I Wanna Go Fast!

How Fast Would You Like to Go?

Living in a connected world means you need a connection. How fast and far do you want to go? Determining this will help you choose the best connection type to meet your needs. Trendset Communications Group offers a variety of connection types. First, there is old faithful copper cabling. This can be either coaxial cable or ethernet for establishing the link. Second, if you’re into almost light speed connectivity, then fiber optics might be an option worth looking into. Third, wireless connectivity for those who want bleeding edge technology and can’t be restrained by cable to get connected. While all forms of connectivity may seem great in terms of speed and distance, environmental factors can sometimes come into play.

Copper Cable Connections
Standards for copper cable have changed throughout the years. If you have old switches, you may be restricted to 10 megabits per seconds (Mbps) or even 100 Mbps. The current standard on most equipment has been pushed to 1000 Mbps or 1 Gig (in industry terms). These ports will be seen as 10/100/1000 – often on a switch. Most modern-day computing devices that accept ethernet connections will be able to utilize this speed as well. Operating at slower speeds can work for certain operations such as lower data transmission – but how long that’ll remain relevant cannot be ascertained. TCG installs and utilizes Cisco among other brands 10/100/1000 switches in a variety of applications and projects. These switches are placed in airports, police departments, and office buildings. This is by far the lowest cost media that in terms of cabling that can be brought into a project. However, there are a few downsides one needs to be aware of. Length, ethernet cabling won’t be able to transmit data after a certain length (100 meters). Going beyond this distance data integrity can’t be guaranteed to transmit or work at all. Devices housing the ethernet cable will need to be supplied with proper cable management as putting the cables to close can lead to factors of unreliability like crosstalk. Patch panels and patch cables can also help with reducing downtime and improve troubleshooting shoot the need arise. With all installations, TCG recommends/performs proper documentation and labeling to keep your system working the best it can.

Fiber Optic Cable Connections
OM1, OS2, OM3, OM4… what are these? These are types of fiber optic cable that are available to use to transmit data. Which is the right one for you, though? There are multiple variables at play that can help determine this. The first thing one needs to consider is the choice between single-mode (simplex transmission) or multimode (duplex transmission) connectivity; each of these has a list of pluses and minuses to help determine the best fiber for you. One of the most important overall factors is the devices you are connecting to. What type of hardware do the fibers terminate into? What type of connector do you need? These hardware specific connections can lead to faster troubleshooting and faster over-network speed when deciding on which option works best for you.

Wireless Connections
When you need to travel a long distance, don’t want dig or trench, or just want to reduce the wire count in the building, wireless is the transmission media you are looking for. Wireless transmission can be point-to-point (PTP) or point to multi-point (PTMP). PTP connections are typically used in campus environments or multiple building spanning continues networks. These solutions often have a greater cost up front but have great long-term advantages. The multiple building setup utilizes several internet connections to communicate from one to the other, using high-speed outdoor wireless radios can eliminate the need to pay for so many outside connections. Eliminating this exits and entrances into the network from the internet reduces the annual cost of a network while simultaneously increasing the security of the network. PTMP can also be utilized when possible to reduce the radio count needed. Wifi, which everyone needs to have, is a form of PTMP.

How Do I Choose?
There are several factors that go into making a choice for connectivity. A link should be determined by distance and line of sight first. If the distance is close enough, copper and fiber remain relevant even if there is no line of sight. Should the distance become too far, repeaters and switches can be brought in to boost or carry the signal farther. If the link drifts too far and the introduction of more devices is not wanted, wireless will need to be considered, but will often need a clear line of sight to make the connection for long distances in most radios. Wall density also plays a role when looking at WiFi, as the signal may need to be carried through buildings. A simple WiFi heat map can help resolve where units should be placed. After distance and line of sight are checked off, the next variable would be speed. How fast do you want to go? “I wanna go fast!” – of course! Utilizing hardware and endpoint connectivity TCG can speed up the performance of your network while balancing your real-world budget to maximize overall effectiveness. We discussed speeds of 10/100/1000 Mbps, but speeds greater than this can also be achieved: such as 100 gigabits per second (Gbps)!

TCG has a staff well-studied in all forms of connectivity to help suit your network… From copper, fiber, and wireless. Each media requires its own guidelines and specifics and may even need to support one another to accomplish the goal. Should you need further information on what connection type is right for you, browse our projects on our website, call us, or email us. We can engineer and plan out solutions using diagrams, drone footage, camera footage, wireless heat mapping tools, network discovery tools, and more.S P R I N T E R

About the author: william elias

William Elias is a member of the TCG Engineering Department.
Currently he is into all things technology.
CCNA Route & Switch, BS in Information Technology and BBA in Business Management

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