An Introduction to Patch Panels Networking
A patch panel, also known as patch bay, jack field, and patch field, is a device or unit that houses many similar types of jacks for joining and routing circuits. They interconnect, survive, and screen circuits in a convenient, flexible manner. They are commonly used in recording studios, TVs, radios, and computer networking. In fact, patch panels networking is the mainstay of any structured network.
What are Patch Panels Used For?
Patch panels networking facilitates the connection of various types of devices such as electronic instruments, microphones, amplifiers, recording gear, broadcasting equipment, etc. in radio broadcast studios, TV studios, recording studios, and other settings.
You’ll also find the use of patch panels in home cinema setup, small home studios, and other domestic installations more than ever because of the growing popularity of structured wiring in residential settings.
Patch panels are super-flexible as they make the connection of various devices in different orders for a variety of projects easier. As such a networking unit houses all the input panels into a single location, it becomes simpler to troubleshoot many problems.
How Do Patch Panels Work?
Patch panels are widely used in electrical systems, communication networks, local area networks (LANs), and more. A patch panels networking feature various network ports together for joining incoming and outgoing lines.
For examples, when the panels are used in a LAN, they do the function of establishing connections between computers and other computers and between computers and outside lines. As a result, a LAN can connect to the Internet or WANs (wide area networks).
The growing popularity of patch panels networking lies in the facts that the unit makes troubleshooting easier and is compatible for connecting different types of devices. Besides, you can assemble your required circuits just by plugging and unplugging the panels into the correct cords.
Types of Patch Panels
Patch panels are categorized depending on how many ports they the number of ports they accommodate and the types of cables they will be used with. For example, a patch panel can have 12 or 24 ports and can be specially designed for Cat 5E or Cat 6A cables.
Ports are the physical entry and exit points for data. Most panels have 12, 24, or 48 ports but their number is not limited because a panel can accommodate 336 or more ports too. However, fewer ports mean easy maintenance and replacements.
Patch Panels vs. Switches
Many people think them as similar kind of devices, but there are differences between them. Patch panels function just as a connector, nothing more than that. On the other hand, network switches do the job of connecting clients to a network so that they can share data, access the Internet, and do other tasks.
Switches can route signals to various points at the same time and can act as an alternative to patch panels, which is not possible vice versa. However, network switching devices are more expensive than patch panel units.