Ethernet cables are the default means of networking throughout the world. Even if you have a WIFI router at home, it is most likely connected to the main link through an ethernet LAN cable. Ethernet technology has greatly evolved over the last couple of years. Nowadays, you can choose from over six different types of ethernet for your home network. But can ethernet cable affect internet speed? Well, it is a debate that requires some basic knowledge about ethernet cable technology and how it works. Therefore, this article will provide a beginner-friendly guide to help you choose the right cable for your network.

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Different types of Ethernet Cables

Different types of Ethernet Cables

Ethernet technology has seen several advancements in the past decade. Each new technology brings several performances, speed, durability, and stability improvements with it. However, you may still need to consider your router and network specifications before upgrading your current ethernet setup. Here are the six types of ethernet cables that you can buy.

CAT 5

CAT 5

Ethernet CAT 5 is the oldest technology in the cable world. In fact, it is the first-ever ethernet technology used since the early internet days. So, it is compatible with most old and new routers and internet setups. However, the speed of the CAT 5 cable is limited between 10Mbps to 100Mbps, depending on your connection. Moreover, it restricts your bandwidth to only 100MHz, which can be pretty lethal for multiplayer gaming. Regardless, the CAT 5 cable technology is the technological ancestor of every internet connection that you find today.

CAT 5e

CAT 5e

The CAT 5 enhanced or 5e is the improved version of the basic CAT 5 technology. It offers several performances and stability improvements over long lengths. For instance, theoretically, the 5e technology supports up to 1000Mbps connection over 100m free distance. In other words, the 5e technology offers a ten times higher transfer rate than the CAT 5 ethernet cables. However, the bandwidth is still the same 100MHz, so there are no improvements in that region. Still, the CAT 5e is the most commonly used Ethernet LAN cable in the market today.

CAT 6

CAT 6

Internet technology improved with the invention of 3G and 4G. However, the users needed a much-improved ethernet technology to utilize such lightning-fast transfer rates. Therefore, the CAT 6 ethernet cables were introduced for the public sector. This cable can transfer up to 1Gbps data over 100m unrestricted length. Furthermore, you can achieve even better 10Gbps results over a 55m distance. In any case, the cable offers a stable 255MHz bandwidth over any connection. The cable is also highly durable with lower signal-to-noise ratios. So, it is suitable for outdoor connections without the impact of solar radiation.

CAT 6a

CAT 6a

The CAT 6 cables were best suitable for new connection generations. However, the data transfer rate wasn’t still fast enough for the commercial sector. Therefore, the CAT 6 advanced or several commercial firms and businesses use 6a ethernet cables. The advanced cable technology is capable of up to 10Gbps transfer rate with double bandwidth, i.e., 500MHz. Furthermore, the cable is available in the shielded twisted pair STP form to use over large distances out in the open. However, the cable is relatively stiff and doesn’t offer the flexibility required for most residential connections. 

CAT 7

CAT 7

Nowadays, advanced 4G+ connections are available in the market, and the 5G connection is right around the corner. The improved connection offers higher bandwidth with the same gigabit transfer rate. In this regard, the CAT 7 cables seem like the new favorite for most technology enthusiasts. It offers a 10Gbps transfer rate over 100m in length but with an enhanced bandwidth of 600MHz. Furthermore, it is protected by screened shield twisted pair connection suitable for home and office use.

CAT 8

CAT 8

The CAT 8 ethernet cables are widely used in the data centers for linking servers and computers. However, some hardcore gamers find it more effective as it provides stable ping and connection speeds. For instance, the CAT 8 technology is suitable for a 24Gbps connection over 100m in length and 40Gbps over 20m. Furthermore, the CAT 8 technology offers a whopping 2000MHz bandwidth, basically a paradise for gamers and server owners.

How Does the Ethernet Cable Affect Internet Speed?

How Does the Ethernet Cable Affect Internet Speed?

Usually, the internet speed depends on several factors rather than just the ethernet cable technology. For instance, the main factor to consider is your basic internet speed as provided by the internet service provider. For instance, if the internet connection is 100Mbps, then even a CAT 5e cable is good enough. However, the connection’s bandwidth is another factor that you need to consider. In other words, if either the bandwidth or transfer speed is lower than the CAT technology, then you will experience a bottleneck problem. So, it is best to upgrade your CAT technology depending on the internet connection.

Which is Faster, Ethernet or WIFI?

Which is Faster, Ethernet or WIFI?

According to researchers, Ethernet or LAN is relatively faster than WIFI. It is mainly because several factors restrict the WIFI’s data transfer speed like physical hurdles, walls, distance from the router, and so on. On the contrary, ethernet offers unrestricted data transfer over long distances without any problems. So, if you are gaming, it would be best to use an ethernet connection at home.

Conclusion

Ethernet cables are the basic means of internet and computer-to-computer connections globally. Even the WIFI routers require a LAN connection in their first socket. In most cases, the ethernet cable does affect the internet speed due to several reasons. Therefore, this article provides a comprehensive guide about different ethernet cables and how you can utilize them to enhance your internet speed.

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Gabriel
Meet Gabriel. He is 32 years old. He lives in New York, and gaming is his passion. He stepped into the field of gaming when he was 12. He spent most of his time playing games. His father often got angry because he did not focus much on his studies, but he thought of doing something in his gaming career. Inspired by his uncle Jamie, he started his own gaming website, and now he is a successful freelancer.