For now, we’ll split Security Cable Types in two categories: CCTV cables and cables meant for access control.

CCTV Cables

Security Cable Types are integral to the operation of a CCTV system, carrying the video signal from the camera to the DVR/NVR as well as the power. There are several kinds of cables used in CCTV systems, including:

Coaxial Cables

Coaxial cables are usually seen on older CCTV systems. Built from wire or fiber that has been twisted with insulated wire braids around it, they are very tough and durable, and can endure plenty of use and wear. They can also carry video signals over long distances without losing quality and are well-insulated.

Video Power Cables

Video Power cables are designed specifically for CCTV systems, using both a coaxial cable (typically with a BNC connector) to transmit video signals from the camera to the DVR, and a separate cable carrying DC power from the power supply. Simple and easy to use, they’re relatively inexpensive compared to other cabling options. However, the quality of the video signal is not as good as digital cables options and cannot be transmitted as far over BNC cables.

Siamese Cables

These are two different cables connected together, allowing you to power security cameras and receive video signals using one cable run. RG-59 Siamese cables are often used for analog or HD-over-coax security cameras that use a BNC connector. To connect this security camera wire type to a surveillance system, you’ll need to separate the cables for their intended use at the end of the cable run. After separating the cables, you’ll notice that one cable contains two copper wires, which are intended to power the security cameras.

These wires should be connected to a 12-voltage power source. The coaxial cable is the larger cable, and its purpose is to connect your analog video camera to a DVR system, which allows the reception of video signals from security cameras. It’s worth noting that there are two types of Siamese coax cables: pre-made or prefabricated cables that come with end connectors and varying lengths; And spool Siamese coax cables, which come without pre-made connectors, so users need to put a connector at the end and cut at any length based on their needs.

Ethernet Cables

If you’re installing IP security cameras, you’ll need an Ethernet cable. However, you may still want to invest in these security camera wire types, even if you’re setting up an analog system. Ethernet cables contain up to four pairs of insulated copper wires twisted around each other to reduce signal interference. The intended use of Ethernet cables, also referred to as network cables, is connecting devices to a network of things.

The network connectivity provided by Ethernet cables enables you to easily access and manage security cameras via a network video recorder. You can also use an Ethernet cable to power your security cameras. Although these security camera cable types serve the same purpose, they’re not the same. When buying Ethernet cables for your security camera installation, you must consider some aspects, including the speed of the internet and type of router to ensure you choose the right cables between Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, or newer versions.

Access Control Cables

Just like with your Security Cable Types for video system, there are a variety of Security Cable Types options for access control systems.

Composite Cables

Composite cables combine the four basic functions of access control – power, card reader, door contact, and request to exit – into one simple cable. They usually consist of four separate cables combined and twisted into one insulated cord, and make installation, maintenance and operation easy, as there is no need to run separate wires throughout the wall. One cable does it all.

Twisted Pair Cables

One basic option for powering access control cameras are 18/2 gauge twisted pair cables, which provide low voltage power to the access reader system at a low cost. Twisted cables come in different gauges and pairings, as well; 18/2 means 18 gauges with 2 conductors, while 18/6 means 18 gauge and 6 conductors, and 22/4 is a 22-gauge wire with 4 conductors for larger systems that require more power.

Twisted pair cables have the benefit of being much less expensive than other types of cables and being able to run long distances without loss of power or quality.

Network Cables

Access control systems can also be powered by Cat6 or Cat5E Ethernet cables, just as CCTV systems can. Cat6 cables are backwards-compatible with Cat5E ports, and both can supply PoE and run data for IP-based access control systems. Cat6 cables are capable of performance up to 250mhz, while Cat5E can reach 100mhz.

The downside to network cables is that they are not always capable of running the long distances that other cables can, such as an 18/2 twisted cable.

Ethernet Cables

If you’re installing IP security cameras, you’ll need an Ethernet cable. However, you may still want to invest in these security camera wire types, even if you’re setting up an analog system. Ethernet cables contain up to four pairs of insulated copper wires twisted around each other to reduce signal interference. The intended use of Ethernet cables, also referred to as network cables, is connecting devices to a network of things.

The network connectivity provided by Ethernet cables enables you to easily access and manage security cameras via a network video recorder. You can also use an Ethernet cable to power your security cameras. Although these security camera cable types serve the same purpose, they’re not the same. When buying Ethernet cables for your security camera installation, you must consider some aspects, including the speed of the internet and type of router to ensure you choose the right cables between Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, or newer versions.

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