There are two types of cables used for networking: Ethernet and LAN cables. Although there are some differences, the two types can be interchangeably used in most cases.
This article will cover Ethernet and LAN cables, as well as their differences, in order to help you better understand Ethernet.
What’s an Ethernet Cable?
Ethernet cables are used to connect various devices, such as computers, in a network.
It is used for data transmission and consists of twisted pairs copper wires. There are many types of Ethernet cables available. Each type has a different speed and is suitable for various uses. To access the internet, Ethernet cables must be connected directly to your modem or router.
What does an Ethernet cable do?
Ethernet cables can be used in many networking scenarios, including small offices and large corporate networks. They can also be used to connect gaming consoles or other devices that require high-bandwidth.
There are 8 wires in the Ethernet cable. They are all color-coded to make it easy for you to identify them.
4 Pairs of Wires
Twisted pair cables are the most popular type of Ethernet cable. They have four pairs of wires. One pair is used to transmit data and the three at the far end take power. Two additional wires keep track of how much data has been transmitted across each pair, so that they don’t overload.
You can make cables with twisted pair, coaxial and fiber optic cables. Each type of cable has its advantages and disadvantages, depending on your budget and needs.
Twisted Pair Cable
This is the most commonly used type of Ethernet cable. To reduce interference from nearby sources such as power lines and radio signals, the wires are twisted together.
Because it has a higher signal quality than UTP (Unshielded Twined Pair) cables, the twisted pair Ethernet cable is more popular. These cables are however more expensive than UTP cables.
Unshielded Twisted Pair
It is made up of four pairs wires that are twisted together to form one cable. There is no protection against interference from radio waves or other noises. UTP can be used indoors or outdoors depending on its quality.
Fiber Optic cable
This cable is made of plastic or glass fibers and carries light pulses rather than electrical signals, like other types of networking cables like UTP or STP.
Fiber optics are immune to electromagnetic interference. They can travel up to 50 km (30 miles) at very high speeds. It is however expensive as it requires special equipment to install.
What’s a LAN?
A local area network (LAN), is a computer network that connects computers within a restricted geographic area. It can be a school, home, office building or group of buildings. Each device in the network must be connected via cable or wire to a central hub.
Large companies and organizations use this type of cable to connect their computers.
This network is also known as “wired” since it relies on wires to connect all the devices. Small networks may use wireless technology to connect all or some of the devices.
Ethernet Cable vs LAN Cable
The primary difference between Ethernet cables and LAN cables lies in the fact that Ethernet connects devices to the internet while LAN cables connect devices within a narrow area.
The LAN cable can also be used as a networking cable but is less popular than the Ethernet cable because of its limitations. Although the LAN cable can be used to shorten distances, it cannot be compared to the Ethernet cable.
LAN is Centralized, While Ethernet Is Decentralized
A LAN typically has one central connection point, called a switch or hub. This connects all computers in the area and allows them to share information without needing to go through any other connections.
The Ethernet cable is not centrally managed because there is no point at which all devices can be connected. It has many points that connect all devices at once.
Have different lengths and speeds
Ethernet cables are only available in certain lengths and speeds, according to their category rating.
Category 5 cables can reach a maximum length 100m, while Category 6 cables can reach a maximum length 185m.
You can use LAN cables for several hundred feet. High-quality LAN cables are capable of supporting speeds up to 10 Gbps. Low-quality cables may be able only to support 100 Mbps and 1 Gbps.