Cable management in a PC involves daunting work. There are often too many wires involved. Everything is connected! A CPU, Mouse, UPS, speakers, printer, wifi routers- several devices are usually connected to a computer.
It would help if you used the right quality connector cables that are durable, corrosion-proof, and maintain a steady connection. A fluctuating connection will make work even harder.
It is quite often that you need to connect a headphone to your PC while watching a movie or transfer data to your phone. So here is a guide to connector cables and how to use them.
Constituents of Cable Connectors
What makes a cable connector? The answer is quite simple. If you go back to high-school science lessons, you might have learned about conductors and insulators. Computer Cables and connectors use these two classes of materials.
Conductors are those materials that conduct the signal from one device to another. On the other hand, insulators are those that protect the conductors from corrosion.
A range of metals and alloys are used as conductors. Conductor materials should be highly resistant, malleable (ability to be pressed into shape without breaking or cracking), and good mechanical strength. It is used for making the electrodes.
Copper alloys are usually used for this purpose. Then it is coated with inert metals like gold, tin, or nickel.
Air oxidizes metals of the conductors. To protect the connector metals from damage, insulators are used. Also, every cable connector that you use is to be connected to something. Every device uses energy, more precisely, electrical energy.
So, it is highly likely that if you touch a bare wire, you will get a shock. To prevent that, insulators are to the rescue! Insulators are usually made up of PVC, Cross-linked polyethylene, Rubber, Teflon and Paper, etc. In computer cable connectors, Teflon, rubber, and PVC are widely used.
Gender of Cable Connectors
Yes, you read that, right!. Male and female analogies are used to identify computer cable connectors as well. Male connectors are usually referred to as plugs. At the same time, female connectors are referred to as sockets.
Male connector heads have a pin sticking out from the center that fits into the receiving end. The receiving end is the female end. It is shaped in a way that the male end fits into it.
Female connector ends are generally present on the device itself. For example, headphone jacks are built-in with the PC or laptop. And you connect the headphone pin into it. This is a simple way in which you can understand which end is male or female.
Types of Computer Cables
Primarily, there are two types of computer cable connectors. These are:
1. Data Cables
One of the primary uses of cable connectors is to transfer data from one device to another. Data cables usually serve that purpose. It essentially provides communication across devices.
Copper alloys or optical fibers are extensively used to make this type of computer cable connectors. These cables are of various types. USB data cables are by far the most common type available in the market.
For example, DVI, VGMA, or HDMI are cables that connect computers and monitors. These cables serve to display visuals, be it images or videos on the screen. There are also other types of data cables like eSATA, CAT-5, IDE/EIDE, etc.
2. Power Cables
It is evident from the name that these cables are used to charge your devices. Power banks, mobile phones, laptops, and many more devices depend on power cables for charging.
However, wireless charging devices are also available these days. But power cables come in handy. Nowadays, power cables and USB adapters are merged into one when it comes to smartphones.
Setting Up a Computer!
Wireless technology has made cable management relatively hassle-free. An optical mouse is one of the most common examples of today. Besides, printers, headphones, speakers can be operated on Bluetooth too.
However, cable connectors’ basic needs are there when it comes to setting up a new computer. There are just too many wires to keep track of. It is highly likely that the average person will get confused.
The cables are generally provided from the online store itself. The best online marketplace for sellers, like Amazon, also provides a range of these products. Following is an introduction to the necessary computer connectors and cables:
1. The Power Cable
This is the absolute basic and most needed cable for a PC to operate. One end of the power cable is connected to the power supply unit and the other end to the AC power outlet. Without turning on the power supply, your computer would not turn on unless it operates on other means of energy.
2. VGA Cable
This is also known as a D-sub cable or analog video cable. Video Graphics Array or VGA cables are connected to the monitor (input). One end is connected to the VGA port present on the CPU, and the other end is connected to the monitor.
This cable allows the monitor to display visuals on the screen. Since video technology has switched from analog to digital, DVI, also known as digital visual interface cables, are used nowadays.
3. USB Cables
The most common and multipurpose cables are USB cables. USB cables, also known as Universal Serial Bus, are used for connecting almost everything to a computer.
Keyboard, Mouse, external hard disk, etc., can be connected using these cables. PS/2 cables are also used for connecting the keyboard or Mouse to the computer.
There are various types of USB cables- 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 ,etc. The basic difference between these is the transmission speed. USB 1.0 has the lowest transmission speed, whereas USB 4x has the highest transmission speed.
4. Ethernet Cable
Nowadays, everyone is dependent on the internet. Meeting and classes- everything is done online. These cables are used for establishing a connection between the computer and the wifi router or a network switch.
There are also wireless routers available now. Earlier, these cables were used for connecting the computer to the internet.
Computer cables and connectors are usually supplied from where you buy the PC setup. Unless you are assembling a computer on your own, it is plausible that one might get confused.
A range of online marketplace for sellers is present where different computer cables and connectors are sold. Always check the brand that is selling the product.
There are a lot of hoax brands or cheap materials being sold. The prices might seem lucrative. But, there is a possibility that those connectors would not work efficiently. Cables should be made of high-quality material so that it can serve the long term.
Croma, Amazon, Flipkart, Apple Store, etc., are some popular online marketplace for sellers where a range of products are available. Below are some suggested products you can buy from online stores:
- Terabyte HDMI cable
- Amazon Basics DVI cable
- Quantum RJ-45/ethernet cable
- d Boat USB Type-C cable
- Mi USB Type-C cable
Efficient Management of Cables
Unless you want a tangled mess of wires, you should plan on cable management. Long cables hanging from walls will only make your workplace messy and disorganized. There are various forms of cable management systems– floor-based and wall-based are the popular ones.
Technology has come a long way. The use of wireless technologies is at its peak. One of the most efficient ways to manage cables is to invest in wireless devices.
Keyboard, Mouse, routers, speakers- many devices are available in wireless forms. Using wireless technology will make cable management very much more comfortable.
Velcro straps are attached to the long cables. Cables can be several feet long. Instead of cutting and shortening, one can use the velcro straps to wrap it together. In this way, the cables would not form a tangled mess.
Set up your PC near the power supply. Farther the PC from the power outlet, more tumbling hazards will be formed. So it’s easier if one shifts the setup near the power outlets available.
Another way to manage cables is by using an organizer. You can keep the micro USBs, charging cables, dongles, and thumb drives in a drawer. One will need these cables at a certain point. Keeping those in an organized way will make it much easier to find.
Summing It Up!
There is no hard and fast rule when it comes to using connector cables or cable management. You can follow the tips provided above. It will make your work much more manageable.
Depending on your setup, whether it is gaming or work, you can plan it accordingly. It does not matter as long as it works. Your setup will have maximum compatibility if you use the same brand products.
Choose products according to your needs. Make sure it is reliable. Buying cables and assembling everything to form a working system might seem tricky.
Research well and plan cable management wisely. There are tonnes of resources available online. By implementing the right planning and accessories, one can quickly assemble a smooth working setup.
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Josh Argenton is a well-known blogger who has been writing for the last several years. He has written blogs and articles on a wide range of topics including technology, health & beauty, sports, business, food, entertainment, home improvements and much more. His artistic background nurtures him in developing creative writing skill.