How Does an Ethernet Cable Work? A Complete Cable Guide

Ethernet Cable

There is a high chance that you have heard about the Ethernet cables. You might know them just by their names. There is a lot that you do not know about these cables especially if you are new in the networking business. We’ll tell you about the working and internal structure of these cables. You must know how these cables work before getting one for your networking needs. In addition to that, this information will come handy. So, let’s start.

Ethernet Cable Introduction

Think of the Ethernet cat6 plenum cable as a link between your TV, computer, Wi-Fi router, and your gaming console. The common thing that connects them all is the Ethernet cable. You can use this cable to create a reliable connection between various devices. This cable provides the access to a local area network or a LAN.

Wi-Fi has become very popular over the past years however, you cannot deny the importance of an Ethernet cable. Because these cables can offer stable and faster connections as compared to wireless connections. Big data centers still use these cables because of their reliability and faster connectivity. These cables use RJ45 connectors on both ends. These universal connectors work perfectly fine with Ethernet ports on your devices.

Ethernet Vs Wi-Fi

Many factors contribute when it comes to Ethernet cable speed. The installation environment, cable categories, and device capability are some of those factors. Despite all of that, you will get at least a 1Gbs data transfer rate with these cables. Wireless connections even Wi-Fi 6 is not capable of that.

These cables offer a secure and consistent connection. In addition to that, you won’t have to worry that distance from the router will affect your internet speed. Latency is an important factor especially if you are an online gamer. Apart from connection security and reliability, Ethernet cables will tackle latency. These cables would make it harder to access your data with some hacking attack.

Types of Ethernet Cables

One thing you need to remember is that not all Ethernet cables are equal. There are various types or categories. All of these categories have different abilities. You may have noticed the word “cat” when looking for these cables like cat5 and cat6. The “cat” is short for the category. Older categories like cat2, cat3, and cat4 have become almost obsolete. Here are some of the newer categories and how they differentiate from each other:

Cat5 – this is one of the oldest categories still in use. You will get a 100Mbps data transfer rate will 100MHz bandwidth. You can use this cable for your normal home networks.

Cat5e – this is an enhanced version of category 5 cables. Many people argue that this is not a designated category. With this cable, you will get a 1Gbps data transfer rate. This cable tackles crosstalk with a better defense.

Cat6 – this cat6 bare copper cable has major improvements as compared to its predecessor. You will get 1Gbps internet speed over long distance connection with this cable. Not only that you will also get a 10Gbps data transfer rate over a shorter distance.

Cat6a – you can argue that this is the advanced version of category 6 cables. You will get double the speed with this one.

Types of Ethernet Cable Outer Jackets

The outer jacket is as important as the internal working of the cable. The types of jackets you get will depend entirely on your installation surroundings. You should get the right jacket type otherwise you will be liable for some damage. There are mainly three types of outer jackets; plenum, riser, and PVC.

Plenum-rated cables are ideal for plenum spaces. These spaces in your building offer pathways for air circulations. The air presence makes them dangerous in an event of a fire. The plenum-rated cables burn slowly with less toxic fumes.

Riser-rated cables are good to go in riser spaces of your building. These are vertical spaces in your building like an elevator shaft. You can install a plenum cable in these spaces but not the other way around.

Polyvinyl chloride or PVC cables are ideal for outdoor conditions. These cables can withstand extreme temperatures and harsh weather conditions.

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