, video, data, ATM, token ring, and direct networking. CAT5E cable runs should be limited to a maximum length of 328 feet (100 meters)
Currently, CAT5E is the standard for data cabling communication with CAT6, CAT6A, and CAT7 being faster. Computers hooked up to a LAN are connected using CAT5E cables, so if you are on a LAN, most likely the cable running out of the back of your PC is Category 5E.
CAT5E Ethernet cable has 4 twisted pairs and comes in a variety of options that will enhance your network installation.
Solid CAT5E Cable supports long cable runs and is designed for fixed cabling situations like homes, offices, and buildings. We carry a few options (view below), including Fire-safety rated and outdoor/direct burial cat5E.
Stranded CAT5E cable is more pliable and better suited for shorter-distances. It features six small diameter wires surrounding a center conductor wire inside each of the twisted pairs. By having multiple small wires instead of a single solid conductor, stranded cable is more flexible, making it preferable for short distance cable runs. Stranded cat5E cable is commonly used for patch cables or crossover cables.
What is a power cord used for?
A power cord consists of cable with a country-specific plug (molded or hand-wired) on one end and exposed conductor wires, terminated conductors, or blunt/flush cut conductors on the other end. A power cord is used to connect the equipment directly to the power mains.
A power supply cord is an essential element of all cord connected electrical equipment; it supplies the connection between the equipment and the electrical mains. The power cord can be hard wired to the equipment or it can be detachable. The hard wired (non-detachable) power cord consists of a plug, the cordage, and a strain relief device to secure the cord to the equipment enclosure. The detachable power cord, also known as a power cord set, consists of a plug, cordage and a connector or receptacle. Though seemingly a simple component, when it comes to regulatory approvals, it can become an exceedingly complicated component.
This article shall cover some of the aspects of power cords intended for use in information technology equipment (ITE) and consumer products applications. Other types of power cords, such as those for outdoor use or for hazardous locations, are a topic for another article.
Power supply cords typically have two or three wires. These wires are “line,” “neutral” and “ground.” The International Electrotechnical Commission’s standard IEC 60446 uses the following color codes:
In North America, the line wire is black in color, while it is either brown or grey in the rest of the world;
In North America, the neutral wire is white, while it is blue elsewhere; and
In North America, the ground wire is typically green, while it is green with yellow stripes in the rest of the world.
Manufacturers of large equipment that use non-detachable power cords will occasionally ship their power supply cords disassembled from the equipment. This is because the power supply cords are typically very large and very long, and the cords may be damaged during shipping. In such instances, U.S. nationally recognized testing laboratories (NRTLs) do allow for this, provided certain conditions are met. These conditions include: