What happens when you use cables longer than the prescribed length in a network?

In computer networks, we use different networking devices that may be connection-oriented or connection-less in nature. If we are using the connection-oriented devices, then there is a need for some physical medium that will ensure the connection between the devices. Most commonly, we use cables to connect these devices physically in order to provide a path for data transmission.

But the length of these cables is prescribed for the optimum use of the network and its resources. The prescribed length of the cables depends upon the type of cable used. For example, if we are using a co-axial 10BASE5 cable then its prescribed length is around 500 meters, while the prescribed length for co-axial 10BASE2 cable is around 180 meters.

So in this blog, we will see what happens when we use the cables above the prescribed length in computer networks. We will also see how using a longer length cable than prescribed length can affect the network and its functionality.

Actually, the standards or the prescribed length of any cable is set by some global organization based on all the parameters that will affect the network or its components. In the below-mentioned points, we will see the adverse effect of using the longer length cables than the standard length on the network and its functionalities.

Adverse Effects of using a longer length cable than the prescribed length are as follows:

  1. Signal Quality: When we use cables of unnecessarily long lengths, the signal quality gets degraded due to the resistance in the cable.
  2. Transmission Speed: The transmission speed of the data is inversely proportional to the length of the cable. We should also not take the very little cable that will create the chances of interference in the network. But the longer cables reduce the data transmission speed greatly.
  3. Data Loss: Due to the longer length of the cables there may be a loss in the data. If some header information is lost, the transmission will be affected.
  4. Signal Attenuation: Signal attenuation refers to the reduction in the amplitude of the signal. Due to the increasing length, there may be a significant drop in the amplitude of the sent data.
  5. Latency: The longer cables induce latency in the network that adversely affects the whole network. The whole network will work very slow.
  6. Protocols: The undesirable length of cables also affects the working of some protocols. Actually, some protocols are greatly dependent on time, any latency in the network will affect their implementation.
  7. Noise: As we increase the cable length, the chances of noise (unwanted elements) in the data also increases. The long cables are more prone to noises.
  8. Troubleshooting: In case of any network failures or any issues in the network, we troubleshoot the network to find the issue, and then solve the issue. But in a long cable, it becomes very difficult to troubleshoot these issues.
  9. Installation Cost: When we unnecessarily increase the length of the cables, the cost of installation of that network also increases.
  10. Reliability and Maintainability: In the case of very long cables, the reliability of the network decreases. Such a long cable is more prone to the physical cracks in the cable. Also, it is very difficult to regularly maintain such long cables.

This is all about the adverse effects of using a longer length cable than the prescribed length in computer networks. Hope you learned something new today. That's it for this blog.

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