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THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO DIFFERENT CABLE COLORS AND THEIR PURPOSES

When you want to make things work within the world of cables and wires you need to understand the basic colors and coding first of all.

When you are dealing with wires and cables for the first time, it might be very confusing because there are all sorts of colors to differentiate from. This compels people to ask questions like,” is there a standard for electrical wires and cables?” and to be honest, there is a standard. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in fact does promote standardization.

However and unfortunately that standardization doesn’t envelop the color coding and this means further mumbling jumbling. In order to make it simple for use, the private industry came forward with detailed solutions. Here the telecommunications sector leads the way.

Understanding the basics

You should know that color coding is not constant throughout the industrial world. The reason behind is different applications for different types of cables. For example, a yellow colored cable might have a different gauges and usage in one sector while a yellow colored cable in another sector might mean something else entirely.

Another thing to keep in mind is the era in which cables were first introduced. The world hadn’t seen the likes of smartphones until 2008 which ultimately added to the demand of IT infrastructure. So, wires and cables were required to support that infrastructure and hence came the need for classification. This means that color coding can also vary depending on the year cables and wires are rolled out.

You might also find different color codes for general wiring with respect to region. For example, cables and wires used in America but manufactured in China will have a different code than one manufactured locally. More time will be required to apply one color coding globally as the world hasn’t yet reached a decision of standardization.

THE WORLD OF ETHERNET CABLES

Ethernet cables are uniquely used throughout the computer networking field. You’ll find ethernet cables or these networking cables running through homes or in industries where there is a need for a wired network. You can share data and access the internet via ethernet cables. These cables don’t work separately but in conjunction with a modem or router of the company that you have chosen.

For someone with a bit of experience, it’s easier to notice that the colors of the cables aren’t always the same. Whichever services you might have used tend to have different colors of ethernet cables but what do these color changes mean?

Multiple colors

There is no restriction of colors regarding ethernet cables. You can find ethernet cables in a wide range of colors such as blue, black, yellow, gray, and so on. However, this doesn’t mean that different colors are better or more efficient. It just denotes the intended use of the cable.

What do these colors mean?

As discussed above, the color coding is often based on region, use, and manufacturing. For example, in military usage, you’ll find yellow cables used for top-secret data transmission. You might also find red used for mediocre level and blue for unclassified data sharing. Then again any of these colors might mean something entirely different in another setting.

Blue Ethernet cables

Generally, blue ethernet cables are used to establish terminal server connections. Now you might be wondering what are terminal serve connections. Well, terminal servers establish connections between many systems to a local area network (LAN) system eliminating the possibility of modem usage or any other interface.

Yellow Ethernet cables

Yellow ethernet cables are mainly utilized for establishing POE (Power over the Internet) connections. Such cables deliver a current of 30W at port level. You might be amazed to know that this code comes under the standards set by IEEE back in 2009.

Green Ethernet cables

Green ethernet cables are mostly used for crossover connection classification. Such connections connect multiple devices or different computers in a direct manner.

Gray Ethernet cables

You’ll usually find a gray ethernet cable running through a household as this is indicative of a typical networking connection. Not only limited to household usage, these are also used for commercial applications.

A particular organization in any country takes care of all the standard maintenance with respect to industries and sectors. Those involved with the standardization of wires and cables are surely working but that scope is only limited locally. For a global acceptance of wiring standards, global associations need to come forward and work together.

THE WORLD OF PATCH CABLE

Many of you might be using these patch cables right now and not even know the exact name. Patch cables are relatively shorter length cables typically used to connect devices to an internet connection source. In some instances, it might be a desktop and a router, and so on.

Amazingly, patch cables also come in different colors, and understanding these colors can really help. Particularly the University of Wisconsin classifies the patch cord jackets as follows:

Blue patch cables

These are used to establish terminal server connections

Green patch cables

These are used to establish or in conjunction with crossover connections

Yellow patch cables

These are used for Power over internet connections

Red patch cables

These are particularly used for IP cameras

Black patch cables

These are used to denote general coloring

Pink patch cables

These are used an optional color

White patch cables

White patch cables are also used as an optional color

Purple patch cables

Purple patch cables are utilized in digital non-Ethernet connections

Orange patch cables

These cables are used for analog non-Ethernet connections

Though we have discussed the versatility of color coding according to different factors, it would be beneficial to stay along the lines of standards. This would not only save time but also cost.

THE WORLD OF CAT 6 CABLES

You might have usually come across Cat 5 or Cat 6 cables which you might otherwise know as ethernet cables typically used for household connections. However, you should know that the color coding present outside of the Cat 6 wiring doesn’t correlate to the inner twisted pair.

The Cat6 cable isn’t only good at establishing connections between devices and networks but can also be linked with other cables. Here is a lineup of Cat6 cable colors that can help you decide better.

Yellow cable

These are usually used in security cameras

White cable

These are usually used in security cameras

Red cable

You’d find red cable used in Voice over IP phones or other communication systems

Blue cable

It’s used for internet connectivity

Black cable

You’d usually see this color employed in peripherals, equipment,  and other workstations

Grey cable

Utilized as interconnections

Cat 6 network cable is one of the most used cables for establishing internet connections. However, remembering which color cable is particularly suited for what purpose is difficult. While you might be familiar with the outside covering you also need to pay attention to the inside twisted pair.

Majorly, while choosing a networking cable you just need to match your requirements to the color you know. This will help you find the right cable always without you having to go round and round trying to remember the type and usage. Color coding also helps potentially when you are changing, repairing, or replacing the existing wiring.

So that’s all about different cables and their colors. If you still have any questions, you can ask us right away. We’d be more than happy to help you out. Pakistan Cables is always ready to serve you according to your cable and wiring requirements.

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