Helping you make sense of common industry acronyms and terminology.

Please use the accordion menus below to expand the selection and find definitions and information for a number of words, acronyms and ratings. If you are cannot find the definition you are looking for, please don’t hesitate to contact us or call us on 01488 685800 for further information.

µm Micrometre or Micron – a measurement denoting one millionth of a metre.

10/100Mb – Denotes that this device can support both Ethernet (at a data transfer rate of 10Mpbs) and Fast Ethernet (at 100Mpbs).

10/100/1000T – Denotes that this device can support both Ethernet (at a data transfer rate of 10Mpbs) and Fast Ethernet (at 100Mpbs) and Gigabit Ethernet (at 1000Mpbs).

10/100TX – the same as 10/100Mb, the TX is an abbreviation of the standard for 100Mb Ethernet – 100Base-TX

100Base-BX10 – A standard of Fast Ethernet which is over a single strand of Single Mode fibre is capable of a distance of up to 40km. Uses 1310nm & 1550nm wavelengths, one to transmit, one to receive.

1000Base-BX10 – A standard of Gigabit Ethernet which is over a single strand of Single Mode fibre is capable of a distance of up to 10km. Uses 1310nm & 1490nm wavelengths, one for transmit, one for receive.

1000Base-CX – A version of Gigabit Ethernet over twinnax cable supporting a distance of up to 25m

1000Base-LH – Also known as 1000BaseLX10, a Gigabit Ethernet standard which due to higher quality fibre optics can achieve a longer distance (up to 10km) over Single Mode fibres than the 1000Base-LX Gigabit Ethernet standard

100Base-LX10 – A standard for 100Mbps over Single Mode fibre cable, using a pair of fibres and having a range of 10km. Uses 1310nm wavelength.

1000Base-LX – A Gigabit Ethernet standard over fibre optic with a maximum length of 50km for Single Mode fibre and 550m for Multi Mode fibre.

100Base-FX – A version of Fast Ethernet over multi-mode optical fibre with a maximum length of 400 metres for half-duplex connections and 20km for full duplex connections. Uses 1310nm wavelength

1000Base-T A Gigabit Ethernet standard over copper wiring using Category 5 or better cable with a maximum length of 100m. Uses all 4 pairs of copper conductors.

100Base-TX – A standard for 100Mbps over copper cable. This can be any category of cable above 5e and uses 2 pairs of conductors. The maximum distance is 100m.

1000Base-TX – A Gigabit Ethernet standard over 2 pairs of copper, requiring Category 6 or better cable with a maximum length of 100m. There are very few products using this standard, it’s sometimes quoted incorrectly.

100Base-SX – A standard for 100Mbps over Multi Mode fibre cable, which uses less expensive optics than 100Base-FX, but has a shorted range of 550m. Uses 850nm wavelength.

1000Base-SX – A version of Gigabit Ethernet over optical fibre using two strands of Multi Mode optical fibre to receive and transmit operating up to a distance of between 220m and 900m depending on the OM type of fibre used. Wavelength varies between 770nm-860nm.

10GBase-ER – A 10Gb Ethernet standard for ‘Extended Reach’ connectivity over Single Mode fibre. The range is specified as 30km or 40km over engineered links. Uses 1550nm wavelength

10GBase-LR – A 10Gb Ethernet standard for ‘Long Reach’ connectivity over Single Mode fibre. The range is specified as 10km however some devices can go up to 25km. Uses 1310nm wavelength

10GBase-LRM – ‘Long Reach Multi Mode’ 10Gb Ethernet standard, enabling connectivity up to 220m over any type of Multi Mode fibre. This is especially useful if using over OM1 62.5/125 FDDI grade cable which is still widely used. Uses 1310nm wavelength.  A Mode Conditioning cable is required for FDDI, OM1 & OM2 cable to reach these distances.  For OM3 & OM3 an MC cable is not required.

10GBase-LX4 – Support 10GbE over OM1/2/3 MM at 300m (500Mhz @1300nm min) and 10km over SingleMode.

