When you are installing or upgrading a network in your home, choosing the right type of Ethernet cable is critical for the success of the project. Ethernet cables are not all alike. If you require a certain level of performance, it is important to have an understanding of the capabilities of each type of cable.
Once you grasp the differences between the types, you will understand why Cat6a Ethernet cable is a great choice. Make sure to work with a licensed electrician who is experienced in data cabling installations to get the best results.
Most Common Categories of Ethernet Cabling
The four types of cabling categories that are most commonly in use are listed below with their years of introduction.
- Cat5 (Category 5) – 1995
- Cat5e (Category 5, enhanced) – 2001
- Cat6 (Category 6) – 2002
- Cat6a (Category 6, augmented) – 2008
Capabilities of the Four Common Categories
- Cat5 is the most common and least expensive, but it is the slowest of the four above. Although it is not rated for supporting Gigabit Ethernet, it is capable of doing so at short distances.
- Cat5e is capable of transferring data at rates of up to one Gigabit per second at 100 MHz up to a distance of 100 meters (328 feet). It minimizes crosstalk, but does not completely eliminate it.
- Cat6 is capable of transferring data at rates of up to 10 Gigabits per second at 250 MHz. However, its effective performance at its maximum rate is only 50 meters (164 feet).
- Cat6a is significantly superior to the other three and is the most expensive. It is capable of transferring data at rates of up to 10 Gigabits per second at 500 MHz up to a distance of 100 meters (328 feet).
Part 2 will discuss the top reasons for upgrading your home to Cat6a cabling.
Electrical Services You Can Trust
Founded in 1991, Meyer Electrical Services provides home and commercial electrical services in Maryland, Virginia, and D.C., where we are licensed and insured. Based in Bethesda, our team proudly serves all of Montgomery County. Receive a free consultation for custom electrical work today by calling (301) 941-1400.