• Twisted Pair Cabling

Type Speed Uses
Cat. 5 10/100/1000MbE* Outdated standard that provides a minimum of 100Mhz of bandwidth. It can be used for 10/100 Ethernet without worry.
Cat. 5e 10/100/1000MbE A Minimum of 100Mhz of bandwidth. Cat. 5e generally provides the best price for performance. Allowing 10/100MbE use with up to 100 meter cable length.
Cat. 6 10/100/1000MbE
A minimum of 250 MHz of bandwidth. Allowing 10/100/1000MbE use with up to 100 meter cable length, along with 10GbE over shorter distances.
Cat. 6a 10/100/1000MbE
Augmented Category 6 has a minimum of 500 MHz of bandwidth. It is the newest standard and allows up to 10GbE with a length up to 100m.
Cat. 7 10/100/1000MbE
Future cabling standard that should allow for up to 100GbE over 100 meters of cable. Expected availability is in 2013. It has not been approved as a cable standard, and anyone now selling you Cat. 7 cable is fooling you.



  • UTP vs SFTP Cable

Unshielded Twisted Pair

UTP cable is also the most common cable used in computer networking. Ethernet, the most common data networking standard, utilizes UTP cables.

Screened shielded twisted pair (S/STP or S/FTP)

Individually shielded (like STP cabling) and also has an outer metal shielding covering the entire group of shielded copper pairs. This type of cabling offers the best protection from interference from external sources, and also eliminates alien crosstalk.


  • FTP vs STP

Screened unshielded twisted pair (S/UTP) 

Also known as Fully shielded (or Foiled) Twisted Pair (FTP), is a screened UTP cable (ScTP)


Shielded twisted pair (STP or STP-A)

STP cabling includes metal shielding over each individual pair of copper wires. This type of shielding protects cable from external EMI.



  • Difference between different types of Twisted Pair (TP) Cables

Unshielded Individually shielded (like STP cabling) and also has an outer metal shielding covering the entire group of shielded copper pairs. Metal shielding covering the entire group of shielded copper pairs. Metal shielding over each individual pair of copper wires.
Most common data networking standard Best protection from EMI, and also eliminates alien crosstalk. Protects cable from external EMI Protects cable from external EMI
No drain Wire Usually a shielded or a screened twisted pair cable has a special grounding wire added called a drain wire. This shielding can be applied to individual pairs, or to the collection of pairs. When shielding is applied to the collection of pairs, this is referred to as screening. The shielding must be grounded for the shielding to work.


  • Twisted Pair Cabling Configuration

Pin T568A Pair T568B Pair Wire T568A Color T568B Color
1 3 2 tip White Green White Orange
2 3 2 ring Green Orange
3 2 3 tip White Orange White Green
4 1 1 ring Blue Blue
5 1 1 tip White Blue White Blue
6 2 3 ring Orange Green
7 4 4 tip White Brown White Brown
8 4 4 ring Brown Brown


  • Single Mode (SM) Fiber:

Single-mode fibers are most often used in high-precision scientific research because the allowance of only one propagation mode of the light makes the light easier to focus properly. Jacket color is sometimes used to distinguish multi-mode cables from single-mode, with the former being orange and the latter yellow. A wide range of colors are commonly seen, however, so jacket color cannot always be relied upon to distinguish types of cable.


  • Multi-Mode (MM) Fiber

A type of optical fiber mostly used for communication over shorter distances, such as within a building or on a campus. Typical multimode links have data rates of 10 Mbit/s to 10 Gbit/s over link lengths of up to 600 meters. Multi-mode optical fiber is much less expensive than that for single-mode optical fiber. Typical transmission speeds/distances limits are 100 Mbit/s up to 2 km (100BASE-FX), 1 Gbit/s for distances up to 500–600 meters (1000BASE-SX), and 10 Gbit/s for distances up to 300 meters (10GBASE-SR). Because of its high capacity and reliability, multi-mode optical fiber generally is used for backbone applications in buildings


  • Time Division Multiplexing (TDM)

A method of multiplexing and sending several data streams over one line, with the help of time. Using this method, the data streams are being spited into time slices, which will be transmitted on a rotating basis. As opposed to the WDM methods, TDM is applicable on copper as well as on fiber lines


  • Wavelength-division Multiplexing (WDM)

A method of transmitting more than one data stream simultaneously over a fiber. This is being achieved by using a different wavelength for each one. The simplest case is multiplexing two data streams by using two wavelengths at 1310 and 1550nm


Why do we install LSZH LAN Cable?

If you have concerns on why we have to run LSZH cables in some special networking cabling environments, in this article we’ll explain a little about what halogens are, what’s the difference between PVC and LSZH cable and why we have to run the low smoke halogen free cable.


What are halogens?

A halogen is a nonmetallic element, such as fluorine, chlorine, iodine, or bromine. When exposed to flames, substances made with halogens give off toxic fumes that quickly harm the eyes, nose, lungs, and throat. Have you noticed that fluorine and chlorine are commonly found in cable insulation and jackets? Even when cables are designed to be flame-resistant, any cable when exposed to high enough temperatures will melt and burn. PVC cables contain chlorine, which emits toxic fumes when burned.


 What’s the difference between PVC and LSZH cable?

We know that much of the cable currently in use in the United States and elsewhere in the world contains halogens. The European market is demanding that cables used in LANs, WANs etc meet LSZH specification. The IEC 60332-1 governs the Flame Retardant Grade specifications in reference to LSZH cable.

Essentially the compound used in manufacturing cables meeting the above specifications reduces the amount of dangerous/poisonous gases in case of fire. The main difference in specifications between IEC 60332-1 versus UL 5181, UL 1666 and UL 910 is that the cable under the IEC specifications continue to burn while still emitting very low gases. The UL specs demand that the flame be extinguished, but it can still be emitting poisonous
/dangerous gases.

A PVC cable is made of polyvinyl chloride. It has a jacket that gives off heavy smoke, hydrochloric acid, and other toxic gases when it burns. Low smoke zero halogen cable has a flame-resistant jacket that doesn’t emit toxic fumes even if it burns. PVC patch cords are soft, while LSZH patch cords are more rigid because they contain the flame retardant compound, and they are aesthetically more pleasing.

Many different fiber optic cable suppliers are now making low-smoke, zero-halogen (LSZH or LSOH) cables. These cables are designed to emit no toxic fumes and produce little or no smoke when exposed to flames. Tunnels, enclosed rooms, aircraft and other minimum-ventilation areas are prime spots for the use of LSZH cables because those areas are more difficult to escape from quickly.


Why do we have to run the LSZH cable?

LSZH cables are popular outside the United States. Some safety advocates are calling for the use of LSZH cables in the United States, specifically for the plenum space. Review your local building codes to determine if you must use LSZH cable. Non-LSZH cables will produce corrosive acids if they are exposed to water (such as from a sprinkler system) when burned; such acids may theoretically further endanger equipment. But many opponents of LSZH cable reason that if an area of the building is on fire, the equipment will be damaged by flames before it is damaged by corrosives from a burning cable.

Why, you might ask, would anyone in his or her right mind argue against the installation of LSZH cables everywhere? First, reducing toxic fumes doesn’t necessarily mean the cable is more fireproof.

The flame-spread properties are worse than for cables in use today. Numerous studies by Bell Labs showed that cables composed of LSZH will not pass the plenum test, not because of smoke generation but because of flame spread. Most low smoke cable designs will only pass the riser test where the allowable flame spread is greater. Second, consider practicality. LSZH is an expensive solution to a problem that doesn’t seem to really exist in the United States.