Selecting the Right Data Cable for Your Network

selecting the right data cable - cat5e, cat6, and cat6AHow do I go about selecting the right data cable for my network? We are often asked what the difference is between categories of data and voice cabling and how do I know which is right for my business. There are many differences because each cable has a different purpose. Here are the things we consider when helping you choose a cable infrastructure for your business.


Network Requirements and Selecting the Right Data Cable

There are different grades of cable within each type of cable and a higher grade cable, with proper installation, will future-proof your network. Proper installation ensures top performance today and gives you a buffer for both speed and reliability in the future.

cat6Properly selecting the right data cable, whether Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6 or Cat6A solutions will optimally support current and future network speed requirements.

  • Cat5e – Cat5e supports speeds up to Gigabit Ethernet (1,000Mb/s) (100 MHz)
  • Cat6 – Cat6 supports speeds up to 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10,000Mb/s) (250 MHz) with a cable length of  37-55 meters or less depending on the grade of the cable and quality of installation.
  • Cat6A – Cat6A supports speeds up to 10 Gigabit Ethernet (10,000 Mb/s)(500 MHz) with distance up to 100 meters.

When Each Cable Should Be Used

Cat5e – Cat5e cable is suitable for Gigabit speeds and networks that change frequently. If the network changes frequently or is temporary in nature, Cat5e may be the optimal selection.

Cat6 – Cat6 cable is optimal for extra margin and higher performance. Cat6 cable will support gigabit Ethernet, but will only support 10 Gigabit Ethernet if the total length and loss is low enough. If a project requires a 10 Gigabit Ethernet connection, Cat6A or higher is recommended.

cat6aCat6A – Cat6A cable will support speeds up to 10 Gigabit. If a project requires a single installation solution to support the facility and is intended to stand the test of time, Cat6A will protect the investment and serve as a reliable backbone for the company going into the future.

We are experts on staff that can assist you in choosing the right cable infrastructure and can assist in designing a system that is right for you and your business.

Let us help you choose the right cable infrastructure, we’re happy to answer any questions you have about cabling. Give us a call or send us a note and we’ll make sure you make the right decision for your business.

Let us know how we can help!

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