Homes and businesses today operate on either a wired network connection or a wireless (Wi-Fi) connection. Wired connections are typically faster than Wi-Fi and have lower latency. Both types of network hardware continue to advance, allowing users to benefit from faster speeds. This may not be a big deal for the home network where the internet connection speed is usually the bottleneck. But businesses need to consider what kind of cables they are using. There is a big difference between the network speeds of the different Ethernet cables.
Comparing Other Cables To The Cat7 Ethernet CableLet's start with the most standard types of Ethernet cables. Most of the new ones that are purchased in stores or bundled with equipment are probably recent enough that you do not need to worry. Companies that are still using older Ethernet cables they’ve had for a long time more than likely need to upgrade to a newer version. Cables are not a brand name or generic; they are separated into different standard categories. The most common include Category 5, Category 5e, Category 6 and Category 6a. The newest cable category is 7. Each cable is backward compatible – meaning, you can plug a newer cable into a device created for a slower cable, and you will not have any compatibility problems.
Category Cable ProgressionEach newer cable standard allows the user to get higher possible speeds with lower crosstalk. This enables the user to get those fast speeds, even with longer cables. When compared at lengths of 100 meters of cable, the following numbers show the difference in Ethernet cable categories:
- Cat5 ethernet cable is typically too slow for business networks, allowing the user to get up to 100 Mb/second speed at 100 Mhz
- Cat5e ethernet cable allows up to 1 Gb/s internet speed with 100 Mhz
- Cat6 ethernet cable allows up to 1 Gb/s, but cable lengths up to 55 meters can get internet speeds of 10 Gb/s at 250 Mhz
- Cat6a ethernet cable can get speeds up to 10 Gb/s, even at 100 meters of cable length, operating at 500 Mhz
- Cat7 ethernet cable is the newest cable category, operating at speeds of 10 Gb/s at 100 meters of cable and transmitting frequencies up to 600 Mhz.