UTP (Unshielded Twisted pair)
Cat 1 - Telco, telephone line
Cat 2 - Token Ring, up to 4 MBPS speed
Cat 3 - 10BaseT Ethernet - 10 MBPS
Cat 4 - Token Ring, 16 MBPS
Cat 5 - Fast Ethernet, 100 MBPS
Cat5e- Fast Ethernet, 1000 MBPS (1 Gig)
Cat6 - Fast Ethernet, 1000 MBPS (1Gig), 24-gauge
UTP Ethernet cables typically use an RJ-45 adapter for connections.
Article explaining more about the UTP Ethernet cabling
Multi-mode Fiber - Used over shorter distances, uses LEDs to create light and bounces light signal on cladding. Cheaper than single-mode fiber. Greater speeds are attainable the shorter the distance traversed, from 100 MBPS at 2km to 10 GBPS at 550m.
Single-mode Fiber - Used over greater distances, uses laser to generate light, which is carried on a single line without bouncing. More expensive than multi-mode. Covers far greater distances based on speed and other factors, up to 60km in some cases
Fiber cables typically utilize an SFP/GBIC connector.
Comparison of Cabling TypesCable Type Maximum Length Maximum Speed Notes
UTP 100m 10 MBPS - 1 GBPS Susceptible to interference
Coaxial 500m 10 - 100 MBPS Difficult to troubleshoot
Fiber 60+km 10 MBPS - 10GBPS Expensive
Ethernet - 10 MBPS
Fast Ethernet - 100 MBPS
Gigabit Ethernet - 1000 MBPS
Article covering many different flavors of Gigabit Ethernet
WAN Cabling TypesT-carrier
The following was taken from this Wikipedia article and covers a vanishing, but still present, WAN technology. Connections are typically made to routers by way of a serial cable or RJ-48 connector, and clocking for the line speed is set by the WAN provider. The standard naming convention is T-1 (or DS-1).
|T-carrier and E-carrier systems||North American||Japanese||European (CEPT)|
|Level zero (channel data rate)||64 kbit/s (DS0)||64 kbit/s||64 kbit/s|
|First level||1.544 Mbit/s (DS1) (24 user channels) (T1)||1.544 Mbit/s (24 user channels)||2.048 Mbit/s (32 user channels) (E1)|
|(Intermediate level, T-carrier hierarchy only)||3.152 Mbit/s (DS1C) (48 Ch.)||–||–|
|Second level||6.312 Mbit/s (DS2) (96 Ch.) (T2)||6.312 Mbit/s (96 Ch.), or 7.786 Mbit/s (120 Ch.)||8.448 Mbit/s (128 Ch.) (E2)|
|Third level||44.736 Mbit/s (DS3) (672 Ch.) (T3)||32.064 Mbit/s (480 Ch.)||34.368 Mbit/s (512 Ch.) (E3)|
|Fourth level||274.176 Mbit/s (DS4) (4032 Ch.)||97.728 Mbit/s (1440 Ch.)||139.264 Mbit/s (2048 Ch.) (E4)|
|Fifth level||400.352 Mbit/s (DS5) (5760 Ch.)||565.148 Mbit/s (8192 Ch.)||565.148 Mbit/s (8192 Ch.) (E5)|
Optical Carrier over SONET (Synchronous Optical Networking)
Don't be terrified by the intense wording - This is fiber. Fiber strands are bundled to reach different amounts of bandwidth, with each increment being multiplicative on the first, as follows:
OC-1 - 51.84 MBPS
OC-3 - 155.52 MBPS
OC-12 - 622.08 MPBS
OC-48 - 2488.32 MBPS
OC-192 - 9953.28 MBPS
OC-768 - 38,486.016 MBPS
Of course, multiple customers can reside on an OC, so it is common to have, for example, an OC-192 split among many different customer circuits as needed. Commonly, the largest fiber cables are bundled in the 'backbone' networks, and then multiplexers are used to divide the light signal off into smaller cables as they get nearer to customers, in some cases delivering it right to their door, where GBICS/SFPs are connected to the premise equipment. More commonly the WAN provider or local carrier will have a smartjack or some similar demarcation point, and then the customer equipment will connect to that.
Learn more about how optical carrier data is joined/split here.