10GBase-SR – A 10Gb Ethernet standard for ‘Short Range’ connectivity over Multi Mode fibre. The range is limited from 33m to 400m depending on the type of fibre used. Uses 850nm wavelength

10GBase-ZR – An 80km version of the ER; there is no ratified standard for this.

10GbE 10 Gigabit Ethernet – a version of Ethernet with a data of 10Gbit/s, 10 times faster than Gigabit Ethernet.

1RU One Rack Unit – measurement denoting the height of equipment for mounting in a 19″ rack, 1 Rack Unit or 1U = 1.75″ or 44.45mm in height. More commonly referred to as 1U.

1U See 1RU

25GBase-T – A 25 Gbits/s standard for Twisted Pair Copper cabling.

40GBase-T – A 40 Gbits/s standard for Twisted Pair Copper cabling.

40GBaseSR4  40 GBit/s standard over MultiMode fibre.  Supports 100m on OM3 and 150m on OM4.

40GBaseLX4  40 GBit/s standard over MultiMode & SingleMode fibre.  Supports 2km on SM, 100m OM3, 150m OM4.

40GBaseLR4  40 GBit/s standard over SingleMode fibre.  Supports 10km.

100GBaseSR4  100 GBit/s standard over MultiMode fibre.  Uses a 12-fibre MPO connector, but only the centre 8 channels (4 for transmit, 4 for receive)

100GBaseSR10  100 GBit/s standard over MultiMode fibre.  Uses a 24-fibre MPO connector, but only the centre 10 channels (10 for transmit, 10 for receive)

100GBaseLR4 – 100GBit/s standard over SingleMode fibre with a 10km range.

100GBaseER4 – 100 GBit/s standard over SingleMode fibre with a 30-40km range.


AES/EBU A digital audio format standardised by the Audio Engineering Society and European Broadcasting Union as AES3. Uses balanced copper cabling with 2 channels per connection.

AES67 A list of recommendations from the Audio Engineering Society for transporting high-performance audio in IP networks.

Alien Crosstalk or AXT Electromagnetic noise that occurs from different cables in either a group or bundle. Alien Crosstalk reduces the signal-to-noise ratio culminating in a degradation of network performance.

Aramid Yarn A heat resistant and strong synthetic yarn found in Ruggedised fibre optic cables.

Armoured Cable reinforced with a metallic sheath that provides improved protection to the cable core.

Attenuation When signals are being transmitted, they by nature become weaker or “attenuated” the further they travel.

 Automatic Medium-Dependent Interface Crossover – a technology that automatically detects whether a straight through or crossed cable is required, and configures the connection accordingly. This eliminates the need to consider whether crossed or straight cables are required for the connection.

Autonegotiation A procedure which adjusts parameters such as speed, duplex mode, and flow control between two connected devices to the highest performance transmission mode they both support.

AVB (Audio Video Bridging) A type of network using specialist switchesand other equipment that have implemented the AVB set of protocols. This Guarantees synchronization, bandwidth and consistency.

AWG American Wire Gauge – a standard of wire gauge for the diameters of round conductor wire where the smaller the unit the larger the diameter.


Backbone Part of a network infrastructure that connects LAN’s or subnetworks. These can be within a building or campus wide and usually have a higher data carrying capacity than the networks connected to it.

Balun A transformer for levelling out impedance differences so that a signal generated onto a coaxial cable can transfer onto a twisted pair if necessary, the use of baluns usually results in some level of signal degradation.


Campus Backbone See Backbone 

Checksum Offloading – A feature of some Allied Telesis fibre LAN adapters with the purpose of detecting accidental errors. Checksum offloading is performed with hardware assistance with the aim of automatically computing the checksum in the network adapter prior to transmission over the network.

CSTA Corrugated Steel Tape Armoured – A type of cable providing crush resistance and rodent protection.

CobraNetTM A network protocol that uses Ethernet to transport audio as well as control and monitoring data a 100Mb network with a maximum channel capacity of 64 channels per link.

Coupler – See Fibre Adapter

CSFP – Compact Small Form-factor Pluggable.  The same physical size as an SFP but supports two bi-directional fibres (a standard SFP supports one).

