Structured cabling is the combination of types of cables needed to provide all types of signals to the array of devices we use today. The installation and use of all the wires in a system to provide the signal to televisions, computers, house audio, phones, alarms, security cameras and more would be considered structured cabling. There are many ways to wire a building. If you pull too many, then you waste money on the project. If you don't pull enough cables and end up needing something installed later, the costs can skyrocket. So where is the balance in your infrastructure? We intend to cover these questions on this page.
Moving to a new location can be challenging for any business. There are many factors to consider when doing so. From a technology standpoint, you have multiple angles to cover. It's more than phones and computers to think about. You need to ensure the cabling will be more than sufficient to help with growth when the time comes.
First make a floor plan and draw icons of your system layout. See how many ports are needed on each device and what types of connections you require. Then estimate your wire distances to see how many boxes of cable to purchase.
For many decades, wires have been all over the place. There have been bucket loads in types of cables, signals or devices. Each device has historically used a different type of wire for each type of connection. We will list out a few of the main categories and then types below. You will quickly see there are many variations and it can get pretty confusing fast. We will try to help with some solutions to slim the options down.
Structured cable is when multiple types of cables are all included into 1 single jacket. Typically, inside one of these cable jackets is a coax cable, speaker wires, a Cat5e data cable and possibly other wires such as fiber optic, control cable or alarm wire. Pulling this type of bundled wire cuts down on installation cost and also prepares for the future. A single cable can be pulled to a room closet or even box inside the wall where it can break out to other cables that go to multiple places in that room. You can run this type of cable to ensure you are future proof.
Another cost-effective option when performing a cable installation project is to go the IP or Ethernet route. Instead of installing bundled cable, some companies decide to just pull Category 5e or Category 6 cables to every single location they might need something. Pretty much every device on the market now has an Ethernet-based version of it. They now have devices that don't even require a power cord to the wall. This proves very handy when adding a camera or wireless access point outside where there are no outlets. Cat5 is cost effective and Cat6 is for long distance.
This technology is called Power Over Ethernet or PoE for short. You can purchase PoE cameras, PoE phones, PoE WiFi access points, sensors and other devices to power up from the Ethernet cable itself. Powering the devices will require a PoE router, PoE switch or inline power adapter to provide power to those devices. If you are running a typical network that is not PoE, then you can install many different types of PoE switches but we always recommend Ubiquiti UniFi switches for small business networks. They have cloud monitoring capability, enterprise-level security and a ton of super cool features you will love. Not to mention, they are very solid and last a long time along with being cost-effective. Once you have a PoE switch, make sure it has the correct power rating to provide enough power for the number of devices you have. Then have a cable installer pull Cat5e or above cables to each location you might want a device now and possibly in the future. The beauty is that you can always keep expanding.
So as we have shown above, when rewiring a business, there are many options and they all are not equal. Some are highly expensive and leave the user stuck when the next tech comes out. Some other options of structured cabling can save money and leave room for much growth when the future inevitably arises. We know how to run Ethernet cable through walls. We know how to get your business up and running fast and for the right price.
We aim to educate you on the options instead of confusing you with piles of connections, so you end up spending every dime on the project instead. So the next time you need a TV installation in Dallas, telephone, data or A/V wiring in the DFW area; call the specialists in your area that educate and inform! Call MyTGroup!