110 Block vs. Patch Panel | Is there a Difference?
Cabling is the fascinating world of connecting the digital world. In networking, you need patch panels to connect all your devices to the primary server. You got different types of patch panels to make the connections.
110 block is an older patch panel you use to connect Voice over IP and networking equipment. Modern patch panels can support more cabling options at much higher speeds. A 110 block is copper-based, but newer patch panels depend on fiber for a more streamlined network setup.
Discover the evolution of patch panels and how to use them to connect your network. In this article, you’ll learn all about these different cabling options and how they can make or break your network.
Cabling: The Importance Of Block 110 & Patch Panels
In a work environment that’s becoming more digitized by the minute, there’s an urgent need for reliable cabling.
To keep this world well-connected, you need wiring schemes such as 66 Blocks, 110 Blocks, and Patch Panels.
Before employees can sit down to do their work, their equipment needs to connect to the network through these wires and cables.
They need to connect to the patch panels that connect to the Intermediate Distribution Frame (IDF) that connects to the Main Distribution Frame (MDF).
A patch panel is an umbrella term that describes several types of wiring schemes.
The 110 block is a popular patch panel that may or may not contain RJ45 connectors to connect ethernet cables.
Users need to connect to the 110 blocks, which anchor their devices to the behind-the-scene network infrastructure.
Why are patch panels like 110 block convenient? They centralize the cabling in one place called a closet. You only need to connect the devices to the patch panel to create a streamlined work environment. The patch panel connects to the primary network equipment by stealth.
When a new employee joins the company, it’ll be easier to connect their workstation to the primary server. When an employee switches desks, it’ll be easier to change their cables to the serviceable patch panel.
It’ll also be easier to upgrade the panel, make design changes, and move the entire network when necessary.
Patch panels evolved over the decades to what they’re today, but let’s take a trip down to memory lane and recall old patch panels. It’ll help you understand how 110 block and patch panels compare.
Why 66 Block Is The Grand Daddy Of Patch Panel
In the past, organizations used 66 block patch panels when analog technology was all the rage. Some early networking equipment also relied on the 66 block standard.
The 66 blocks used to have two sides. On a hand, there’s a side that connects the cables coming from the devices. On the other, there’s a side that links the wires to the phone network.
The fundamental difference between the 66 blocks and the 110 blocks is that the 66 blocks didn’t have modular connectors. So, 66 blocks didn’t support RJ11 for phones nor RJ45 for networks.
They used to connect through older-style wires that you punch in with a dedicated punch-down tool.
Are 66 blocks still in use? Maybe. They’re ancient by today’s standards, but some telecom companies might still use them today for phone networking.
110 BLOCK: The New Kid On The Block
In 2021, 110 is still old. But compared to 66 blocks, it’s an innovation. As an “upgraded” version of the 66 blocks, 110 blocks can support Cat 5 and Cat 6 cables at much higher speeds.
They also support Voice over IP and newer models of networking equipment.
110 block is still a wire-to-wire type of patch panel that follows the punch-in method.
The fundamental difference between 110 blocks and 66 blocks is that after you punch in the wires, you can add a connector block to patch the connection.
The connector block serves as a converter that you can use to plug in different types of cables depending on what you need at the moment.
(You may want to look at images of a 110 block by entering “110 block” in Google’s image search).
Like 66 blocks, 110 blocks have two sides. One side connects the wires from the devices and another side for linking ethernet cables to the IDF.
The Modern Patch Panel
In newer versions of 110 blocks, you can connect ethernet cables from the devices directly to the 110 blocks with the connector block.
It’s a patch panel that can convert legacy wiring to modern ethernet connections through specialized built-in circuit chips.
Patch panels also support connectors to convert between Cat 5 and Cat 6 cables. Therefore, it’s a modular interface. It can convert read, transmit, and convert analog data to digital data.
Since a patch panel connects directly to the IDF, you can connect your cables directly without the need for data conversion. Not only that, but modern patch panels can support Gigabit Ethernet speeds.
A modern patch panel may also contain a built-in rack with wires connecting to switches, routers, and servers.
In that case, when a new employee joins the network, you never need to make any changes to the patch panel. You only need to change the switch wiring, which is much easier than changing the wires in the patch panel itself.
Fiber Patch Panels
All of these different types of patch panels are copper-based. Today, newer patch panels support fiber cables.
Fiber distribution panels don’t only support higher speeds but will support better connectivity.
They’ll help you expand your network to more floors and even to other buildings if needed.
Fiber panels are also easier to install, move, and upgrade. When you want to connect two fiber panels in two different buildings, you won’t need to rebuild the network system from scratch. You can move the panel while keeping all inner cables in place.
When you need to set up a network, you have tons of options other than the 110 blocks. Fiber panels are the latest and most reliable option you have.
With fiber panels, you can make quick and painless changes to your network system regardless of its location and what you want to achieve.
You also won’t need any specialized tools to make these installations, maintenances, and upgrades. There are no complex punch-down connections either.
All you need is to add, remove, or patch cabling with RJ45 connectors to patch your cables.
Once you put the system in place, it’ll be easier to make cross-connections to expand your network when needed.