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how do ethernet cables work

How Do Ethernet Cables Work?

If you're like me and looking at the back of the PC and even threatened to guess what the purpose of all those cables is. I rarely dare to go behind my computer and try to figure out how everyone is doing what they need to do. 

There are blues and blacks short and long thin and wide. I have the speaker cables, monitor keyboard, and mouse cables. 

I understand these but what about all the others? How are they able to work so smoothly when I turn on the computer and still look so chaotic behind it? The computer cables that confuse me the most are the ones that make Ethernet work. 

How can one (fairly small) cable connect an entire home network for Internet use? Even more fascinating is its ability to create an entire office network.

What is Ethernet?

Ethernet builds LANs (local area networks) on the network. Designed in 1973 by Bob Metcalfe Ethernet lan cable to work over a network of at least two computers and an Ethernet cable to connect both. This is where the infamous PC 5 and Cat5e computer cables come into play.

Category 5 cables (now replaced with Cat5e cable) consist of twenty-four pairs of twisted and unprotected copper wires. Cat 5 cables are not only used for computer cables they are used for things like ATMs and also for video. 

Cat 5 cables are easy to spot because they are usually blue and if there is ever any confusion as it is Cat 5 cables will get the nickname "Cat 5" in white on the cable itself. 

The sole purpose of these cables is to transmit fast information from the computers on the network. To do this these computers need to be equipped with a network interface card (NIC). 

Besides, they need to have some sort of network hub to direct all the information. When it comes to computer cables Cat 5 cables are highways for travel information and the ultimate destination is your computer.

Limitations of Ethernet Cables

A single Ethernet lan cable has maximum distance capability to work meaning the cable has an upper limit as to the length of time that can be up to signal loss (called attenuation). 

This problem is because the electrical resistance of a long cable affects performance.

The two ends of the cable should be close enough to each other to receive signals quickly and far enough away from external power outages to prevent interference. 

However, this precaution does not limit the size of the network as hardware such as routers or hubs can connect multiple Ethernet cables to the same network. This distance between the two devices is called the mesh diameter.

The maximum length of a CAT5 cable before landing is 100 meters (328 feet). CAT6 can reach up to 700 meters. 

Ethernet cables can be longer but may suffer signal loss especially if they pass near large appliances.

Different types of RJ-45 connectors serve different purposes. One type designed for use with stuck cables is not compatible with solid cables. Other types of ethernet RJ-45 connectors may work with both jammed and solid cables.


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