DanteTM A multi-channel digital media networking technology base don IT industry standards, with very low latency and highly accurate synchronization. DanteTM supports a channel capacity of more than 500 channels per link.

DHCP Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol – protocol that enables a server to assign an IP address automatically to a computer.

DiffServ or Differentiated Service – Computer architecture that specifies a simple and scalable mechanism for classifying and managing network traffic in a way that it provides Quality of Service. For example, priority can be given to critical network traffic such as VoIP and lower priority given to non-critical traffic.

DIN Rail – A metal rail used for mounting industrial control equipment such as power supplies.

DoS Attack Denial of Service Attack – an attempt to make a computer resource unavailable to its potential users.

Duplex Cable – Duplex Cables allows bi-directional, simultaneous transmission along a channel as opposed to only in one direction at a time. Often referred to as Full Duplex.


EMI – Electromagnetic Interference, a disturbance affecting a networking circuit. This disturbance can be electromagnetic induction or radiation but is always emitted from an external source.

ES-100 A new version of EtherSound™ offering increased functionality. ES-100 allows a redundant ring topology to be used.

Ethercon® An RJ45 connector combined with road proof XLR housing, manufactured by Neutrik.

Ethernet Most commonly used network protocol in the world, standardised by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers as the IEEE802.3 standard.

EthersoundTM A network protocol that uses Ethernet to transport audio as well as control and monitoring data over a network. EtherSound™ uses a daisy chain topology with a fixed bandwidth data flow and deterministic (variable to the network topology) very low latency. A new version of EtherSound™ with increased functionality has been introduced in 2006 as ES-100.

EPSR Ethernet Protection Switching Ring. From Allied Telesis, this provides fast failover between nodes in a ring of switches. This is a feature of certain Allied Telesis switches such as the AT-x900-12XT/S.


Failover – The capability to switch to a redundant or standby server or network upon server/network failure. This process occurs without human intervention.

Fast Ethernet – An Ethernet standard that carries traffic at a rate of 100Mbit/s.

Fibre Adapter Fibre optic adaptors are used either within fibre patch panels and other termination units, or externally to interconnect pre terminated fibre optic cables. The adapter or uniter precisely aligns the ferules for both cables to maintain communication path. The alignment sleeve in a Single-Mode adapter is ceramic and is the most precise; this can be used for both Single and Multi-Mode applications. The bronze alignment sleeve in a Multi-Mode adapter is only suitable for Multi-Mode cables. Also known as a Uniter or Coupler

Flow Control – This is a mechanism for temporarily stopping the transmission of data on an Ethernet network.

FRNC – Flame Retardant Non-Corrosive.

Full Duplex – Transmission and reception of signals or communications occurs simultaneously, compared to Half Duplex. See Duplex

Fusion Splicing – The joining of two optical fibres end-to-end using heat therefore light passing through is not scattered nor reflected back by the splice.


GBIC  Gigabit Interface Connector.

Gigabit Ethernet  A standard of Ethernet which supports a data transfer rate of 1 Gigabit (1000 Megabits per second).

Gland  A device used to attach and secure the end of a cable to networking equipment.

Global Address An IP address allowed to connect to the Internet. Global addresses are allocated by InterNIC ( in order to keep every global address unique.

GUI  Graphical User Interface such as a computer which allows users to interact with images rather than text commands.


Half Duplex A sequential two-way transmission of data in which information can be transmitted in both direction but only in one direction at a time. See also Full Duplex.

Hermaphroditic Also known as Genderless Connectors, which have simultaneous male and female aspects.

Hot Swappable  The replacing, inserting or removing of system components occurs without the need to shut down the system.

HSSDC  High Speed Serial Data Connector, a connector type that allows a higher level of bandwidth transmittal.

Hub (Repeater Hub). A simple network device that resends incoming packets to all ports without checking addreses. Repeater hubs can be used to connect network segments together forming one big network. Repeater hub technology is obsolete and should never be used in new systems.


IEC International Electrotechnical Commission – an international standards committee responsible for putting in place standards for electrical and electronic technologies.

