4 Types Of Network Cables To Be Aware Of

Posted on: 16 April 2015

When it comes to computers and troubleshooting, there are a lot of things that you might need to deal with. One of the first things you should learn is the difference between different types of network cables. They are used almost daily when you use computers, making it a vital thing for any computer user to understand. Here are four common network cables you may come across.


One of the cables related to computer networks is the coaxial cable. This type of cable has actually been around a long time, and it is also used to connect cable television. Modern computers use these types of cables for Ethernet purposes. While they are not used quite as often now, computers that are getting Internet through a cable modem may still use coaxial cable. If you are having problem with your network, checking the quality of your cable and that it is attached properly is usually the first step.


If you have used a computer in the last decade, you have most likely used a USB cable. USB stands for Universal Serial Bus, which will connect a computer to many different types of devices. They are frequently used when hooking up a mobile phone, digital camera, keyboard, or mouse to a computer. Many devices now make use of USB cables, making them a universal cable across the board. You may also find that USB cables are used in some of the newer cable modems, as these newer models have USB ports.

Fiber Optic

Fiber optic cables are made using pulses of light and strands of glass. While they are made of glass, the cables still bend just like other network cables. They have a variety of benefits over traditional metal wires in network cables, including being used outdoors where high traffic is needed for the network, or for long-distance network capabilities. If you have a large business and need networking, fiber optic cables are the way to go.

Serial and Parallel

The other two types of cables include serial cables and parallel cables. Both cables are used for networking capabilities. While they might not be used often for modern computers, some older computers do still require them. These are the cables that were used before Ethernet capabilities were available and before USB cables became popular. They were used to connect two computers together so that they could network off of each other. 

While there are other network cables, these are the ones that are used most often. For more information about the type of data cabling that's right for your situation, talk with a network specialist.