What is attenuation in cables?

Attenuation is generally associated with data cables and refers to any reduction in signal loss, calculated as a ratio of the power input signal to output signal, which is measured in decibels per unit length (db/ft). Attenuation is very dependent on signal frequency, a cable that performs very well with low frequency data may demonstrate poor performance at higher data rates, cables with lower attenuation provide improved performance.

Attenuation occurs on computer networks for several reasons including:

- Range for wireless or length of run for wired networks

- Interference from other networks or physical obstructions for wireless systems

- Wire size, thicker wires are better.

Reducing attenuation in an electrical system and improving performance can be achieved by increasing the power of a signal through a signal amplifier or repeaters.

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