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You are finally moving into your new building and are in need of affordable and adequate network cabling for your new offices. So here is a breakdown and explanation of the different network cabling options that are available to you.

Traditional Wired Ethernet (Category 5)
Until recently, what is known as Category 5 data cabling was the standard for both large corporations as well as for small business LANs (Local Area Networks). These days, you will find some value added enhancements available to traditional Category 5 cabling, as well as growing interest in wireless Ethernet solutions.

If your computer or IT consulting firm will not be installing the Category 5 network cabling for your network, you can then just get free estimate from the various data cabling vendors that can just install certified cabling, which runs to and from each office or desk.

Make Sure That The Network Cabling Job is Completed “To Specification”
Most of the reputable Category 5 cable installers out there should be able to provide you with ‘hard’ copy reports of the Category 5 certification tests and results, giving you assurance that the job was thus completed “to spec” — making for a reliable networking experience.

The Ethernet Hub and the Network Card
To link together a traditionally wired Ethernet network in your office, based on Category 5 network cabling, you will also need to purchase 10/100Mbps Ethernet switches or hubs, along with 10/100Mbps network cards for each PC in your office.

These are excellent, yet inexpensive products and great for creating high performance small business networks to connect your office computers together or to a main server.

Wireless Ethernet Based 802.11b (11Mbps)
Another option is the 802.11b wireless networking which is also standard cabling, that is capable of providing up to 11Mbps Ethernet service. Although wireless networking hardware may be a bit more expensive than wired Ethernet equipment, you will save a bit on the installation costs of Category 5 data network cabling.

The costs associated could very well break-even as there is less labor to install wireless networking in your office. There is no need to drill holes in your office walls or in the baseboard.

Some Drawbacks Of Wireless Ethernet
As the standards between different 802.11b- compatible products are still fairly new, you can at times experience a bit of difficulty in trying to connect the various 802.11b products, if they are from different vendors. So if at all possible, try sticking with the same 802.11b hardware (manufacture) vendors across the board.

Security standards for wireless networks are still evolving. The wireless encryption protocol, know as (WEP) that the 802.11b products use is still widely known to be “easily” hackable. Just make sure that you are aware of the security limitations that come with wireless Ethernet networks.

The Bottom Line About Network Cabling
Make sure that you get several quotes when you are ready to install your Category 5 or other types of network cabling work. Get firm quotes and detailed design specifications and a time frame when the network cabling will be installed. For assistance working with data cabling companies and getting free competitive quotes, see…

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