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How Many Types Of Data Cables Are There?

To transmit data from a source to a destination, a transmission mechanism is required. The data is normally a signal to travel a long way. That is why it can be wireless or wired for the transmitting media. The signal moves through the wire from one device to another in the second example. But the electromagnetic waves are carried in wireless transmission without the need for a physical conductor.

Data cables are a critical component of a computer since they provide a connection between different elements of hardware. This enables a machine to connect with its various components. Additionally, a data wire allows a system to connect with additional computers.

The Types of Data Cable 

Twisted Pair

In telephony and computer networking, twisted pair cables are used. Most cable networks are wired using a shielded twisted pair, a form of data cable that has a shielding to exclude other sources from the amount of signal degradation. The name of the twisted pair derives from the twists in the wires that span the cabling. The twists in the cables often help to avoid signal loss from data communications. The cabling of twisted pairs has a limit on how far they can reach until the signal is damaged. For a twisted pair of wires, the typical length until signal loss is 300 feet.


For older computer networks, coaxial (coax) cable is used. As a standard for computer networking, the Coax cable was replaced by shielded twisted pairs. Coax is also used to provide television contact data for cable networks. A big, round cable with an internal core wire that transmits the data is a coax cable. An insulator and shield to safeguard the data transmission signal is around the heart. The casing covers these pieces. A special connector called a BNC connector is required for Coax cabling. With these connectors, network cards for machines are purchased to cable this form of network.

Fiber Optic

For fast data connections, fiber optic cable is the preferred alternative. Fiber is used to provide fast connections to the Internet through cable and telephony companies. As the mechanics for data transmission, fiber optics uses light and glass. The glass components of the cable make the fiber optic cable very fragile. The fiber optic cable is lightweight and does not have the problems of signal loss encountered by the other two data cables. Fiber optic networking, however, is more costly and requires special network cards and hardware to transmit the signal.

USB (Universal Serial Bus)

Of all device connector types in the world, the USB connection is the most ubiquitous. Almost any peripheral device on a computer—keyboards, mice, headsets, flash drives, wireless adapters, and so on—can be connected via a USB port to a computer.

USB continues to develop, meaning several USB versions exist:

  • USB 1.0 can transmit data at speeds up to 1.5 MB/s.
  • USB 2.0 can transmit data at speeds up to 60 MB/s and is compatible with older versions of USB.
  • USB 3.0 can transmit data at speeds up to 625 MB/s. It is compatible with previous versions of USB.
  • USB 3.1 can transmit data at speeds up to 1.25 GB/s. It is compatible with previous versions of USB. At the time of this article, USB 3.1 is the most common type found in the market.
  • USB 3.2 can transmit data at speeds up to 2.5 GB/s, but only when using a USB-C connection. It is compatible with previous versions of USB.

USB 4.x is a future specification that will transmit data at speeds up to 5 GB/s, but only when using a USB-C connection. It will release in mid-2019 and will be compatible with USB 3.2 and USB 2.0.

Do You Need a Data Cabling Installer You Can Trust?

Building a new office? Need to add a new station? Relocating? Contact Quick-Tel for any type of data cabling needs for your phone or business network, we can do it all.  Based on decades of experience, we use only the very best products in the industry that we can personally guarantee. We use General Cable, Levinton Jacks, and ICC heavy duty face plates that are built to last. We strive to fully understand your business needs and project requirements before getting to work, to ensure the best possible results.  We don’t use cheaply made, poor quality, cable and equipment for your telecommunications project. We use only the best cable and equipment in the industry for lasting results. Contact us to schedule a free on-site consultation, ask a question about your next telecom project, or find out more about how we can help your business communicate better.