Ethernet cables bulk connect devices with each other and with the internet. They come in different generations. The title of ethernet cable carries a numerical value that refers to the generation. For instance, a Cat5e cable is a 5th generation cable and a Cat6 cable is a 6th generation cable. Ethernet cables further differ in conductors’ material, outer jacket, and shielding.
Categories of Ethernet Cables
Following are the categories of ethernet cables:
- Cat5e ethernet cables (Category 5)
- Cat6 ethernet cables (Category 6)
- Cat6a ethernet cables (augmented Category 6)
- Cat7 ethernet cables (Category 7)
- Cat8 ethernet cables (Category 8)
A Cat5e ethernet cable renders a data transfer speed of 100 Mpbs up to a length of 328 feet or 100 meters and 1 Gbps up to a distance of 164 feet or 50 meters. The cable comes with a bandwidth capacity of up to 350 MHz. It is ideal for residential installations.
A Cat6 ethernet cable renders a data transfer speed of 1 Gbps up to a length of 328 feet or 100 meters and 10 Gbps up to a distance of 164 feet or 50 meters. This cable comes with a bandwidth of up to 550 MHz and is ideal for residential, and office usage.
A Cat6a ethernet cable renders a data transfer speed of 10 Gbps up to a length of 328 feet or 100 meters. This cable comes with a bandwidth of up to 550 MHz and is ideal for residential, and office usage.
A Cat7 ethernet cable renders a data transfer speed of 40 Gbps up to a length of 50 meters and 100 Gbps up to a distance of 15 meters. This cable comes with a bandwidth of up to 1500 MHz and is ideal for residential, high-speed data centers, and office usage.
A Cat8 ethernet cable renders a data transfer speed of 40 Gbps up to a length of 328 feet or 100 meters. This cable comes with a bandwidth of up to 2 GHz and is ideal for residential, high-speed data centers, and office usage. A Cat8 cable is the fastest cable to date.
Ethernet Cables Bulk – Jacket Types
Following are the types of ethernet cables’ jackets:
Let’s discuss each one of them in detail.
Ethernet Cable Bulk – Plenum
Plenum Ethernet cables are premium ethernet cables. They enjoy the highest rating for the jacket that is CMP [Communications Multipurpose Cable Plenum]. A plenum ethernet cable finds its usage in high-risk plenum areas of the buildings. Plenum spaces are horizontal spaces in the buildings and facilitate return airflows for heating and cooling systems. As air pressure is greater in these areas, there’s always the risk of fire eruption and progression.
To address the issue of fire progression, authorities have only allowed the use of plenum-rated ethernet cables in these areas. Plenum ethernet cables have fire retardant properties, they are UV resistant and emit no smoke or toxicity during the burning process.
Ethernet Cables Bulk – Riser
Riser-rated ethernet cables enjoy the second-best rating when it comes to jacket material. These cables carry CMR [Communications Multipurpose Cable Riser] rating and find their usage in the high-risk riser or vertical spaces of the buildings. These cables, just like their plenum counterparts, are fire and UV-resistant. Also, these cables halt fire progression and emit very low smoke and no toxic elements during the burning process.
Ethernet Cables Bulk – PVC
PVC-rated cables find their usage in harsh outdoor environments. As issues of eruption and progression are of no concern for outdoor spaces, the jacket of these cables is made from low-quality polyvinyl chloride. However, the jacket is sunlight resistant and also renders top-notch protection against chemicals.
Ethernet Cables Bulk – Conductor Types
When it comes to conductors, two types of cables are available in the market. These are:
- Bare Copper Cable [also known as pure copper and solid copper]
- Copper-clad Aluminum cables or CCA cables
Let’s explore both.
Bare Copper Cable
Bare copper cables have conductors made up of pure copper. The greatest advantage of solid copper cables is that these cables have very little attenuation. It means your Cat6 solid copper cable suffers from very little loss of signal strength as a result of which, you enjoy optimum level connectivity. These cables also have far less DC resistance. It means more energy is transferred into power and less energy is transferred into heat.
On the other hand, CCA cables suffer from a high level of attenuation and DC resistance. The only benefit of these cables is that they are cheaper.
Ethernet Cables Bulk – STP vs UTP
Those ethernet cables that have an extra layer of protection around the four twisted pairs in form of a foil sheet are identified as STP (shielded twisted pair) cables. These cables are used for installation in spaces where crosstalk and EMI are of concern.
Those ethernet cables that do not have an extra layer of protection against the 4 twisted pairs are identified as UTP (unshielded twisted pair) cables. They are relatively cheaper than STP cables.
This is all you need to know about ethernet cables. We hope that this article will help you in making an informed decision when you buy ethernet cables.
Ethernet cables are an important tool that helps in connecting a variety of devices to the internet or to one another through a Local Area Network. The cables are used with the help of a network interface controller, which is also known as NIC, in order to transmit signals to the devices.
Most modern computers and laptops come with one internal and one external Ethernet port and there are a number of external Ethernet ports available and can be used. The Ethernet cable has to be connected to the server and the other end is connected to the NIC of the device that needs to receive or transmit data.
Ethernet networks are indispensable for countless users across the globe. The Ethernet cable is the most commonly used medium to connect the computer with the Ethernet switch or router. Here in this blog, we have discussed some of the most important Ethernet cable-related facts in the most concise manner.
Ethernet cables bulk connect devices with each other and with local area networks and wide area networks.