In a million different ways, our lives are connected to the internet. Those connections can vary depending on the situation. The sturdiest and most reliable connection type is known as an ethernet cable.
There are different variations of ethernet cables to choose from. A Cat6 – short for Category 6 – is one of those variations. Here’s what you need to know about Cat6 cables, their uses, and why they are so beneficial.
What is a Cat6 Ethernet Cable?
Before we find out the benefits of using a Cat6 cable, it helps to know what it is in the first place. A Category 6 cable is a standard of ethernet cable assigned by the Electronic Industries Association as well as the Telecommunications Industry Association. Cat6 is similar to the Cat5 but a slightly upgraded version.
Used in both residential and commercial settings, Cat6 has thicker copper wires (23-gauge) compared to the aforementioned Cat5. On top of that, Cat6 cables have braided shielding and foil to give them additional protection and durability. Let’s look at the benefits that come with using a Cat6 cable.
Faster Transfer Speeds
Perhaps the single most important reason to go with Cat6 cable is because of the improved transfer speeds and bandwidth. It has to do with the way they are constructed. They were created to be able to support higher data transfer speeds – up to 1,000 Mbps (one gig) per second over a distance of 180 feet or less.
The possible maximum transfer speed is roughly 10 gigabits per second, but the distance can be no more than 164 feet. For smaller areas where cabling does not need to be stretched over longer distances, Cat6 can be the most optimal way to improve transfer speeds.
Another major reason for using Cat6 cables is because of its versatility. Whether looking for business applications, commercial applications, or residential applications, the beautiful thing about Cat6 cables is that they can be used in just about any situation or setting. For example, the standard for industrial settings is RJ-45.
The RJ-45 standard goes back some years but Cat6 cables are reverse compatible with not only Cat5 and Cat5e cabling, but Cat3 cabling as well. Business owners will find that using Cat6 cabling can work with just about any cabling connection that already has older cables. The upgrade to the Cat6 standard is seamless, easy, and does not require any additional time, investment, or work in order to make that move.
An inherent issue when it comes to cabling is signal interference. There are sound waves, emanating from a litany of other devices, that can penetrate inferior cabling and interrupt the data signal traveling through the cable. It might be for just a second but those interferences can wind up having an impact on the quality of the transfer as well as the time of the transfer. In commercial and industrial settings, those signal interruptions can have a significant impact on production, communication, and more.
There are even more reasons to invest in Cat6 cables. Make sure that you know your current connector type and what the cable length required will be. Remember that you want to keep the length limited to under 180 feet for optimal performance. Cat6 cables can work over greater distances but the signal quality isn’t quite the same. No matter the situation or setting, Cat6 is the new standard and is proving to be substantially more reliable than any other type of cabling out there. Making the switch can be quicker and easier than you ever knew.