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    Things You Need to Know About Ethernet Cables


    If you’re new in the field of networking, selecting the appropriate ethernet cables for the network you are using may be a difficult job for you. Ethernet cables can be found in various categories like Cat5e Cable, Cat6 Cable, and Cat6a Cable. In this article, we’ll explain all kinds of cables as well as their features. Let’s begin.

    Data Transfer Rates

    Data Transfer rates differ depending on the Category of the cable. The maximum and minimum rates of data transfer of Cat5e cable are 100 Mbps and one Gbps, respectively. Cat5e can support the data transfer rate of 100 Mbps, up to 100 meters, and 1 Gbps for 50 meters.

    The minimum and maximum transfers for Cat6 Cable stand at 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps, respectively. Cat6 Cable supports data transfer speeds of one Gbps up to 100m or 328ft. There are also maximum rates of 10 Gbps that extend to lengths as long as 50m or 164 feet.

    The Cat6a cable can support a maximum data transfer speed in the range of 10 Gbps up to 50 meters or 164 feet.


    As the rates of data transfer, the bandwidth capabilities of a specific cable are contingent on the class it is in. The bandwidth capability of the Cat5e Ethernet cable is around 350 milliseconds. The same is 555 Mhz in the case of Cat6 Ethernet cables and 775 milliseconds when using Cat6a Ethernet cable.


    Another thing to note about Ethernet cables is the jacket.

    Ethernet cables come in three different jackets.

    • Plenum
    • Riser
    • PVC

    Plenum Ethernet cables have CMP-rated jackets. CMP represents the most prestigious possible rating for jackets that are ethernet-compatible. Cables with CMP jackets are intended for installation in high-risk plenums or horizontal spaces of structures. 

    The pressure in the atmosphere is more significant because these spaces allow airflow to cool and heat. Thus, the chance of fire spreading and exploding here is more likely. Plenum-rated cables don’t just slow down fire spread but also release no toxic or smoke. All types of Ethernet cables can be found in Plenum jackets.

    Riser Ethernet cables have CMR-rated jackets. CMR is the second-highest rating for the jackets of ethernet cables because the cables are fire-proof and UV-resistant. They are made to be used in riser spaces and vertical areas of structures. The entire range of Ethernet cables comes with riser-rated jackets.

    PVC Ethernet cables are bundled with PVC-rated jackets. The Ethernet cables are designed to be used in outdoor areas. The entire range of Ethernet cables is offered with PVC rating jackets.


    The third important thing to be aware of when purchasing Ethernet cable is conductors. Ethernet cables include pure copper conductors as well as copper-clad aluminum conductors.

    Cat6 pure Copper Conductors conductors have top-of-the-line EMI and crosstalk characteristics. It means that pure copper conductors offer top-quality resistance to these two elements and block them from affecting your signal. Another advantage of pure copper conductors is that they provide less attenuation than CCA cables.

     Attenuation is the term used to describe the weakening of movement. The third reason pure copper conductors are more effective is their lower DC resistance. It means fewer packets are transferred, and you can enjoy seamless connectivity.

    When it comes to the number of conductors part of the ethernet cables, the number is 8. To guard against any interference, These eight wires or conductors are connected as four connected pairs.


    To protect yourself, Ethernet cables are backed by two widely recognized certificates: ETL and UL.

    UL is the most stringent of certifications since they have set strict safety guidelines. Because of the same reason that this certification is costly. However, ETL is not a part of its safety guidelines, but rather it adheres to the standards that UL sets. It’s a less expensive certification when compared with the UL.

    All Ethernet cables, including Cat6 cable, Cat5e cable, and Cat6a cable, might be certified with these certificates.

    It is essential to point out that ethernet cables with these certifications in the shape of marks on their jackets’ outer surfaces are safe to install. Why? Because they’ve been checked against the strictest safety standards of the manufacturer.

    A high-quality ethernet cable must meet the requirements of other standards like TIA/EIA FCC, CE, ISO/IES and must be compliant with RoHS standards. Ethernet cables in bulk are packaged in convenient packaging. It is possible to install them at temperatures ranging between 0° Celsius up to 60° Celsius.

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