How to Choose the Right Ethernet Cable for Your Network?
Ordinarily, Ethernet cables serve the same purpose-Connecting devices to other networks such as internet networks. It is important to understand that Ethernet cables are not the same. There are many different features that are found in different cables. Unfortunately, it is not easy to tell this difference. If you have ever found yourself in a situation where you are buying an Ethernet cable but don’t know where to begin, you are not alone. Just like everyone else, Ethernet cables designations for Ethernet connection can be difficult to understand and interpret. Luckily, knowing what to look for in different in ethernet cable types can save you a great deal of time and effort when selecting modern network cables for Ethernet connectivity. You don’t even have to dwell so much on complex features but rather, just understand the basics of choosing an Ethernet cable.
How Do You Choose?
The simplest and most effective way of choosing an Ethernet cable is by choosing one that has the required range and performance you are looking for. What do we mean by this? Start with your internet connectivity speed. If you happen to be using gigabit internet, then using an old Ethernet cable will be no good. Such a cable will hold you back. However when using a relatively slower connection that is between 10 and 20 megabits/second, you can use literally anything-from bulk cat5e cable or even newer versions. The other thing you need to carefully consider is the network speed. For many home-users, this factor seems somehow irrelevant. However, a good and quality Ethernet cable is required especially if you constantly move big files between different computers or stream videos with high bandwidth content. Lastly, your router is also important when it comes to choosing an Ethernet cable. There are cheap routers available in the market that can only support up to 100 megabits/second. This means that such a router will bottleneck anything that is newer than a bulk cat5e cable. Even some of the best routers in the market today cannot handle more than a gigabit Ethernet which makes cables such as cat6 cable and other categories of ethernet cable of questionable use. With all the other factors kept constant, most homes require category 6 ethernet cables. However, you can still use bulk cat5e cable for home use and still get away with it.
What Does ‘Cat’ Mean?
If you have ever searched for information bout cables in the past, you will realize that they are always classified as bulk cat5e cable, cat5e network cables, cat6 cables and many more. What you probably don’t know is what that ‘ca’ stands for. The ‘ca’ in ethernet cables stands for categorization while the number that follows this categorization stands for the specifications under which the cables were manufactured. The rule of thumb in this categorization is that the higher the specification number, the higher the speed and frequencies that the cable has. Speed performance and frequencies are often measured in Mhz. This is the case with most technologies. It is worth noting that newer Ethernet cables support higher bandwidths. This is what leads to increased download speeds as well as faster internet connectivity. Apart from different categorization of cables such as the bulk cat5e cable, always remember that the /length of these cables affects the transmission. A longer Ethernet cable is characterized by slower transmission speeds. This is one of the reasons why personal Ethernet cables for home use rarely exceed 100 meters in length.