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Do I Need A Patch Panel?

In a time when wireless technology appears to reign supreme, the enduring relevance of wired networks remains undeniable. For numerous businesses, the search of high-speed internet and achieving peak performance requires the consistency of wired connections. In the dynamic realm of modern business, speed is important; however, it introduces a conundrum – the intertwining of cables. These cables serve as bridges between machines, enhancing productivity, but they also give rise to spatial challenges, swiftly transforming into a knotty jumble that hinders maintenance efforts. The good news is there’s a solution at hand.

What is a Patch Panel?

Patch panels, also known as patch fields or patch bays, house multiple ports that connect to corresponding ports in remote locations via cables. Primarily used for organization, they streamline network maintenance and management. Available in sizes like 12, 24, and 48 ports, these panels accommodate various needs effectively.

The benefits

Patch panels streamline cable management by reducing clutter and optimizing space utilization. With labelled ports for easy device identification, troubleshooting and reconfiguration become effortless. They simplify maintenance and prevent the need to replace cables by minimizing movement. Additionally, patch panels offer cost savings through affordable upfront costs and reduced cable expenses.

What Do They Do?

Patch panels function through the connection of cables via RJ45 connectors and Insulation-displacement connector (IDC) terminal blocks, establishing a link between ports. Ethernet and network cables attach to the panel’s back using IDC termination blocks to reroute signals to their intended destination. These signals then extend to the front RJ45 connectors, ultimately connecting to target devices using patch cables.
Optimal placement for patch panels is within a central location, like a server room or data centre, situated close to user-end equipment. This positioning reduces the need for lengthy cables at the front end, resulting in cost-effective cabling.
Commonly, patch panels find their role in local area networks (LANs) within organizations, linking computers and facilitating internet access. This LAN can further connect to a Wider Area Network (WAN) for broader connectivity.

Ideal Placement

For optimal results, place patch panels centrally, such as in a server room. This eliminates the need for long cables at the front end, making your setup cost-efficient.

Types of Patch Panels

Patch panels come in several prevalent types: twisted pair copper, fiber optic, and coaxial. Twisted pair copper and fiber optic panels commonly find their place in local area networks, whereas coaxial panels tend to be utilized in audio/visual setups.

  • Twisted Pair Copper: These panels adhere to Ethernet specifications like Cat 5e, Cat 6, and Cat 6a.
  • Fiber Optics: These panels accommodate optical fiber connections such as lucent connector (LC), subscriber connector (SC), and straight tip connectors (ST).
  • Coaxial: These panels are often employed for connecting TVs, media layers, and cameras.


In summary, if you’re managing wired networks, adding a patch panel can significantly improve cable management and network efficiency. Choosing the right patch panel for your needs will harmonize with your existing components, creating a flexible and scalable cabling setup tailored to your business requirements. With patch panels, you can streamline your network, making it more efficient, organized, and ready for future growth.

Date: 18/08/2023

Written by: Alysha Bibby