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Is Upgrading to CAT 7 Shielded Ethernet Cables Worth It?

As technology advances, so does the need for faster and more reliable internet connections. Ethernet cables are the backbone of any home or office network, and with the advent of CAT 7 cables, the potential for even faster and more stable connections is tantalizing. However, the question remains, is upgrading to CAT 7 shielded Ethernet cables worth the investment? This article will explore the benefits, drawbacks, and considerations of making the switch to CAT 7 cabling.

Benefits of CAT 7 Shielded Ethernet Cables

Higher Bandwidth and Speed

CAT 7 cables are designed to support bandwidths of up to 10 gigabits per second (Gbps), a significant improvement over the 1 Gbps limit of CAT 6 cables. This makes CAT 7 ideal for high-demand applications such as streaming 4K video, online gaming, and large file transfers.

Reduced Interference

Shielded Ethernet cables have an outer layer of shielding that protects the data signals from electromagnetic interference (EMI) and radio frequency interference (RFI). This shielding ensures more stable connections, especially in areas with a lot of electrical noise.


CAT 7 cables are relatively new in the market, but they are designed to support the latest Ethernet standards and protocols. By upgrading to CAT 7 now, you can ensure that your network will be ready for future advancements in internet technology.

Drawbacks of CAT 7 Shielded Ethernet Cables


CAT 7 shielded Ethernet cables are more expensive than CAT 6 cables. This can be a significant consideration, especially for large-scale installations.

Size and Flexibility

CAT 7 cables are thicker and less flexible than CAT 6 cables. This can make it more difficult to route the cables through tight spaces or around sharp corners.


CAT 7 cables are not backward compatible with CAT 6 or CAT 5e cables. This means that if you are upgrading only part of your network, you will need to replace all of the existing cables with CAT 7 cables to achieve the full benefits.


Network Infrastructure

Before upgrading to CAT 7 cables, it is important to assess your network infrastructure. If your network is not capable of supporting 10 Gbps speeds, then upgrading to CAT 7 cables will not provide any additional benefits.

Equipment Compatibility

Ensure that your network equipment, such as routers and switches, are compatible with CAT 7 cables. Otherwise, you may not be able to take advantage of the increased bandwidth and speed capabilities.

Cable Length

Longer Ethernet cables can experience signal degradation and interference. If you have long cable runs, consider using CAT 7A cables, which are designed for extended distances.


In conclusion, upgrading to CAT 7 shielded Ethernet cables can offer significant benefits in terms of bandwidth, interference reduction, and future-proofing. However, it is important to carefully consider the drawbacks, such as cost, size, and compatibility, before making the investment. By weighing the benefits and drawbacks, and considering your specific network requirements, you can make an informed decision on whether upgrading to CAT 7 shielded Ethernet cables is the right choice for you.

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