Choosing the Right Computer Cable

Computer cables are an essential part of setting up a workstation, gaming PC, or a server room for an enterprise network. Learn about the different kinds of cables, such as USB, HDMI, and Ethernet, before making a purchase, based on your planned application.

Networking with Ethernet Cables

Connecting computers, servers, and switches with Cat5 or Cat5e network Ethernet cables delivers the speeds you need to access network resources and efficiently transmit data. There are pre-terminated cables as well as pull boxes that let you splice and terminate your own cable segments; however, cables should be less than 300 feet in length to avoid attenuation, or weakening, of the signal. Snagless boots protect the cable terminal tab from catching on other equipment and snapping off.

Transmitting Data with USB and HDMI

USB cables are one of the most commonly-used types of computer accessory cables used to connect devices such as external hard drives, printers, and hubs with multiple connection ports. They connect to both USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports, which differ in the speed of data transmission they support. A newer version is USB-C, a symmetrical port and cable that you can connect no matter which side of the cable is facing upward. Another method of data transmission is HDMI cables, which are mainly used in entertainment applications such as gaming and watching movies, as well as connecting PCs to monitors. They often feature highly-conductive, gold-plated connectors for a steady, reliable connection, allowing for high-quality visuals and audio, and boosting the sharpness of movie music and sound as well as colors and details. Like Ethernet cables, a longer HDMI cable results in a weaker signal, which repeaters and extenders help to boost when connections stretch over long distances.

Bridging Devices with Adapters

You may find yourself using two devices that aren't directly compatible, such as a monitor with a DVI port and a computer with only a VGA port available. There are numerous computer adapters available, which are especially helpful for making older devices compatible with newer ones. With these, you can convert USB to FireWire, DVI to DisplayPort, and so on.

With the many computer cords and cable accessories available from B&H Photo and Video, it's easy to connect and use all your essential equipment and devices.