IGMP Internet Group Management Protocol – used by routers and hosts on IP networks to establish multicast group memberships.

IGMP Snooping  A switch function, allowing the device to listen to Internet Group Management Protocol messages. This means the switch can block multicast traffic from going to places it is not needed, thus freeing up network bandwidth.

Infiniband  A form of input/output architecture used in higher-end clusters and networks to extend connections via external networks at a speed of 2.5Gbps in each direction.

Insertion Loss  Loss of signal power following the insertion of any device.

IP address Internet Protocol address, a user definable address to manage information streams on a network. The IP address includes a network number and a host number. It allows information to be routed on a local area network (office network, normally using IPv4 with 4 byte addressing) as well as a wide area network (the internet, normally using IPv6 with 4 byte addressing).

IP Rating  The IP Rating given to a piece of electrical apparatus is a two digit code indicating the degree of protection it’s enclosure affords it. Read more here.

IPv4 – Internet Protocol Version 4. Read More on IPv4 at Wikipedia

IPv6 – Internet Protocol Version 6. Read More on IPv6 at Wikipedia


Jumbo Frames An Ethernet data packet (or Ethernet frame) that is more that 1500 bytes.

Jumbo Packets See Jumbo Frames 


Knockout A weaker piece of metal built into Wall Boxes and Patch Panels that can be knocked out to allow for cable entry.

KVM – Keyboard, Video/Visual Display Unit and Mouse. This allows a user to control multiple computers from a single Keyboard, Video/Visual Display Unit or Mouse.


LACP Link Aggregation Control Protocol – A control protocol that allows a switch to aggregate links to and between ports dynamically meaning thus allowing higher bandwidth throughput.

Latency (Network latency, forwarding delay). The time it takes for an information packet to travel form the sending device to a destination device.

Link Aggregation Is the process where two or more ports in an Ethernet switch are combined together to operate as a single virtual port to both increase the available bandwidth between devices and also provides continuity of connectivity if one link is broken.

Link Loss Forwarding This feature enables networking equipment to shut down data transmission if a link connection has failed.

LLDP Link Layer Discovery Protocol – Used by network devices for advertising their identity, capabilities and neighbours.

Loose Tube A protective tube loosely surrounding a fibre optic cable. See our range of Loose Tube Fibre for Outdoor Applications

Low Smoke/LOSH/LSZH Low Smoke Zero Halogen. A Low Smoke cable sheath made of compounds that produce little smoke and zero halogen in the event of a fire or other exposure to high heat therefore a harmful, toxic smoke is not emitted


MAC address Media Access Control – an addressing system using a 48 bit (6 byte) address, allocated by the IEEE standards organisation. 48 bits equals 280 trillion unique addresses, there are no doubles.

MAN Metropolitan Area Network – Describes a network spanning a geographical area greater than a LAN (local area network) but less than a WAN (wide area network) e.g. the span of a city or a large campus.

Managed Switch These types of switches contain one or more methods to modify the operation of the switch by users such as a GUI or web-based management systems.

MDI Medium Dependent Interface see Auto-MDIX 

MDIX Medium Dependent Interface Crossover see Auto-MDIX

Media Converter – A networking device that allows the connection of fibre optic cable systems to copper cabling installations or other dissimilar media types.

Megabit One million bits (1,000,000 bits; Mb). A fast Ethernet link can carry 100Mb per second worth of information, a gigabit link carries 1000Mb.

MHz MegaHertz – Denotes a transmission rate of one million cycles per second.

Micron See µ

Mini-Zip Refers to a duplex cable that has been manufactured with two simplex cables with a sheath measuring 1.8mm in diameter each.  This is opposed to a Standard Zip cable whereby the diameter is 2.8mm for each simplex cable.

Mil Tac A type of fibre optic cable that is suitable for Military Tactical applications and other environments where deployment and retrieval for reuse is required.

MissingLink – A feature of some Allied Telesis Media Converters which allows accurate reporting to network management systems as well as allowing devices with redundant link capabilities to be inter-connected with these Media Converters, as a failure in one fibre link will be signalled to the network switch allowing the second link to be activated.

