Ethernet Patch Cables



Ethernet Patch Cables

Ethernet cables are not all the same, to help you to find the best cable to suit your requirement use our filter!
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CATEGORIES OF ETHERNET CABLES

On the basis of supported speed and frequency, the Ethernet cables are categorized into different categories. The mainly used categories are discussed in following table. The speed is measured in Megabits per second (Mbps) or Gigabits per seconds (Gbps) and frequency is measured in megahertz (Mhz).

Ethernet cable category

Specifications

Description

CAT5

 

Speed: 10 Mbps to 100 mbps

Frequency: 100 Mhz

 

CAT5 is the oldest and slowest UTP cable. Now these cables are not available in the stores, but are available with older router or any older networking device.

 

CAT5e

 

Speed: 10 Mbps to 1000 mbps

Frequency: 100 Mhz

 

CAT5e is enhanced CAT5 cable with additional increase in speed and reduced interference level. They support upto 1000 mbps or 1 Gbps of speed so they are often called ‘gigabit Ethernet’.

CAT6

 

Speed: 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps

Frequency: 250 Mhz

 

CAT6 is successor of CAT5e with few more improvements in speed and frequency. The crosstalk (i.e. internal interference) is also reduced by making more twists in each copper pair. The new network infrastructures are using CAT6, so they are easily available in market. They require Gigabit compatible hardware for their installation.

 

 

CAT6a

 

Speed: 10 Mbps to 10 Gbps

Frequency: 500 Mhz

 

With reduced interference capabilities CAT6a allows connections up to longer range at speed of 10 Gbps. It has a plastic separator spine running in centre that decreases the interference.

 

 

The cables are often available in many colours like red, green, blue and yellow. These colours are used only for identification and does not symbolise any different type of cable.
Read our blog to know more about Ethernet cables.
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UNSHIELDED VS SHIELDED

There are different types of Ethernet cable available in market. All Ethernet cables are twisted copper wires because twisting of wires eliminates the interference in internal wires. The cables are broadly classified in two classes; Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP) and Shielded Twisted Pair (STP).

  • The UTP cables are not shielded: this involves a high degree of flexibility and resistance to forces. They are widely used in Ethernet networks and it's the most common solution if electromagnetic interference is not an issue.
  • The FTP (Foiled twisted pair) is enhancement of UTP that includes a metallic shield enclosing the entire cable to reduce electromagnetic interference. Shielded cables are used in higher interference area, like running cables outdoors or cables installed inside walls of building. Also, these cables are best to be installed for longer distance connections.

Read our blog to know more about the difference between Unshielded UTP cables and Shielded FTP Cables.
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BOOT TYPE: MOULDED VS SNAGLESS

  • Snag less ethernet cables have a plastic boot that covers the Rj45 plug so it doesn't catch or break off when you are pulling it through a tangle of other cables.
  • Moulded cables do not have a latch protection and it makes the cable easier to be removed.

Read our post on the difference between Moulded Cables and Snagless Cables.
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CABLE TYPE: PVC VS LOW SMOKE

Network cables are insulated with PVC jacket or Low Smoke jacket.

  • Ethernet cable with PVC sheath is your “go cable” for installation with no special requirement and it is the most common type of cable used in home network installation.
  • Low Smoke Zero Halogen Cable (also known as LSZH and LS0H or Halogen-free cable)does not generate dangerous combination of gas / acids or toxic smoke when exposed to fiamme. These type of cables is increasingly demanded by the authorities for the protection of people and equipment from toxic gases and corrosive and, in any case, slightly ventilate.

Read our blog article on Low smoke Zero Halogen cables if you wish to know more.
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WIRING SPECIFICATION: STRAIGHT VS CROSSOVER

  • Straight cable (or direct) is used to connect a PC to your router or network HUB or SWITCH. or to another network device.
  • Crossover cable is used to connect with each other apparatuses of the same type as two PC or to cascade connect HUB / SWITCH.

Read our blog article if you want more info on how an ethernet cable is made .
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