Types of Ethernet Cables

Ethernet cables provide more stability and performance than a wireless network, and can improve your connectivity to the internet and reduce packet loss.

Why Ethernet?

Ethernet cables are significantly more reliable than Wi-fi based connections, especially for ping reliant applications, such as games or video chatting. Based on the speed of your network and the bandwidth your router allows you to use, you want to choose a specific Ethernet cord to meet your networks needs.

For most home users, later versions of the Ethernet cable are in a way irrelevant unless you have gigabit speeds or transfer files through your home network with Ethernet. If you have speeds such as 10 megabits or 20 megabits, a Cat 5 Ethernet cable will be just fine.

What does ‘CAT’ stand for?

The “CAT” of an Ethernet cable designates its category, and therefore indicates the specifications and functions of the cable. Each “CAT” can vary in Maximum Bandwidth, Transmission speed, and determines if the cable is shielded or not.

What are the differences?

Below is a chart that specifies the different functionalities of each current category of Ethernet cable.

Specifications for different categories of Ethernet cables.

Specifications for different categories of Ethernet cables.

How do I choose?

First , choose an Ethernet cord by identifying your internet’s connection speed and your routers bandwidth output. You can check your internet speeds by logging into your ISP’s website or contacting them directly, and you can test your speeds online at sites such as Speedtest.net.

Next, figure out what you are trying to use the cable for. if you are just doing light browsing or emailing, you will be fine on a Cat 5 or even a wireless network. However if you are into streaming services, live video services, or even multiplayer online games which require higher internet responsiveness, it is better to choose a cable which is at least Cat 5e or higher.

Benefits of Ethernet

Although your router or internet speed may not be as great as a gigabit connection, there are still advantages to having an Ethernet cable over a wireless connection. There is less interference and overall more stability in having a wired connection, and even though they connect you to the same networking device, they produce faster and more consistent results.

Because transmission speeds are higher, interference is lower, and therefore , less packets are lost in transmission. This makes even browsing the internet or streaming a video feel smoother, and your connection is more reliable. Be sure to research what cable would work best for your internet and your needs!