I want to know what the difference is between a coax and a UTP computer network, and what the advantages or benefits are for using UTP.
In the old days of networking, UTP networks were considered to be a privilege whereas today, they are a requirement!
If we turned back 15 years, you would discover that most networks were Coaxial-based, also known as "Thin Ethernet" (RJ-58) and described by the 10Base-2 and 10Base-5 specification. These networks supported speeds up to 10Mbps (1.2Mbytes/sec) in a bus-type topology and required 50 Ohm terminating resisters on each end. If any part of the bus was damaged or disconnected, the whole network would fail, causing company-wide network outages and problems.
|Do you have questions about networking, VPN security or VoIP? Then visit Firewall.cx, one of the few websites recommended by Cisco Systems in its world class Cisco Academy program.|
Today's networks are mainly compromised of UTP and Fiber optic cables. UTP (Cat 5e and 6) have now become the standard cabling for networks across the globe because of its flexibility, compatibility, low cost and high speed it supports (up to 1 Gbps -- 120Mbytes/sec). UTP cabling is based on the Star-type topology which eliminates the possibility of a network outage should one end of the cable fail. All ends of the network are gathered in one central cabinet, where a high-end switch is usually placed, to allow each host to communicate with the rest.
As you can appreciate, UTP is by far superior to the older Coaxial cabling and preferred amongst network engineers and designers in today's networks.
Dig deeper on Network Design
Related Q&A from Chris Partsenidis1
What is the difference between a circuit switching and packet switching? Our networking fundamentals expert gives examples of packet switching and ...continue reading
Learn how to build a database server farm using different topologies, from network fundamentals expert Chris Partsenidis.continue reading
Understand how TCP/IP and HTTP protocols are related in this networking fundamentals expert response.continue reading
Have a question for an expert?
Please add a title for your question
Get answers from a TechTarget expert on whatever's puzzling you.