How To Pick the Right Cables for Your Home Network?

Begin with your home internet connection’s speed. An old Ethernet cable will slow you down if you have gigabit internet (1Gbps). If your connection is slower, perhaps 10 or 20 megabits per second, anything Cat 5 or newer will suffice.

Connect your PC directly to the modem and do this speed test if you don’t know your internet subscription’s actual speed. It will give you a good sense of what kind of wired connectivity you’ll require. Purchasing a 1Gbps Ethernet cable if your subscription only allows for 50Mbps downloads is overkill – at least for now.

You have to take several factors into consideration when choosing the right Ethernet cables for your home network. These factors are:

Internet Speed

The first thing that you will take into consideration is to figure out the speed of your network connection. Taking into account the speeds of the existing connections, Cat5e ethernet cable or Cat6 pure copper cable will meet your requirements. However, if you are a gamer, then, you will leave a high-quality ethernet cable like Cat6 plenum bare copper. Installing Cat6 cable will future-proof your requirements for the upgrades. 

Environments

When it comes to ethernet cables, environment means spaces with a lot of crosstalks or no crosstalk. The crosstalk factor is important as based on it, you will decide whether to purchase shielded Cat6 solid copper 1000ft or unshielded Cat6 plenum bare copper. If the electric wires pass nearby, it means that the environment has a lot of crosstalk and EMI, the presence of which compromises signal quality that results in poor performance. In such cases, you will go by shielded Cat6 solid copper 1000ft. 

If there is no or little crosstalk, then go for unshielded cables as they are less expensive and provide the same data transfer rates and bandwidth capabilities (in crosstalk-less environments). 

Cable Budget

Whatever item you purchase, the price factor always plays a major role and ethernet cables are no exception. For instance, Cat6 ethernet cables and Cat5e ethernet cables almost cost the same. But when it comes to Cat6a cables, they are relatively more expensive. 

Within the Cat6 family, Cat6 bare copper cable costs much more than Cat6 copper-clad aluminum cable. Likewise, when it comes to cable jackets, plenum-rated (CMP-rated) cables are on the expensive side, risers are somewhat mid-range whereas PVC cables are on the cheaper side. 

Cable Length

Another factor that you will consider is the length of the cable. The length factor plays an important role in determining the data transfer rate. For instance, Cat6 cable will transfer data at 10Gbps over a distance of 50 meters and 1Gbps over a distance of 100 meters with bandwidth capabilities of 550MHz. With its relatively higher bandwidth, the cable can maintain signal quality at longer distances. 

When it comes to Cat5e, it can transfer data at 1Gbps but as its bandwidth capabilities are lower, it cannot maintain signal strength at longer distances. As far as Cat6a is concerned, it can maintain a 10Gbps rate over a length of 100 meters. Out of all three cables, Cat6 remains the most preferred choice for home networks. 

Cable Capacity

For home networking, Ethernet cable is a new generation option. Many different types of cables are available. Cat 3, 5, and 5e, 6, and 6a, and Cat7 are the categories. Every feature has its own uniqueness. Voice and telecommunication networking services often employ all of the cables. Updated Cat ethernet cables items appear on the market from time to time. At a glance, their cable capacities appear to be:

Cat-3 Cable: This is the most outdated cable and is rarely utilized by users. Cat 3 first appeared on the market in the United States in 1987. From 1987 through 1990, it was extremely popular. For residential networking at the time, users’ first choice was Cat-3 category cable. This cable offers a data rate of 10 Mbps and a maximum bandwidth of 16 MHz.

Cat-5 Cable:

Cat 5 is a cable that was introduced to the market in 1990. ANSI specification features introduced a design framework in 1993. Cat-5 is a twisted pair that comes in two varieties:

dependable Cat-5: Long-distance strength with a fixed wiring layout. These are commonly found in office and university buildings.

Cat-5 standard: This has a more flexible and elastic performance, making it an excellent choice for shorter distances. Cat has a data rate of 10/100 Mbps and a bandwidth of 100 MHz. Furthermore, this cable is 328 feet long, allowing the user to use it in a variety of ways. Cat 5 cable demand is increasing at this time, while Cat 3 cable demand is decreasing.

Cable Type: Cat-6 In 2002, Cat 6 was introduced, which is a significant upgrade from the preceding version. This cable has a length of 295 feet and a data transfer rate of 1 GB per second @ 250 MHZ.

Cat6a Cable:

Cat 6 has been updated to Cat 6a. It has a data transfer rate of 10 GB per second and a processing speed of 500 MHZ. It was first introduced to the market ten years ago, and it was really popular at the time. The following are the reasons:

Flat cables are commonly used for home networking. It is more practical to utilize circular ribbon cables for handheld devices rather than round ribbon cables. As an example, in manufacturing, the environment can be harmed by crushing, shock, vibration, and other factors. Accidents and pollutants are reduced when Ethernet cabling is used.

Chemicals, water, and fabric tools may also be required in some industries. To set up home networking, an Ethernet cable is required as a safety precaution.

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