What Is a Patch Panel? Benefits & Uses for Networks

Best Patch Panels

The modern world is wireless, with businesses and individuals keeping up with the latest trends. However, a wired network is still a more secure option, and it can reach blazing fast speeds. If you want to take advantage of a more wired world, you should think about using a patch panel for your business. You will want to know a few things about patch panels, including learning about the advantages and understanding their finer points. 

Not sure that a patch panel is the right option for you? C&C Technology Group has the solutions for your network!

What Is A Patch Panel?

If you want to set up a wired network in your home or business, you probably will need a patch panel, especially for those multiple wall ports in your building. With a patch panel, you will have a centralized location that provides you with an internet solution that is simple and easy to manage

What is a patch panel? In a simple explanation, this piece of hardware includes multiple ports that can help you organize several groups of cable. A wire (or patch cable) at each port will lead to a different location. These patch panels can be very large (with hundreds of ports) or small (one or two ports). A patch panel can be set up to accommodate cat5 cables, RJ45 cables, or fiber-optic wires. 

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How Do Patch Panels Work?

Patch panels are designed to handle multiple network ports to connect outgoing and incoming lines, such as local area networks, electrical systems, communications, and electronics. Patch panels can be a part of a LAN, where they connect multiple computers to each other and the outside world. Along with that, LANs allow other networks or the internet to connect to the port. Circuits can be added to a patch panel by plugging in the right patch cable. If you are looking for a low-maintenance solution, a patch panel offers a single input jack. You will typically find these panels in places where multiple wires would be required to connect equipment.

Patch panels

Advantages of Patch Panels

There are several advantages of installing a patch panel. Some of these benefits include:

  • Reduces clutter in your physical space
  • Inexpensive option without the need for several cables
  • Easier to complete maintenance tasks

These patch panels are some of the oldest types of networking equipment, and they still remain a popular option. While they may seem to have simple functionality and design, there are plenty of data centers and network administrators who rely on this type of technology. 

Related: What are Keystone Jacks?

Stop Tangled Wires

If you are tired of tangled network wires, you might want to think about a patch panel. These patch bays provide easier management and improved organization for these wires. Most of those new patch panel designs focus on cable management within a facility. With a front access patch panel, there is easy access to terminals and cables. These panels are the perfect solution for those tight spaces. 

Businesses often used patch panels to organize their telecommunications equipment. Plus, these panels allow an IT team to better manage the company’s network functionality. With a centralized location for all those cables, a patch panel is an easy solution for any network administered to change, move, or add cables and ports. These panels allow the user to move a line of communication from one space to another with minimal disruptions. 

Ideal for Fiber of Copper Wires

In a network, you either have copper or fiber cabling. However, there is a disagreement on which cable is the best. Some network professionals applaud the speed of fiber, while others believe that patches can slow down a network. Remember that the primary role of a panel is to take a direct signal and redirect the traffic instead of processing information at a certain speed.You should know that fiber cables cost more than their copper counterparts. Before you spend the extra money, all patch panels have the same standards and ratings for speed performance and signal strength.

Copper patch panel

Learn About Your Ports

Why are ports important in relation to those patch panels? These ports provide a physical entrance and exit point for all of your data. In general, you will find 24 to 48 ports on a single patch. Some larger ports can accommodate 96 ports, and there are a few specialty models with over 300 ports. You can design a patch panel with as many ports as needed. You just need the space to fit them. 

However, some professionals believe that those smaller ports are easier to maintain and replace. If there happens to be a problem, you don’t have to remove a ton of wires. Instead, you can switch out a few cables and connect to the new module. 

Related: How to Terminate HDJ Jack with Cat6A Jack and Cable

How To Use a Patch Panel

If you know how to connect an Ethernet port, you already know how to hook up a patch panel. You will just repeat the process to connect those multiple ports on your panel. For most home networks, an eight-port patch panel is sufficient. In the event that you need to expand, you can simply add another patch panel for better capacity. 

Whether you need 8 to 24 ports, there are plenty of patch panel options for your network. You can connect to the network with a patch panel, while providing less headaches for your network administrator. With a bit of help from them, you can better manage your cables and quickly fix any components when it comes time for a repair. 

Thinking about adding a patch panel for your network? C&C Technology Group provides you with the right solutions that address your operational concerns within in your business. Make sure to contact us today!

Last Updated on August 2, 2022 by Josh Mahan

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