Ultimate Guide on Choosing the Best Ethernet Cables for office

Bulk Ethernet cables come in different categories such as Cat5e Cable, Cat6 Cable, Cat6a Cable, Cat7 Cable, and Cat8 cables. With such a vast variety at disposal, it becomes difficult to pick the right cable for your business. However, you need not worry as our experts have got your back. We will explore all these cables and understand which one is the best for your business needs. Let’s begin.

Cat5e Cable

Cat5e cable belongs to the 5th generation ethernet cable. The “Cat” in the title refers to the category, 5 refers to the generation, and “e” signifies that it is an enhanced 5th generation cable. Now that you have completely fathomed the title, now is the time to explore the technical side of this ethernet cable. 

Cat5e cable demonstrates maximum data transfer rates of 1 Gbps over lengths of 164 feet or 50 meters with a bandwidth capacity of 350 MHz. The same cable transfers data at the rate of 100 Mbps when length increases to 328 feet or 100 meters. The cable is available in all three variants: Plenum, riser, and PVC. Plenum ethernet cables find their installation in the plenum areas of the buildings Plenum areas are horizontal areas of the buildings that support return airflows of conditioning and heating systems. The plenum ethernet cables significantly reduce the risk of fire eruption as they have fire retardant properties, emit no toxicity such as perilous gases or smoke. They come with the highest-rated CMP jacket. 

Riser cables are fit for installation in the riser spaces of the buildings. Riser cables find their usage in the vertical spaces. These cables come in handy in scenarios of fire eruption as they halt its progression and emit very low smoke and no dangerous gases. The cables have riser-rated CMR jackets and they are the second-best jackets as per standard laid out by TIA/EIA. These cables are UV-resistant. 

For outdoor spaces, manufacturers make cables that have PVC jackets. These jackets are UV-resistant and sunlight resistant and they also have excellent protection against chemicals. 

The inner structure comes with 8 conductors either made up of pure copper or copper-clad aluminum. These conductors are bundled together in 4 twisted pairs and these 4 individual twisted pairs are separated by insulation. 

Cat6 Cable

Cat6 cable — at present — is the most in-demand ethernet cable. Cat refers to the category, and 6 refers to the generation. Up to a distance of 50 meters or 164 feet, this bulk ethernet cable transfers data at a speed of 10 Gbps. Up to a distance of 328 feet, the cable transfers data at a speed of 1 Gbps. The cable has a bandwidth capacity of up to 550 MHz. The cable is available in all three jackets and comes in both pure copper and CCA conductors. 

Cat6a Cable 

Cat6a cable is a 6th generation augmented ethernet cable. The cable supports high-speed applications with 10 Gbps data transfer up to a distance of 100 meters or 328 feet. The bulk ethernet cable is available in all 3 jackets and comes in both types of conductors. It has an augmented bandwidth of 750 MHz. 

Bulk Ethernet Cable – Which one is the best for your business? 

Well, if you want to future-proof your business network for any possible upgrades, the Cat6a cable is the best choice. 

As there will be lots of electric wires near your ethernet cables, this will result in the crosstalk and EMI. To prevent both, you should go with Cat6a Pure Copper cable that is STP (shielded twisted pairs). STP cables enjoy extra protection in form of foil sheets wrapped around all 4 twisted pairs combined or foil sheets wrapped around each individual pair. 

As safety remains the biggest concern for any business, you should opt for UL-listed or ETL-Listed bulk ethernet cable. UL and ETL are independent testing bodies that set very stringent and high safety standards. Ethernet cables with these standards have been widely tested against all safety standards. 

The jacket material is also the biggest concern. For your corporate building, it is very likely that you need all 3 types of ethernet cables including Cat6a Plenum Cable, Cat6a Riser Cable, and Cat6a PVC cable. Last but not least, there’s no harm in spending some extra bucks and buying pure copper bulk ethernet cables as they have very little attenuation (very less loss of signal strength). Furthermore, pure copper cables have very little low resistance, as much as 55% less than copper-clad cables. The end result is more energy gets transferred into signals and less is wasted in form of heat. Plus, Cat6a pure copper cables have top-notch crosstalk and EMI properties as pure copper conductors prevent and cancel them, respectively.