Being one of the reputed providers of Ethernet and bulk network cables in the USA, we often get emails from ethernet cable users. They often get confused and overwhelmed as to which type to go for when they go for buying cables offline or online. Recently, we received an email from one of our visitors that said,
Dear Cable Expert,
“I understand that for the electronic devices in my home to work smoothly, I need Ethernet Cables. However, with so many ethernet cables available for sell on your website, I am utterly confused as to which one to go for. From what I know, I need CAT5 cables. But I can also see some CAT5E Cables, CAT6 and more! Does ‘E’ signify that the cable will have a greater speed? How can I decide on one? Please help!”
We have decided to answer the confusion of our valuable customer through an open letter so that it also helps other ethernet cable users to get over their confusions. So, here we go:
“First, I would like to congratulate on taking the decision of wiring home all by yourself. We understand that wiring home is not an easy task. But you would be quite satisfied once you’re done with the task. And of course, you would be able to stream video, transfer data, play games etc. with ease.
Now, as far as network cables are concerned; yes, they all will look the same from outside but no; not all of them are the same. Any of these cables might fit easily into the ethernet port but the functionalities they provide are different. So, if you are confused as to which is the type of cable you are using, you can see the text which printed on your cable. It depicts the type of cable.
The difference between cables is dependent on the standards of network. But they will definitely affect the speed of your network. Here’s a little brief on them so that you can take better decisions:
Category 5 Cables Are a PasséPeople do not use CAT5 Cables much these days. These cables can support the theoretical speed of 10 and 100Mbps. If the length of CAT5 cables is small, you also may get gigabit speeds on it. However, this isn’t necessary. As CAT5 cables are old, there are chances that you might not see them both offline and online; but you might find them connected to your old networking device, router or switch.
Cat5E Cables: Offers Enhanced Cabling
As the letter E indicates, CAT5E Cables render enhanced and faster networks. They can support 1000 Mbps Gigabit speeds; making them better than the normal CAT5 Cables. They also protect your network from interference, crosstalk and other disturbances. So, if you want reliable and faster network speed, CAT5E is the choice you must zero upon.
Cat6: Faster than CATE but Not Mandatory
A yet better and improved version of CAT5E Cables, CAT6 has more stringent specifications to electromagnetic interferences and 10 Gigabit speed. Now, you do not need this kind of speed at home as the regular utilities do not ask for that. However, if you are about to buy a new ethernet cable, it is advisable to go for CAT6 Cable.
So, which one should I finally go for?
Before you choose from one of these ethernet cables, you need to understand that internet speed and network speed are different. So, if you upgrade your cable, it in no way means that you would be able to run your Instagram of Facebook faster. However, if you are transferring data, a gigabit compatible hardware would be able to speed up the transmission.
It’s better not to undergo the Ethernet Cables dilemma if you are satisfied with the current speed of your network. But, if your hardware has the gigabit potential, it would be easy to upgrade the cables. If you are still using the old CAT5 Cables, you must upgrade to CAT5E. Make sure that you do not run cables longer than 100 meters for your home as they will drastically reduce the speed of your network.
Remember, it’s better not to fret over the cables you need to use for your home. Ask your cable expert from SF Cable and he would be more than happy to help.”