MLD Snooping Multicast Listener Discovery Snooping – A protocol of IPv6, similar to IGMP Snooping which reduces the amount of multicast traffic on a network by sending streams only to interested recipients not all recipients. This results in a more efficient use of bandwidth.

MMF – See Multi Mode Fibre

Mode Conditioning Patch Cord/Cable Used with a 1000Base-LX transceiver to extend the range of Gigabit over OM1 (62.5/125 cable) from 250m to 550m.  For 10GbE applications, using a 10GBaseLRM transceiver you can achieve distances up to 220m with OM1 and OM2 cable.

MPO Multi-Fibre Push On Connector. A 12 or 24 fibre connector.

MTP©MPO Multi-Fibre Termination Push On Connector. A high performance MPO connector manufactured by US Conec. These can contain either 12 or 24 fibres in a compact connector providing savings in rack space.

Multicast The 802.3 Ethernet standard allows information to be sent  to multiple devices on a network as multicast packets. The information can be picked up anywhere in the network.

Multi Mode Fibre Or MM fibre is a type of fibre used for networking over small distances with a data range of between 10 Mbit/s up to 10 Gbit/s up to 600m.


NEBS Network Equipment Building Systems – A series of safety and conformance standards applied to telecommunications equipment in the USA. A feature of some Allied Telesis© products.

Network Class Categorisation of a networks subnet mask; determining what portion of the IP address is the network number and what portion is the host address.

Class A: 1 byte ( 8 bits) network number, 3 bytes (24 bits) host address.

Class B: 2 bytes (16 bits) network number, 2 bytes (16 bits) host address.

Class C: 3 Bytes (24 bits) network number, 1 byte (8 bits) host address.

Small office networks mostly use class C.

NIC Network Interface Card – Also known as a Network or LAN adapter is a piece of computer hardware that allows a computer to connect to a network.

Nm Nanometre – A unit of length denoting one billionth of a metre.


OCA  Open Control Architecture – A system control and monitoring interoperability architecture, designed to simplify the design and intergration of professional media networks.

OSFP Octal Small Form-factor Pluggable. The Octal refers to the 8 electrical interfaces on the OSFP, each of which can carry 50Gbps providing a total bandwidth of 400Gbps

OSI model A standardised model for network protocols published by the international Organization for Standardisation ISO( The OSI model defines seven layers, defining the physical form of electrical data (layer 1) up to the network service application that uses he network (layer 7. MAC addressing is defined in layer 2; IP addressing is layer 3.

OSPF Open Shortest Path First – A routing protocol that allows routers to negotiate fast convergence of paths through a network. It allows load balancing across links, path configuration across multiple technologies and high performance routing across large infrastructures.

OM1/OM2/OM3/OM4/OM5 Different Multimode fibre standards – see FAQ here for more information


Packets – A formatted unit of data carried over a network which contains both control information (such as error checking and destination address) and user data.

PDU Power Distribution Unit – A device which distributes electrical power, these can be floor mounted on rack based. Both take high voltage electricity currents and reduce it into lower levels of voltage which have more usages.

PE Sheathed A Polyethylene outer sheath for copper cables meaning that the cables can be used outside as the sheath provides extra protection against outdoor elements as well as moisture and oil protection.

Pigtail A short fibre optical cable that has an optical connector on one end and exposed fibre on the other. These are commonly used to splice onto a single fibre in another multi fibre cable to breakout the cable into its fibre components for connection to end equipment.

Plug and Play A computing term describing a device which facilitates the discovery of a hardware component without the need for physical configuration or user intervention.

PoE Power over Ethernet – a system whereby electrical power is passed safely over Ethernet cabling along with data. PoE provides 15.4w of DC power to each device.

PoE+ Like PoE but PoE+ provides 25.5w of power to each device.

Port The exit and entrance point for information going our of and into a computer or other data communications device.

Port Mirroring – Used on a network switch, Port Mirroring sends a copy of the network packets in use on one port to a network monitoring connection on another switch port.

