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Sunday, November 05, 2006

Network Cabling: Explaining Clients' Options

One of your responsibilities as an IT consultant is explaining clients’ and prospects’ options when it comes to network cabling. The following are different types of network cabling.

Network Cabling: Traditional Wired Ethernet – Category 5

Category 5 data cabling was standard for almost all enterprise and small business LANs until recently. In today’s age, there are a lot of enhancements to Category 5 cabling and an increased interest in wireless Ethernet.

If you won’t install Category 5 network cabling, get an estimate from a local data cabling vendor that can get cabling runs installed to each desk or office.

Is the Network Cabling Job “To Spec”?

Many network cabling installers dealing with Category 5 will be able to give you reports of certification tests, an assurance that the job was completed “to spec.” This will lead to better networking.

Ethernet Hub and Network Cards

Putting together a traditional wired Ethernet network using Category 5 network cabling involves just a 10/100Mbps Ethernet hub or switch and a 10/100Mbps network card per PC. These products are sophisticated, but also inexpensive, and thus work very well when you’re trying to create an inexpensive small business network that runs efficiently.

Wireless Ethernet – 802.11b (11Mbps)

This type of wireless is a sophisticated standard that offers as much as 11Mbps Ethernet. Though wireless networking hardware is pricey compared to regular wired Ethernet equipment, clients save on installation with this type of network cabling.

What Are Problems With Wireless Ethernet?

Because the standards that fall between 802.11b-compatible products are new, you may have a hard time with interconnectivity between the wireless network cabling options from different vendors. To avoid these problems, you can just make sure you stick to the same hardware vendor for all needs.

Also, because security standards continue to change, the WEP that 802.11b products employ is said to be easily hacked. You need to inform clients of security problems before they agree to wireless Ethernet.

Your computer consulting firm may not deal with Category 5 and other types of network cabling, but you need to supervise the process of design and network cabling with your clients, regardless.

Added By: Computer Consulting Kit