Surveillance questions, surveillance answers, and market updates

3 Reasons for Cat5 Cable

What is Cat5 Cable?

What is Cat5 Cable?

Cat5 Cable, short for Category 5 cable, is probably the cable of choice for any sort of surveillance network you’re planning on putting together. Here’s why:

1. Data Transfer: Cat5 cable is a 100BASE-TX solution. If that doesn’t mean much to you, I can help. This refers to a 100Mbps Ethernet network. That might sound like a lot, but think of all you’re moving across it! Several IP cameras, audio, VoIP phones, printers, computers, screens, scanners, projectors downloading and uploading; there’s a lot of data streaming across that. Just to stream Netflix over your lunch break you need 2 Mbps. If you go with a lower category cable, say Cat3 with 10Mbps, well, you can see where I’m going with this.

2. Cost effective: Cat5 cable is affordably priced and…

3. Easy to Install: Coaxial, while it can effectively send Gigabits of info down the line at once, is hard to install and the technology is halfway out the door. The RJ-45 connector at the end of the Cat5 patch cable will hook your Vivotek IP8335H to the network switch so much easier than interrupting the coaxial line with an ACTi TCD-2500 video encoder (however, if you are looking to extend the life of a perfectly good analog camera, an encoder is definintely the way to go in order to reap the IP benefits of video analytics). Just by being easier to install, it’s again more affordable to go the way of the Cat5 cable.

You might notice ‘UTP’ printed on your cable. This means it’s Unshielded Twisted Pair cable. Cat5 cable is Twisted pair cable, which means (in this case) there are 4 pairs of thin copper wires running throughout the cable, each pair twisted around each other. The copper is usually coated in a polyurethane coat which acts as an insulator.

UTP and RJ-45

UTP and RJ-45

The other option of Twisted Pair cable is Shielded Twisted Pair. It’s the same basis as described above, only in STP each pair is wrapped in a foil shield. This extra shield prevents any sort of cross-talk between twisted pairs and any sort of electromagnetic interference. While I do work at a company based entirely around IP hardware, we don’t have lots of STP to cut up, so just pretend each pair here is individually wrapped:

4 twisted pairs with an invisible shield...

4 twisted pairs with an invisible shield…

If you have any questions, feel free to leave comments below! Or give examples of the different category cables you have experienced!


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