Which data cabling is the best fit for your requirements?

Which data cabling is the best fit for your requirements?

Choosing data cabling for your business may seem to be more engineering than infrastructure. However, given that it’s the cabling that will have an influence over the network and how productive and efficient it is, this is an important choice to make. Even WiFi networks need to be cabled – so how do you make sure you choose the right data cabling for you?

What are the options?

Cables are a bundle of individual wires that are used to conduct signals or power. The conductors in those wires are usually one of the following two choices:

  1. Twisted copper. This tends to be the more affordable option for data cabling for businesses. It is an efficient choice unless your business is located somewhere that there might be substantial electrical interference.
  2. Fibre-optic cable. This much more advanced cabling material is made from stretching glass (silica) or plastic to around the width of a human hair. It tends to be more secure than twisted copper and can also deliver more bandwidth – however, it’s also more expensive.

How to make a choice

WHAT DOES YOUR BUSINESS ACTUALLY NEED?

If you’re a high volume business demanding optimum performance from data cabling then the twisted copper option could hold you back. Key factors to look at here include how much data your network needs to handle, the number of workstations you have, your budget and how far the data cabling needs to reach. For example, if your data cabling is going to be spread over longer distances, or you’re looking for higher speeds, then fibre-optic is going to be the more obvious choice.

WHAT KIND OF ENVIRONMENT IS THE CABLING GOING TO RUN THROUGH?

This is crucial because electromagnetic interference can be a real problem with copper wiring. You may choose the copper option to save on costs and then find that interference is so bad that your entire business needs rewiring once again and the expense escalates. Electromagnetic interference occurs when the wiring runs too close to electrical equipment or radio waves (for example, from something like a CAT scanner). So, when you’re making a decision about your data cabling, it’s important to look at where that cabling is going to be.

QUALITY AND ROBUST MATERIALS

Cable needs to be seriously robust – cables get squashed, stepped on squeezed and crushed on a regular basis so, if they are going to last, then they need to be good quality. Cheaper cables are often a poor investment, as their low cost may be the result of corners being cut on protective layers. When you’re making the choice between copper and fibre-optic you’ll also need to ensure that you opt for cables of sufficient quality for your needs. Look for industry standard marks and take advice from the professionals.

At Suna, we are experts when it comes to data cabling choices. We can provide you with options and advice to help ensure that you make the right cable choices for your business.

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