Network Cabling | CompTIA Network+ N10-007 | 2.1a

In this video you will learn about various networking cables, plenum vs. PVC, & networking cable connector types.

Media Types


  • Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) & Unshielded Twisted Pair (STP)
    • Twisted pair (TP) cabling is a type of wiring in which two conductors of a single circuit are twisted together for the purposes of improving electromagnetic compatibility. TP cabling is the most common of the major cabling types. TP cabling typically consists of four twisted pairs of wires surrounded by a flexible jacket (unshielded TP, or UTP) or various types of metal foil or braid (shielded TP, or STP). STP & UTP uses the same RJ-45 connector but STP includes a metal shield for electrical insulation between the wire pairs & the outer jacket. STP is also stiffer & more durable, yet more expensive & harder to loop through tight spaces than UTP. It is used where electromagnetic interference (EMI) prevents the use of UTP cable. Both cables can be purchased in prebuilt assemblies or can be built using bulk cable & connectors.
  • Coaxial
    • RG-6 & RG-59 Coaxial
      • Coaxial cabling is the oldest type of network cabling; its data wires are surrounded by a wire mesh for insulation. Prior to the advent of fiber optics, the fastest internet service available to home and business customers was cable internet. Cable internet is a form of broadband internet access which uses the same RG-6 coaxial cable as a cable television, but adds a device called a cable modem to convert the signal for use by computers and home/business networks. RG-6 has a 75-ohm resistance, uses and 18-gauge center conductor, is available in quad-shielded versions, & can carry signals up to 1.5GHz, making it much better for HDTV signals.
      • RG-59 is used in older cable TV or satellite TV installations as well as in CCTV security installations; 75-ohm resistance. RG-59 uses a 22-gauge center conductor and a single outer shield. It is designed for signals up to to 50MHz.
  • Fiber
    • Fiber optics is a technology that uses glass (or plastic) threads (fibers) to transmit data. A fiber optic cable consists of a bundle of glass threads, each of which is capable of transmitting messages modulated onto light waves. Fiber optics is the fastest type of internet service which is primarily used as a backbone between networks. Fiber optic cable comes in two major types:
      • Single-Mode: Has a thin core (between 8 & 10 microns) designed to carry a single light ray long distances (up to 60km or further). Single-mode cable uses a laser diode as a light source. Typical uses include cable TV and telephone companies.
      • Multi-Mode: Has a thicker core (62.5 microns) than single-mode cable: carries multiple light rays for short distances (up to 10km). Multi-mode cable uses and LED light source. Typical uses include local and metropolitan area networks (LANs & MANs).

Plenum vs. PVC

There are two categories of TP cable in terms of fire rating:

  • Standard:  Suitable for patch cables between a NIC and a network jack or in a patch panel.  Typically has a PVC jacket, which can create a lot of smoke when burned.
  • Plenum:  Designed for use in plenum space which is a part of a building that can facilitate air circulation for heating & cooling (ventilator shafts, under floors, or between suspended ceilings and the permanent ceilings).  Plenum cables produce less smoke & lower levels of toxic chemicals when burned, and is commonly self-extinguishing.  Plenum cable jackets might be made from Teflon or from a modified version of PVC that produces less smoke when burned than standard PVC.

Connector Types


  • RJ-45
    • The RJ-45 connector is an 8-pin connection used for Ethernet network adapters. The connector resembles the RJ-11 connector used with telephones in the United States. This connector most commonly connects to the end of a CAT 5 cable, which connects between a computer network card and a network device, such as a network router.
  • RJ-11
    • The RJ-11 is a telephone interface that uses a cable of twisted wire pairs and a modular jack with 2, 4, or 6 contacts. RJ-11 is the most common connector for plugging a telephone into the wall and the handset into the telephone.
  • BNC
    • The BNC (Bayonet Neill-Concelman) connector is a miniature quick connect/disconnect radio frequency connector used for coaxial cable. After the BNC connector is inserted, it is turned, causing pins in the socket to be pinched into a locking groove on the plug.
  • DB-9
    • The DB-9 connector is a 9-pin serial connector once common on PCs that was used for connecting peripherals like mice and keyboards. The DB-9 connector can also be used for serial communications to networking equipment and be used with DB-9 to USB adapters to connect to modern PCs without DB-9 ports.
  • DB-25
    • The DB-25 connector is an analog socket, with 25 pins, from the D-subminiatures (D-sub) connector family. The DB-25 connector is mainly used in serial & parallel ports, allowing asynchronous data transmission.
  • F Connector
    • The F connector is a coaxial radio frequency connector used for “over the air” terrestrial television, cable television and universally for satellite television and cable modems. F connectors can be crimped or attached via compression to the coaxial cable. High quality cables uses a threaded connector.
  • Fiber
    • Fiber optic devices and cables use one of several connector types:
      • LC: uses square connectors
      • ST: uses round connectors
      • SC: uses square connectors
      • MTRJ: very popular for use in small form factor devices due to its small size
MTJR connector