Port Trunking See Link Aggregation

Priority Queues Data packets have differing priorities, in a Priority Queue there are four queues with different priorities levels assigned. Higher priority queues are served first and lower priority queues are only served if or when the high priority queues are empty.

Private address IP address to be used for private networks without getting approval form InterNIC

Class A:

Class B:

Class C:

These are non-routable addresses and are restricted for use only within a local subnet

PSU – Power Supply Unit, the unit by which power is supplied to components.

PTP Precision Timed Protocol – Clock synchronization standard IEEE 1588. It uses a master-slave architecture and has sub-microsecond accuracy, making it suitable for use by audio network equipment.


Q in Q – An Ethernet networking standard which allows multiple VLAN headers to be inserted into a single frame, a must for metropolitan area networking.

QoS Quality of Service – A range of resource control mechanisms that aim to guarantee a certain level of network performance or to provide different priorities to applications or users.

QSFP Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable; a hot-swappable transceiver that supports 4 x GbE4GFC Fiberchannel or DDR InfiniBand.

QSFP+ An evoloution of the QSFP standard supporting 4 x 10GbE10GFC Fiberchannel or SDR InfiniBand.  The 4 channels can be combined to deliver 40GbE.

QSFP28 / QSFP100 / 100G QSFP Supports 100GbE and EDR InfiniBand.  Different venddors have abopted different terminology.  Can be broken out to 4x 25Gb ports with MPO/MTP Cable (QSFP28-4xSFP28)

QSFP-DD Quad Small Form-factor Pluggable (QSFP) – Double Density (DD). These have 8 electrical interfaces, each running at 50Gbps, providing a total bandwidth of 400Gbps. The QSFP-DD differs from a QSFP in that it has a second row of electrical contacts to increase the number of high-speed electrical lanes from 4 (in a QSFP) to 8 (in a QSFP-DD).


RADIUS Server Remote Authentication Dial in User Service – a networking protocol that centralises authentication, authorisation and accounting management for PCs to connect and use a network service.

Rate Limiting – This is a mechanism that controls the rate of traffic sent or received on a network, traffic that exceeds the set rate is then dropped or limited.

Ravenna An unlicensed, IP based media network using standard IT protocols and equipment. It is primarily used in the professional broadcast industry, and manufacturers are able to participate in its ongoing development. for more information see

Return Loss – Also known as reflection loss, meaning a loss of signal power due to a reflection caused by a discontinuity in an optical fibre – the discontinuity may arise from improper termination for example.

RFI Radio Frequency Interference. See EMI

RIP Routing Information Protocol – A protocol that automatically creates and maintains network routes, giving protection against failure.

RIPng Routing Information Protocol Next Generation – RIP that supports IPv6.

RPS Redundant Power Supply – In the event of main power supply failure to a network device, a redundant power supply is able to power the device thus improving network reliability by decreasing downtime.

RS232 Serial connection standardised by the Electronics Industry Alliance (EIA) defining electrical and mechanical characteristics, supporting low bitrate P2P (peer to peer) connections. In 1991 an upgraded standard RS232C was introduced.

RS422 Serial connection standardised by the Electronics Industry Alliance (EIA) defining electrical and mechanical characteristics

RSTP Rapid Spanning Tree Protocol – A supersession to Spanning Tree Protocol providing faster spanning tree convergences. RSTP has the ability to respond to failures in a few milliseconds or changes in around 6 seconds.

Ruggedised or Ruggedized Flat Twin – A standard duplex patch cable that with an additional Low Smoke Zero Halogen sheath providing extra durability and stiffness to avoid kinking.

sFlow – A technology present in some HP switches for monitoring network devices traffic levels.

SFP (Small Form-factor Pluggable) – A hot-swappable input/output device that plugs into a SFP slot on a switch and provides copper or fibre connectivity. In Ethernet systems the speed can be 100Mbp/s and Gigabit.

SFP+ – As SFP but capable of data rate of 10Gbit/s.

SFP28 – As SFP/SFP+ but supporting 25Gbit/s.  Typically used to break out from a 100GbE port.

