A Layman's Guide to CAT6A Cables, Their Advantages and Applications

We usually limit our knowledge of electrical world to the utilities we enjoy and do not dive much into it. However, it is important to know that data networks and Local area networks cannot work smoothly without cables. For the past 7 years, CAT6A cables have gained a lot of popularity for supporting support bandwidths up to 250 MHz and Gigabit network applications. CAT6 “A” is nothing but an augmented version of CAT6 cable that supports data rates of 10G up to 100 meters.

In this blog, our major purpose is to acquaint you with the advantages and applications of CAT6A Ethernet cable. But before we do that, we will know the difference between CAT6 and Cat6A LAN cables.

Difference between CAT6 and CAT6A

As compared to CAT5E’s cabling infrastructure, CAT6 cables offers many more benefits. Initially when the manufacturers introduced CAT6, it was 50% more expensive as compared to CAT5E. Due to the higher prices, there were limited installations. Gradually, as its pricing reduced and since it provided better bandwidth and higher data transfer rates as compared to CAT5E; they became a minimum standard for cable installations.

CAT6A cables have the potential to support data transfer up to 10GBPS at the bandwidth of 500MHZ. If you look at the cables keenly, you will observe tighter twists and have additional insulations that lessen the cross talk amongst devices. CAT6A is backward compatible with CAT6 and 5E; and EA networks use some of its components. Although initially expensive, these cables are now the most cost-effective solution for cable systems. The only disadvantage of CAT6A cables is its size and weight. So, if you want to fit a cable into a smaller room and cable trays, it becomes difficult. For installing them, you need a good-sized room for the cable bend, an outlet behind the wall and a cable tray.

By installing CAT6A cables, you can future proof your network and the cabling systems can last for more than 5 years. So, if you are looking for network system that can last for over a decade, offers better performance for power over ethernet and wireless systems; you should CAT6A cables are the one you can go for.

Shielded or Unshielded: Which One Should I go for?

CAT6A cables are available in two types: Shielded and Unshielded. F/UTP is an abbreviation used for shielded cables and U/UTP for unshielded cables. The first letter displays the type of overall shield and the other letters indicate the type of shielding on each pair along with the balanced element. As the name Shielded suggests, CAT6A cable come with an outer shield around that covers the individual pair or all the 4 copper pairs. If you have observed outlets, patch panels, modular jacks etc., they also come with a shield and renders several benefits.

You can find CAT-6A cables in different configurations. The CAT6A U/UTP cable has 4 unshielded twisted pairs; whereas, in CAT6A F/UTP, although there are 4 unshielded twisted pairs; there is no outer foil shield. The CAT6A U/FTP is a latest addition to the range of shielded cables and it is popular for the effective performance it renders.

Should I Install CAT6 or CAT6A Cables?

Well, it is easy. The first question you need to answer is– what are the applications of the cable? Furthermore, you can mull over the future applications of the cables. Ask yourself, are the number of users going to increase? What is the life expectancy of your building? etc. Keeping a check on cabling standards also helps a lot. Once you answer these questions, you will have more clarity on whether to install CAT6 or CAT6A cables.

As CAT6A cable offers a future proof solution against the evolving networking speeds, people prefer it more than CAT6. It is also backward compatible with CAT6 and CAT5E because of the RJ45 connector. Also, it is cost-effective and supports high bandwidths. (10Gbps network speed up to 100 meters)


The category 6A cables are available in both shielded and unshielded types. If you want to go for something which is gentle on your pockets, you can go for unshielded 6A cables which are easy to install. These cables are available online but you must buy them from an authentic resource.

SF Cable is a California based company that sells an array of electronic products including cables, cords, adapters, ethernet cables and more. We also offer a 60-day money back guarantee on our products and a lifetime warranty on adapters, cables, and other non-electronic products. You can check out the range of CAT5, CAT5E, CAT6, CAT6A and CAT7 cables on our e-sore. For further inquiries, write to us on sales@sfcable.com.