Choosing the Right Patch Cables for Every Application

How do you connect your electronic devices to the internet? For example, how do you connect your PC/laptop to the internet? Probably, if it is a wireless connection, you might notice slower speeds, more attenuation, etc. But if you are using ethernet patch cables, you will have faster connections and more reliability.

A patch cable or a patch cord is a small cable with Rj45 connectors on both of its ends. One end of the cable is connected to the device and the other end is connected with a router or an Ethernet switch. Lengths of these cables range from one inch to several feet. The shortest ones are used in data centers and server rooms to connect devices nearby. Whereas, the relatively longer patch cords are used in homes and offices to connect devices such as Gaming Consoles, PCs, Laptops, SmartTVs, etc.

Ethernet Patch Cables

Ethernet Patch cables feature 8 conductor wires which are twisted in pairs of two. These twists are pivotal in protecting the signal transmission from EMI and Crosstalk. Generally, data transmission in ethernet cables suffers because of electromagnetic interference and crosstalk. But in ethernet patch cables, such problems are rarely noticed because of their shorter lengths.

To be able to choose an ethernet patch cable, you need to understand its specifications. You also need to know and precisely understand your requirements. For example, how fast a cable you need, how long the cable should be, etc, etc.

You also need to know about the various categories of patch cords. What those are and if they are compatible with your equipment. If you are entirely new to buying ethernet patch cables, you might find all these requirements overwhelming or too much to handle.

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So, let’s discuss buying the right patch cables for every application in detail. Be sure to read.

Patch Cables for Residential Networks

Choosing patch cables for residential networks is easy. Even though it may not seem so. You will start by listing the types of devices you use at home. And identifying the devices that you will not be using. For example, if you do not have a printer or do not use one, you don’t need a patch cable that is specifically designed for the said purpose.
And if you use IP security cameras at home, you will have to see whether you will find a patch cord long enough to reach the camera. Because most IP security cameras are installed at quite considerable lengths. And patch cords are designed to be used at short lengths.

In any case, if the cable is long enough and compatible with the cameras, you can use it.

Now, what is compatibility in ethernet patch cables? Compatibility is the ability of the cable and the equipment to function together in their capacities. For example, if you get a Cat6 patch cable to connect your laptop to the router but your laptop does not have an ethernet port, then your laptop and the Cat6 patch cable are not compatible.

Similarly, you always need to make sure that your device and the patch cord you are getting are compatible and if not, then make sure that there are any adapters or converters to go around it.

Patch Cables for Commercial Networks

If you are buying patch cables for commercial networks, you will have to be more careful. Because in commercial networks, you cannot compromise on the quality of the cable. Buying patch cables for residential networks does not cost too much as compared to commercial networks. And that is why decisions must be taken with extreme care for the latter.

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Commercial networks are also more likely to use equipment that requires high performance. Walk Through metal detectors, for example. Equipment of this kind uses PoE, PoE+, and PoE++ applications. And to use these applications, you need to use pure copper cables. More on that in the next part.

How to Make Patch Cables?

  • Buy a bulk ethernet cable such as a Cat6 or a Cat6a.
  • Get RJ45 connectors, a crimping tool, and a pair of cutters.
  • Cut the cable at the required lengths and start terminating the ends in RJ45 connectors.
  • Connecting the RJ45 Modular connectors: Cut out an inch or two of the cable jacket on both ends. Untwist the twisted pair conductors. And insert the wires as per either the T568A or T568B wiring schemes. Use the crimping tool to permanently affix the connections.
  • Repeat the same procedure on the other end of the cable. And you now have your Cat6 or Cat6a patch cable, depending on the cable you have used.

Best Patch Cables

Cat6 and Cat6a patch cables/cords are considered to be the best on the market. These patch cables come in various colors and sizes. Both the Cat6 and 6a patch cords can support 10 GBit/s data transfer speeds. These patch cables can also be used for all kinds of applications such as gaming, streaming, etc.

Bottom Line

We hope you enjoyed reading this blog. Use this information to always get the best patch cables for all kinds of applications.

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