Shielded Twisted Pair (STP) – A type of cable that includes one or more sets of cable pair moulded together by insulating materials and covered with a braided shielding conductor offering better noise protection than Unshielded Twisted Pair.

Single Mode Fibre – An optical fibre that carries only one ray of light (a mode) through it.

SNMP – A protocol for managing devices on an IP network for conditions that require administrative attention.

Spanning Tree Protocol (STP) – Sometimes referred to as STP, this is a data link layer protocol that ensures a loop free layout for an Ethernet LAN with the aim of preventing broadcast radiation.  See also RPST.

Stranded – In the context of Ethernet cable, the conductors each consist of multiple strands of copper cable.

Subnet mask A number that specifies what part of an IP address represents the network number and what part represents the host address.

SWA Steel Wire Armour – A cable that is armoured providing the highest level of crush resistance and rodent protection meaning that it is suitable for rugged external installations. Compared to CSTA the cable is more flexible but heavier.

SWDM4 A proprietary wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology that operates at four wavelengths: 850nm, 880nm, 910nm and 940nm.  Transceivers are designed to use two OM3, OM4 or OM5 fibres.


Tactical Fibre – Extremely strong and lightweight fibre cable that offers exceptional cut, abrasion and chemical resistance.

Tight Buffered Fibre – A type of fibre cable with includes a polymer coating component used to tightly encapsulate the optical fibres to provide increased protection suitable for both internal and external use.

Trunking Using two or more cables to connect switches supporting the IEEE802.3ad Link Aggregation functionality; allowing the use of two or more connections to act as a single higher capacity or redundant connection.

Twisted Pair A cable with two insulated copper wires twisted together with the twists varied in length to reduce potential signal interference between the pairs.


Unicast The 802.3 Ethernet standard, allowing information to be sent to only one specific device on a network. Since the transmitted packets only use up bandwidth on the ports and cables on the route from transmitter to sender, the network can support more connections compared to Multicast.

Uniter – Another name for an adapter which has two female fibre sockets and is used to interconnect two terminated fibre cables.

Unmanaged Switch – A plug and play switch which is desktop or rack mounted, these types of switches have no configuration interfaces or options.

UPS Uninterruptible Power Supply – An electrical apparatus that provides emergency power when the primary power source fails, this switchover is instantaneous and provides protection against business disruption and data loss.

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) – A cable with insulated copper twisted pairs but without any shielding.

You may see some products with an IP rating eg IP68, but what does that actually mean?

The IP Rating given to a piece of electrical apparatus is a two digit code indicating the degree of protection it’s enclosure affords it.  The first digit represents protection against penetration by solid objects, accessing hazardous parts. The second digit describes the enclosures and protection against the ingress of water.

An ‘X’ in place of either digit means that either the enclosure has not been tested or that the test is not applicable.

Mechanical Protection Water Ingress Protection
1st Digit (protection against solid foreign objects) 2nd Digit (protection against harmful ingress of water) Degree of Protection from water
  0 No protection   0 No protection No protection
  1  Full penetration of 50mm of sphere not allowed.  Contact with hazardous parts not permitted.   1 Protected against vertically falling drops of water. Vertically dripping
  2  Protected against solid objects over 12mm, e.g. fingers.   2 Protected against direct sprays of water up to 15° from the vertical. Dripping up to 15° from the vertical
  3  Protected against solid objects over 2.5mm, e.g. tools and wires.   3 Protected against direct sprays of water up to 60° from the vertical. Limited spraying
  4  Protected against solid objects against 1mm, e.g. wires, nails etc.   4 Protected against water splashed from all directions, limited ingress permitted. Splashing from all directions
  5 Protected against dust limited ingress, not harmful deposits.   5 Protected against low pressure jets of water from all directions, limited ingress permitted. Hosing jets from all directions
  6  Totally protected against dust.   6 Protected against strong jets of water, e.g. on a ships deck.  Limited ingress permitted. Strong hosing jets from all directions
  7 Protected against the effects of immersion between 150mm and 1m. Temporary immersion
  8 Protected against continuous submersion at a specified depth. Continuous immersion

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