I am sure you have at least once wondered about the differences between a coax network and an Ethernet network. If you have, then rejoice as we’re going to detail their differences today.
Now, both of these two cables are used for internet connections all over the world, but this is where their similarities end. In simple straight forward words, coax is the cables that transfer the internet from one building to another or even one room to another.
And Ethernet cables are the cables that are used to connect the two network devices. Here we will review coax vs Ethernet to fully understand the difference between these high frequencies shielded cables.
What Is Coax cable?
Oliver Heaviside, the English mathematician, engineer, and physicist, was the first to invent the coax cables in the 19th century, but to do so, he used a patent design from the 1880s.
The reason why coax cables gained such popularity in such a short time is because of its ability to transfer high-frequency electric signals with minimal losses and being extremely flexible at the same time.
You have probably seen a wire that is connected to your wall and directly into your device; that is the coax wire for you.
Nowadays, every home has a coax power outlet to make it easier for the people; however, before this, there used to be converter boxes attached to the coax cables if you wanted to use them.
Coax cables are a “wraparound” shield that protects other wires. It can be used to make connections between large corporate floors or different rooms, large buildings, areas, etc.
These cables are much thinner than the RG6 cables because it needs to be flexible so that you can bend it around. This is a necessity when it comes to home installation, as you can’t have wires dangling around the rooms.
However, they are much thicker than RG11 cables to avoid signal loss, which can happen with long stretched out cables.
Coax cables are quite different from other shielded cables available in the market because of their unique dimensions.
These dimensions give it the power to be so precise and have constant conductor spacing. This is essential if you work with lower frequency transmission signals and wish to make the system efficient.
These cables usually have an insulating outer jacket or sheath. The cable is named after the way the outer shield and the inner conductor are constructed within the cables.
They are highly shielded, as mentioned above, and can carry an uninterrupted electrical signal over large distances.
What Is Ethernet Cable?
You can think of the Ethernet networking technology as small packets called frames, and these packets are the division of the overall data sent within the network.
Each of these divisions consists of the actual data and metadata sent by the sender and received by the receiver.
These frames also contain a backup data section for the sole purpose of checking for errors.
When a receiver receives something in this network, the device checks for the validity of the data sent, if it is sent by the appropriate sender, if the data sent is illegal or corrupt in any way, and then connects it with the formerly decoded data to make it a constant stream of information.
As you can see, the functions of the Ethernet network are such that it is mainly used in LANs (local area networks), the network that connects devices between a building or a couple of buildings, and MANs (metropolitan area networks), the network connections inside an entire city.
The reason why Ethernet technology will continue to dominate the LAN and the MAN networks is that it is compatible and steadfast on the network protocols. Ethernet technology has the upper hand in this area compared with all the other networks that are out there.
Its ability to verify the frames and the data in them and preventing the “bad” frame from corrupting the entire stream gives it this upper hand. As it does this, it does not need to be shielded physically. So, it ensures maximum security for both the sender and the receiver.
Types, Know About Coax vs Cat5
There are different kinds of Ethernet cables, and each has its unique properties. The most common is the Category 5 or CAT5 and the Category 6 or CAT6. People also want to know Coax vs Cat5, We will describe later.
Now, there is a crossover cable that lets you connect two computers rather than one, which was the previous function of the Ethernet cables.
If you want to put different kinds into simpler categories, then Ethernet cables have two groups. The first one is that it ensures better performance and security. It prevents disruptions from electrical interference hence has a solid form.
This cable is normally used inside the walls or lab floors in business networks and has fixed positions, so it is not desirable if you move them around.
The second group is the stranded category. These cables are used where you have to protect the cables from damages like cracks and breaks, so they are generally used in a home networking environment.
You can find twisted-pair Ethernet cables, which are, like you have assumed, looks like a DNA double helix. The purpose of creating such a variation is so that the cables can cancel the electrical field that they individually create.
This is extremely useful if you want to cancel out any interferences and need a fast internet connection at all times.
Coaxial Cable Vs Ethernet: Actual Difference
Now that we know what they are, they use, and where they operate the best, we come to the most important question that there is, which one is faster? To answer it and determine which is the best suited for you, you can test coaxial cable speed, there are several speed tests you can do.
Before you attempt to do a speed test, you have to make sure that you are well equipped. You need to have a home network set up using DirecTV wiring and tools.
And a lot of it depends on the package and service your internet provides over a long time. If your internet connection is not stable, then the results will be inaccurate.
If you have these problems taken care of, then you are good to go with the speed tests and they are as follows:
The most frequently used speed test that is available on the internet is Speedtest.net. It measures the speed by transferring media files of different sizes and how long it takes to make the transfer.
This is a good test because it does not store any information about the user’s computer, so it solely measures internet speed and nothing else.
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The second test that is also very well-known is the SpeedOf.me test. The idea of this test is quite similar to Speedtest.net; however, it doesn’t operate exactly like that test mentioned above.
It sends multiple files of different sizes at the same time to measure the speed and then later stores the data onto a local hard disk.
Sometimes a coax network might slow down if you are using a hard disk, so if you want to take that factor into account, this speed test is the right choice for you.
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Local File Transfer
This step is fairly simple compared to the other. The test measures how much time you need to transfer an 807MB file from one place to another. Keep in mind that this test could have an error margin of 1 second.
After reading our ethernet vs coax article, you should know the differences between coax vs Ethernet networks.
There is no saying which one is better because there are many variables that are in play here – where you use the cables, how fast is your internet, what is the speed limit of your drive, how efficient is your internet provider, etc.
It is true that coax is an older technology, whereas Ethernet is relatively new, and the limits of your hard drive may exhaust your coax network.
But when the other variables are taken into account, the delivery speed and time are roughly the same most of the time. You need to decide for yourself which one will be the best suited for you.
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