Computers, televisions, telephones - they all make use of cables. And it’s difficult to imagine our lives without these electronic devices. So, we can probably say that networking cables are an inseparable part of people’s lives as several electronic devices don’t work without them.

Computer supplier promotes ethernet cable and television supplier speaks about cable connection. With many different types of cables, people often get confused as to which one to buy. Also there is a common question that often arises. “Are Ethernet Cables and Network Cables the Same?” Let us clarify this common confusion.

Network cable is a general term that incorporates many different applications. And ethernet is a local area network access technology. So, any cable that enables connection with a system/device, within a Lan, you can name it ethernet cable or “network cable.” Apparently, there is no difference in network and ethernet cables. Network cables comprises of ethernet and Lan cable.

Today, we will try to understand about Ethernet Technology and Lan Cables in detail. We hope it will help you get over all the confusion you have.

Ethernet Technology

Talk of any wired electronic device at home or workplace, and the term ‘ethernet’ will be applicable to it. So, ethernet connection refers to all the systems that require network cable to make a connection. All the equipment that doesn’t require a wire for operation, doesn’t fall into this category. It was Xerox which had created ethernet in 1970s and in 1983, it handed over the responsibility to IEEE.

It is after this that ethernet became an open standard, i.e available to all. As the IEEE was of the opinion that ethernet is not a piece of design for some equipment but rather a recommendation. It simply lays down as how to configure the equipment in order to make a connection.

Ethernet Cable

The term ethernet cable originated from the word Ethernet. And UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) is the most common type of ethernet network cable. This cable type is available in different grades and its most common form is CAT5. However, to give UTP the name ethernet cable is a misnomer. As not all ethernet networking wires are unshielded, some are STP (shielded twisted pair).

Apart from this, ethernet cables have seen a long history of progression from 10 to 100 megabytes and later from 1 to 10 gigabytes. Some data centers have even reached to 40 G and sometimes, it goes beyond 100G.

LAN Cable

Any specific type of data cable which helps in computer networking is Lan cable. It is specially meant for usage in small distances. It includes most kind of coax and stuff terminated with a BNC or ethernet cables. These Lans use wired connections to link or access any data.

There are two characteristics that help to differentiate Lans from each other.

  • Network Topology: It refers to the geographical placement of machines and how a local area network gets a connection.
  • Media characteristic: it refers to physical connection of the device to the network.

Furthermore, there are 2 types of Lan cables depending upon protocols:

  • Client/server Lans:

    These Lans are also known as two-tier Lans. These are made up of powerful computers called networks that help in managing disk drives, printers, and network traffic. These Lans serve personal computers, workstations and help to run applications.

  • Peer-to-peer Lans:

    They are simple to set up but do not perform under heavy workloads. Each computer or nodes have an equal share in running of these Lans. Lan cables help in data transfer at a much faster pace than telephone line connections. But there is a limitation in the number of computers they can support and the distances at which they can transfer data. And therefore, there’s creation of what is known as wide-area network (WAN).

Hope this information aided in solving the confusion pertaining to Lan, ethernet and network cables. Furthermore, we assume that two concepts are now clear as to what do we mean by Lan (Local area network) and Wan (Wide Area Network). Whether it is Ethernet or Lan cables, they are network cables that provide connectivity to devices and help with data transfer. What are your thoughts on the same? Do share with us.