choose the right Ethernet cable
What does Cat Mean?
What does Cat Mean?
If you’ve ever looked for Ethernet cables on the Internet, you’ve probably noticed that they are almost always categorized as Cat 5, Cat 6e, or something similar. In fact, Cat is an abbreviated form of the word Category, and the accompanying number indicates the type of cable specification. One general indication is that higher numbers indicate higher speeds and frequencies based on MHz. Like most other technologies, newer cables are intended to support more bandwidth, which is why connection and download speeds are higher on these cables.
Cat 3 and Cat 5
Currently, both Cat 3 and Cat 5 Ethernet cables are obsolete. Although Cat 5 cables may still be used in some situations, you should never consider buying this type of Ethernet cable. They are slow and no one else uses them.
letter e in the Cat 5e standard is derived from the word Enhanced. There is no physical difference between Cat 5 and Cat 5e cables, but the 5e cable is built to more rigorous test standards to eliminate interference (such as unwanted signal transmission between communication channels). Today, the Cat 5e is the most popular type of Ethernet due to its low production cost and ability to support higher speeds than the original Cat 5 cables.
cables support much more bandwidth than Cat 5 and Cat 5e cables and are more expensive. Cat 6 cables are less flexible than their predecessors and are often made of aluminum or woven shielding. This cover protects the pair of wires twisted inside the Ethernet cable and prevents interference and interference. Cat 6 cables can technically support speeds of up to 10 Gbps, but their length should not exceed 55 meters.
letter a in Cat 6a is derived from the word Augmented. Compared to conventional Cat 6 cables, the 6a cable supports up to twice the bandwidth and has the ability to maintain high data transfer speeds over longer cable lengths. Cat 6a cables always use a protective cover and the sheath on it is thick enough to completely prevent interference. This makes it thicker and less flexible than the Cat 6 cable.
cables have the latest Ethernet technology, and compared to Cat 6 cables, they have more bandwidth and much better exchange speed. This cable is more expensive than other types of Ethernet cables, but their performance justifies this high price. Cat 7 cables can reach a length of 15 meters at a speed of 100 Gbps. This feature makes this cable an ideal choice for connecting a modem or router to your devices. Cat 7 cables also always use a protective cover and are equipped with a modified GigaGate45 connector. This connector is fully compatible with common Ethernet ports.
Cat 8 Cat 8
cables are still in development, but we expect to see this cable on the market soon. A standard that will have more speed and bandwidth than Cat 7 cables.
Which option is right for your job?
The easiest way to buy a cable is to choose one that is within the range of performance you need. But how do we identify our need?
Get started with your home internet connection speed. If you are using a Gigabit connection, choosing an older Ethernet cable will slow you down. But if your internet connection speed is low (for example 10 or 20 Mbps), choosing the standard Cat 5 or newer is for you.
Next, consider the speed you need for your network, although such a calculation is unnecessary for most home users. But if you often transfer large files between your computers or you need to stream high quality video content that requires high bandwidth, the better your Ethernet cable, the less problems it will cause you.
Considering all the above, a Cat 6 cable is the best choice you can have, because with this standard, all your needs will be met.
Also, most home users can safely use older Cat 5e cables.
Although the differences between the different types of Ethernet cables are quite clear, some of the symbols and abbreviations intended for it may be confusing. To avoid this problem, we will bring these terms and their meanings quickly and briefly so that you can recognize them when buying a cable.
TP: Twisted Pairs is a technical term that indicates that the wires inside this cable are twisted together. Twisted pair has been known as a standard for the industry for many years and is only inferior to fiber optic cabling in terms of maximum length and speed drop.
UTP: Unshielded Twisted PairsOr twisted pairs without sheathed cables that do not have aluminum or woven sheathing. This makes these cables more flexible in addition to lower production cost. But at the same time, the signal quality in this cable is lower and the possibility of interference increases.
STP: Shielded Twisted Pairs is also known as SSTP. These wires, which are usually made of copper or one of the other conductive polymers, are protected by woven sheaths. Having a protective cover reduces noise and thus increases the quality of the connection.
FTP: Foiled Twisted Pairs, also known as SFTP, are protected by aluminum foil covers. This protective cover will also reduce noise and thus increase the quality of the connection.