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The Differences Between Internet LAN Cable Categories

Over the years, there have been several different categories of LAN cables used for internet access. Each category has its own unique set of specifications, including the type of cable, the number of conductors, and the maximum data transfer rate. In this article, we’ll explore the differences between the most common LAN cable categories and help you choose the right one for your needs.

CAT5e

CAT5e (Category 5 enhanced) is one of the most widely used LAN cable categories today. It is a twisted pair cable that consists of four pairs of conductors, each of which is made of copper. CAT5e cables can support data transfer rates of up to 1000 Mbps (1 gigabit per second) over distances of up to 100 meters.

CAT6

CAT6 (Category 6) is a newer LAN cable category that offers better performance than CAT5e. It is also a twisted pair cable, but it has a higher number of conductors (eight pairs instead of four) and a tighter twist rate. This results in reduced crosstalk and interference, which allows CAT6 cables to support data transfer rates of up to 10 Gbps (10 gigabits per second) over distances of up to 55 meters.

CAT6A

CAT6A (Category 6 augmented) is an even newer LAN cable category that offers even better performance than CAT6. It has the same number of conductors as CAT6, but it uses a different type of insulation material that reduces crosstalk even further. This allows CAT6A cables to support data transfer rates of up to 10 Gbps over distances of up to 100 meters.

CAT7

CAT7 (Category 7) is the newest LAN cable category and offers the best performance of all. It is a shielded twisted pair cable that consists of four pairs of conductors, each of which is made of copper. CAT7 cables can support data transfer rates of up to 100 Gbps (100 gigabits per second) over distances of up to 100 meters.

Choosing the Right LAN Cable Category

The best LAN cable category for your needs will depend on a number of factors, including the speed of your internet connection, the distance between your devices, and the amount of interference in your environment. If you have a high-speed internet connection and you need to run cables over a long distance, then you’ll want to choose a CAT6 or CAT6A cable. If you have a lower-speed internet connection and you don’t need to run cables over a long distance, then a CAT5e cable will suffice.

No matter which LAN cable category you choose, make sure to use high-quality cables and connectors. This will help ensure that your network is reliable and efficient.

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