There are many types of ethernet cables out there in the market these days. Choosing the right cable can be a daunting task whether it is for a business network, data center, or home network. Ethernet cables come in different categories like category 5, category 6, and category 7. Each of these categories has different specifications to cater to certain needs. Most of these cables are bulk cable like cat6 plenum cable 1000ft. Bulk cables are usually 1000 feet long.
Diversity in Ethernet Cables:
To get the most appropriate cable, the first thing to consider is to have sufficient knowledge about various categories of ethernet cable. Starting with category 5, this is one of the most common types out there. Cat5 cables are ideal for home networks. There are two types of category 5 cable including cat5 and cat5e. Cat5e is the enhanced version of category 5 cables. The data transfer rate of this cable is 350MHz which is pretty decent for home networks and small businesses.
Category 6 cables are next in line. These cables are ideal for both home networks and data centers where high speed is a must-have. There are also two types of category 6 cable, cat6, and cat6a. Cat6 comes with 550MHz frequency and Cat6a has 750MHz frequency. The “a” in cat6a stands for augmented. Both of these cables are commonly available everywhere as they have become go-to cables for networking solutions.
All of these cables are bulk cables that mean they come at a length of 1000 feet. Different manufacturers offer different prices for cat6a plenum cable 1000ft and other cables.
Jacketing of Ethernet Cables:
Ethernet cables have three most commonly used outer jacketing. These jackets are Plenum, Riser, and PVC. Plenum rated cables are used in plenum spaces of any infrastructure. These spaces are in between the floor where there is airflow all the time. This airflow makes these places prone to fire. Plenum rated cables burn slowly with fewer toxic fumes. Plenum cables are purely indoor cables.
Riser rated cables are used for vertical installations. These cables are also indoor cables but these cables cannot be used instead of plenum cables. Riser cables are also good for outdoor installations.
Lastly, PVC or polyvinyl chloride jacket. This is used for outdoor installations because this jacket can bear extreme weather conditions. This is a sturdy jacket bearing harsh temperatures and rain. PVC cables cannot be used instead of plenum and riser cables.
When to go for Shielded and Unshielded Cables:
To understand the difference between shielded and unshielded cables, firstly you need to know about the internal structure of the cables. The internal structure of an ethernet cable is the same more or less. There are eight wires twisted together in four pairs. The internal wiring can be made of pure copper or standard wire. If there is an extra layer of jacketing around the twisted pairs then it would be considered a shielded cable. If not, the cable would be unshielded.
Now the most important factor to consider is electromagnetic interference. If the place of installation has many electric devices the EMI would be high. For places like these, the shielded cables would be fine. These cables offer extra protection against EMI, unlike the unshielded cables. Shielded bulk cables are a bit more expensive than unshielded cables.
For Smooth Gaming Experience use Cat6:
There are certain factors to look out for when considering a cable for gaming. The first and far most thing is the speed of the cable. The ethernet cable should support gigabit ethernet speed. The other thing is the distance; if the distance is long then bulk cable like cat6 plenum cable 100ft would work just fine. But for the shorter distance, patch cables of category 6 would be okay. Cat6 offers high speed and better connectivity that are essential for a smooth gaming experience.
Cat6 cables also have better protection against crosstalk and electromagnetic interferences. The crosstalk is an unwanted phenomenon that occurs when signals from two passing by cables overlap. This can harm the data packages and their integrity. But cat6 plenum has tightly twister wiring pairs and thick sheathing giving the cable better protection against all sorts of crosstalk and EMI.
Technology is contently developing and there are new inventions every day making the old ones obsolete. The same thing goes for ethernet cables. More advanced cables in the future make the current cables obsolete. But for now, if you are looking to buy a perfect cable for your network, you should do thorough research and compare prices at various vendors and manufacturers.