The modern world is no longer imaginable without an Internet connection. For if it didn’t exist, people wouldn’t be able to function as they do today. Despite the fact that most people prefer to connect to Wi-Fi, for many people it’s still important to connect via Ethernet cable. There are a number of reasons why people prefer this method of connection. One of the main reasons is that Ethernet cable connections are much better and the signal travels faster, so people spend time trying to figure out which Ethernet cable to prefer.
Therefore, when buying a cable, you should pay attention to many parameters, not only to its cost. Quality-assured Ethernet cables can avoid the frequent replacement that can be caused by faulty cables. Therefore, it’s better to take a few minutes to find out which one is best to choose in order to get a quality connection and a long cable life.
What is an Ethernet cable
To begin with, in order to understand what kind of cable you should pay attention to, you should know what Ethernet is. Ethernet is the most common local networking technology. Ethernet uses the concept of a shared ether, it works so that each PC sends data into the ether and indicates to whom it’s addressed. The data can reach all the PCs on the network, but only the PC to whom it’s addressed processes it.
Many people have either heard from someone or tested it themselves that using an Ethernet cable catches the signal much better. That is why most people want to choose an Ethernet cable, in order to improve their connection, even on a laptop. So if you’re one of those people, find out if it’s possible to add an Ethernet connection to your laptop.
In fact, to buy the best Ethernet cable, there are many factors to consider. To begin with, understand what kinds exist, as well as categories and models. By looking at each of these, you will be able to choose what suits you best. Since the important point is that for different purposes it’s worth making different choices.
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What are the reasons for choosing the Ethernet cable connection
It may seem at first glance that connection with an Ethernet cable is a thing of the past. As there is Wi-Fi in every home, restaurant, and office, but in spite of affordability, many people want to get better. Some people try to figure out what makes Ethernet better than Wi-Fi, but there are really reasons for that.
Despite everything, wifi is really great because with wifi people have more functionality in using their devices and at the same time, it’s more about comfort. Some people are willing to sacrifice their comfort for better connectivity, they even use Ethernet with iPad over USB-C or Lightning.
One of the main reasons people choose Ethernet is the speed of data transfer. In fact, the routers that are sold today have different characteristics but some of them are the closest to the speed of data transfer with an Ethernet cable. That is why many people don’t know whether Wi-Fi or Ethernet connection for gaming is better.
The second important reason people prefer Ethernet is the more reliable connection. Wi-Fi is subject to a lot more interference than a wired connection. The location of your house, objects blocking the signal, interference from electrical devices, or your neighbor’s Wi-Fi network all contribute to Wi-Fi being a less reliable connection.
In the end, Ethernet offers the advantage of better speeds, lower latency, and more reliable connections. Wi-Fi provides the advantage of convenience and is good enough for most devices. The choice depends entirely on what kind of devices you have and if you have a desktop PC or a server that is in one place. If you want better quality streaming or Ethernet is your best choice.
How to choose the right Ethernet cable
There are a number of things to look for in order to choose the right Ethernet cable for you. The most important things to look for are range and performance. However, before you do so, pay attention to these things:
- Find out how fast your home Internet connection is. You need to know this in order to know what kind of cable to choose. That means if you have Gigabit internet, the old cable will slow down your connection. If you have a slower connection then you should prefer any Cat 5 or newer cable. This is in case you have 10 or 20 megabits per second.
If you don’t know the real speed, you can figure it out pretty quickly and easily. To do this connect your computer directly to your modem and use your browser to find the speed test. This is important so you don’t buy a 1 Gbit/s Ethernet cable if you have a 50 Mbit/s download.
- Consider the speed needed for your network. This is important if you’re streaming very high bandwidth video or moving large files.
This is the very first and most necessary thing to choose the best cable for you. Since there can be a situation where, you pick the best cable, and it just ends up not matching your speed, thus only slowing things down.
What kinds of Ethernet сable are there
In order that you can be determined what suits you better, you should know what cables are and what you should pay attention to when buying. To date, there are three types of cable for twisted pair, coaxial, fiber optic:
- Twisted pair. Twisted pair is a cable that is used quite often because it’s mainly used for local networks. It consists of two or four twisted pairs of wires. It works in such a way that the purpose is to connect two nodes and use separated environments, it gives the opportunity to transmit data in different directions.
- Fiber optics. This way is valued for the fact that fairly quickly makes the data transfer. Fiber optics is considered a fairly good option for the fact that it has a long service life, makes the network more secure, and copes well with the rapid transfer of data.
- Coaxial. This type of cable works in such a way that it ranges the radio frequencies of electrical signals. The important point is that the coaxial cable is practically not used, it has been replaced by the twisted pair cable.
Since fiber optic and twisted pairs are considered the most used, so you should choose from these cables. The most important thing to decide is to determine under what conditions you’re going to use it. So if your goal is to connect your home, choose twisted pair. The main reason is that the transfer rate is sufficient for home and office use.
This is because fiber optic is expensive and is designed to connect to a network of large apartment buildings, and hotels, as not afraid of interference on the line and long distances, so it’s well suited for such tasks.
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What kinds of Ethernet cable categories
In order for you to be able to decide which Ethernet cable you need to understand what categories there are. The most important thing is that before you find out what they are, you should know what to choose is better. For example, if your purpose is to create conditions for the Internet connection in your apartment or office, then opt for twisted pair category 5E. However, at the same time, take the time to study the categories in order to select the necessary one for your purposes of use. There are several Ethernet cables, but categories 1,2,3,4 are practically unused. The main ones that might work for you’re:
- CAT 5e. This is an enhanced CAT5. This cable is designed to better support Gigabit Ethernet speeds (up to 1000 Mbps) using all four wire pairs.
- CAT 6. Cat 6 is the sixth generation of twisted pair Ethernet cables used in home and business networks. Cat 6 cables are backward compatible with their predecessors, Cat 5 and Cat 5e, which support speeds of 1 gigabit per second.
- CAT 6a,7 and 7a. Use these cables only when grounded. Therefore, these categories aren’t for normal use, they are designed for networks up to 10 Gbit/s.
|Category||Max transmission speeds||Max bandwidth|
|CAT 5||10 to 100Mbps|
|CAT 5e||1,000Mbps to 1Gbps|
|CAT 6||10Gbps up to 55 meters|
|CAT 6a||10Gbps up to 55 meters|
100Gbps up to 15 meters
|CAT 7a||100Gbps up to 15 meters|
So once you figure out what your speeds are and know the basic characteristics of the cables you can go to the store to buy the right Ethernet cable which will definitely suit you. If you wanted to figure this out in order to replace your existing cable then look at the newest versions to take advantage of both speeds, such as Cat 6a or even Cat 8.
At the same time, many people think of Ethernet cable as a way to get the fastest Internet connection. However, you also have to consider that modern routers are doing a lot better than they used to do. Today routers are getting faster and more capable, so if you want to compare speed and overall performance you can try to learn how to add Wi-Fi to a desktop computer.