Review Part II: Cabling Standards and Types

ThePistonDoctorThePistonDoctor Posts: 62Member ■■□□□□□□□□
Ok, I'm back at it again! In this part I'm going to self-review my cabling standards, types, speeds, etc.

The way I understand all of this follows:

There are basically four major IEEE standards: 802.2, 802.3, 802.5 and 802.11. Of course there are more, but these are the ones I think are most likely to show up on the exam, so I'm going to focus on these (feel free to correct me if I get any of this wrong)! Each standard refers to a different type of network and defines different characteristics of those networks, as follows:

802.2 - This one is the oddball of the bunch. It doesn't really define anything about a network. It defines the LLC sublayer of the OSI model and defines the mechanisms that allow the different types of networks (token ring, ethernet, etc) and different protocols to interact with each other.

802.3 - Defines characteristics of Ethernet networks.

802.5 - Defines characteristics of token ring networks.

802.11 - Defines characteristics of wireless networks.

Within the 802.3 standard lie several "sub-standards" if you will, which define how fast data can move over the cables, the type of cables and connectors that must be used, how long they can be, etc. I am going to break these standards up based on the type of cable they use since I think it's easier to understand that way:

Coax Cabling:

--10Base2 - Uses thin coax cable and can transfer up to 10mbps. It has a max segment length of 185 meters.

UTP/STP Cabling:

--10BaseT - Uses cat 3, 4 or 5 UTP/STP and can transfer up to 10mbps. It has a max segment length of 100 meters.

--100BaseT4 - Uses cat 3, 4 or 5 UTP/STP and can transfer up to 100mbps. The advantage of using this standard is that if you have an environment already wired with, say, CAT3 UTP, which is only capable of 16mbps transfer rates, 100BaseT4 will use all four pairs of wires and will allow transfer speeds of up to 100mbps. This standard has a maximum segment length of 100m.

--100BaseTX - Requires CAT5 UTP/STP and can transfer up to 100mbps. It has a max segment length of 100m.

--1000BaseCX - Require CAT 6 STP cabling and can transfer up to 1000mbps, but range is very limited. It has a max segment length of 25 meters. This standard is not very widely implemented.

--1000BaseT - Requires CAT 5 UTP and can transfer up to 1000mbps over 75 meters.

Fiber Cable:

--10BaseFL - Uses fiberoptic cable and can transfer up to 10mbps. The primary advantage it provides is it's fantastic range: 2000 meters. However, since there are faster standards that use fiber, it's not very common.

--100BaseFX - Uses either multi-mode or single-mode fiber cable to transfer up to 100mbps. Multimode fiber allows multiple beams of light to be passed through the same cable, which increases bandwidth. However, this also reduces the available range. As a result, the max length is 412m when using multi-mode fiber and 10,000m when using single-mode!

--1000BaseSX - Uses multi-mode fiber and can transfer up to 1000mbps. It has a max segment length of 550 meters.

--1000BaseLX - Supports the use of single-mode fiber and can still transfer up to 1000mbps. Therefore, if using multi-mode fiber with 1000BaseLX the max segment length is still only 550 meters, but using single-mode fiber the max length increases to 5000 meters.

--10GBaseSR (10000BaseSR) - Can use single or multi-mode fiber to transfer up to 10gbps (10,000mbps). With multi-mode fiber, the max segment length is 33m. With single mode, the max length jumps to 300m.

--10GBaseLR (10000BaseLR) - Supports only single-mode fiber, can transfer up to 10gbps for 10,000m (10km).

--10GBaseER (10000BaseER) - Supports single-mode fiber and can transfer up to 10gbps over 40,000m (40km).

Depending on the type of cable used, a different type of connector is required. Coax cable uses BNC connectors, UTP/STP uses RJ45 connectors and fiber cable uses either ST, SC, LC or MTRJ connectors.

802.5 - Token ring networks have only two transfer rate capabilities: 4 and 16mbps. If cat 3 or 4 UTP/STP is used, the transfer rate is up to 4mbps. If cat 5 is used, the transfer rate is increased to 16mbps. Token ring networks can be affected by adding or removing nodes if there is no MSAU in place, but if there is one, nodes can be added or removed without affecting the rest of the network. FDDI is another type of token ring that uses a second ring for redundancy purposes. It also uses fiber optic cabling as opposed to twisted pair.

802.11 - There are three sub-standards which define the speed capabilities and transfer rates of wireless networks, under the umbrella of 802.11:

--802.11a - Transfer rate up to 54mbps, range of 75ft. Uses 5GHz band

--802.11b - Transfer rate up to 11mbps, range of 150ft. Uses 24GHz band

--802.11g - Transfer rate up to 54mbps, range of 150ft. Uses 24GHz band

Keep in mind that 802.11a and b can also transfer at different rates. A can transfer at 6, 12, 24, or 54mbps, while B can transfer at 1, 2, 5.5 or 11mbps.

Ok, that's it. I think my brain is fried. Hopefully this helped someone besides just me though![/b]
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