Whether you are establishing your networking infrastructure or improving an existing setup, installing the right category of twisted pair cable for it’s crucial.
The simple action has multiple benefits behind it. It provides you with maximum speeds through your internet service provider (ISP) and ensures that you can upgrade to even higher speeds whenever they are available.
Due to this reason, many networking engineers and IT experts recommend commercial and residential units to prioritize the installation of Cat6 cable, read more. If you are following the same path of suggestions, the following information can help you make an informed decision.
What is a Cat6 Cable?
When it comes to twisted pair or connectivity cables, they are mainly classified through their respective category or “Cat.” Starting from the now-obsolete Cat1, each category refers to standardized speed and bandwidth.
Some of the most-utilized Cat cables include the following standards with their respective maximum speeds.
- Cat3: 10Mbps speed, 16 Mhz bandwidth
- Cat5: 100Mbps speed, 100 MHz bandwidth
- Cat5e: 1Gbps speed, 100 MHz bandwidth
- Cat6: 1Gbps speed/10Gbps speed for up to 165 feet, 250 MHz bandwidth
- Cat6a: 1Gbps speed/10Gbps speed for up to 328 feet, 500 MHz bandwidth
- Cat7: 10Gpbs speed/40Gbps speed for up to 165 feet, 1GHz bandwidth
- Cat8: 40Gpbs speed, 2GHz bandwidth
As mentioned above, Cat7 and Cat8 deliver industrial-level speeds. However, they are only feasible to use through advanced equipment. On the other hand, Cat6 and Cat6a offer higher speeds that are still accessible for home and typical business.
The Cable Provides You With Higher Speeds
Any building or unit that uses high-speed internet jumps ahead of Cat3 and even Cat5 to utilize the Cat5e cable. However, the latter reaches its limit at 1Gbps speed, while a Cat6 cable can deliver ten times the speed at shorter cable lengths. This also holds for the Cat6a cable.
This means that if your ISP can deliver speeds of more than 1Gpbs, you should definitely tap the potential of Cat6 to enjoy speedier data transfer.
The Cable is Backwards Compatible
In case your ISP is unable to deliver higher speed at the moment, it doesn’t stop your Cat6 twisted pair cable from working properly. While you look for another ISP, you can continue enjoying Cat3- or Cat5-level speeds.
It’s because the Cat6 is backward compatible with Cat3, Cat5 and Cat5e cables. This means that if you ever switch to an ISP that doesn’t offer exceptionally high speeds, you don’t have to revamp your entire infrastructure for taking that step.
It Helps You Future Proof Your Infrastructure
Even if you have no plans to switch from your current ISP or its lower speeds for the time being, installing a Cat6 cable is a great choice. Since the cable is backward compatible, you can easily use it with an ISP that’s currently suitable for Cat3, Cat5 and even Cat5e standards but plans to offer higher speeds in a year or two.
Once your ISP starts delivering higher speeds, your Cat6 setup won’t have to do anything special to enjoy those capabilities.
It is Easily Accessible Through Reliable Providers
Even while being exceptional at delivering high-speed internet, Cat6 isn’t hard to obtain. Unlike Cat7 and Cat8 that are expensive and require special equipment, Cat6 is readily available through reliable vendors.
Since the Cat6 cable uses the same RJ45 connector as Cat5, you also don’t have to invest in niche equipment. This makes Cat6 a breeze to use, and makes it one of the most important yet easiest upgrades you can make to your infrastructure.
With these reasons in mind, it becomes clear that you should upgrade to Cat6 the first chance that you get. As long as you use a reliable vendor to source the equipment, it steers clear of unnecessary problems and delivers your required performance without any issues.