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Twisted Pair versus Coax

Which type of Network cabling should be used :
Coax (10base2) or Twisted Pair (UTP/10baseT / 100baseT ) ?

If you like to connect just 2 systems, you can use both,
Coax (10base2) or Twisted Pair without a hub,but using a crossed TP-cable.

For connection of 3 or more systems with Twisted Pair, a hub is required, which is, compared to a Coax-cabling, an additional investment.

But what about reliability ?


10base2:

what happens, when the coax-cable breaks
(maybe getting pulled out from the T-connector, because somebody stepped on the cable ) ?
Such a fault cuts the network into 2 segments, but since you MUST have on a coax cable at EACH end a terminator, each of these segments are now INVALID networks and networking on all systems will now fail:


TP/UTP (10baseT/100baseT):

what happens, when one of the Twisted pair cable, connecting a system with the hub, break ?
Not much: the system with the bad/broken cable is down, but the network functionality on all other systems on this network keeps running:


What about having to move a PC or to add a PC to a network ?
On a coax-cabling, you have to open the coax-cable to add an additional T-connector and an additional cable-segment.
Opening the cable is the same as a cable fault: the complete network is down !

On a Twisted-pair cabling, you can just un-plug a cable from the hub and plug it in to another hub while the network is running.


Coax cable can only be used on 10 MHz networks, while Twisted-Pair using CAT5-cabling is also able to handle 100 MHz networks.

Therefore, large networks should be using Twisted-pair cabling
(CAT5 , even if you are still running 10baseT, since it allows later to upgrade to 100baseT without having to make an expensive re-cabling) due to the higher reliability and the possibility to move / add systems without having to shutdown the complete network.


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