Network Cables Buyer’s Guide

Now that you know what an ethernet cable is and why you might need one, there are some features you need to look for. Not all ethernet cables are made and many are more efficient than others.

 

If you only use ethernet cables sometimes, you might not need to buy the most expensive one. However, you still need to know the features to look for so you get one that works well when you need it and you aren’t stuck without the internet.

Cable Length

Network cables come in many different sizes and lengths. The speed of the connection depends on the cable’s length. For example, the lower categories of cables such as 1 to 5e have lower speeds when the cable is a shorter length.

 

Each category can only give you a certain speed up to a certain length. You need to make sure you are getting the length of the cable you need and not going too high. While it might seem convenient to get a long cable, your internet speed might suffer because of it.

Internet Speed

There are three things that determine your internet speed with the ethernet cable including the cable’s transmission capacity, the router’s speed, and the capabilities of the devices that you are using with the ethernet cable.

 

The category of your ethernet cable determines the internet speed as well. Even if you have a high-speed router, you will not be able to take advantage of it if your ethernet cable is a low category and cannot use the high speeds.

 

This is why most people choose to buy network cables that are category 6 or higher.

Application

Some people might plan to only use their cable indoors while others might plan to get a cable that they want to also use outdoors. If you want to use a cable that is outdoors, you need to make sure it’s tough and rugged. It also needs to withstand certain weather conditions so it doesn’t get ruined or damaged.

 

If you need a cable that works outdoors, you might not want to buy a standard ethernet cables. Instead, look for cables that are labelled for outdoor use. These often have a PE coating and have copper wires on the inside.

 

These elements are tough. They will cost more but they ensure you have a tough cable that won’t break outside.

Budget

Ethernet cables are anywhere from a few dollars to a few hundred dollars. Many things affect the price including the length, the category, the speed, and even the design or color.

 

This is good news though. Almost everyone can find an ethernet cable in their budget since there is such a wide range. You can also try a few cheaper ones before committing to an ethernet cable that is more expensive.

 

The higher category you get, especially the newer 7 models and the 8 models, the more money you will need to spend. They last long though and you won’t have to buy ethernet cables as often since you are getting better quality ones from the beginning.

Transmission Capacity

Each category of ethernet cable will have a different transmission capacity. If you have a lower category cable (1-5e) you might experience lagging times or you will not be able to transfer certain data and files, especially large ones like videos and photos.

 

Make sure you pick a cable that has enough carrying capacity for all your internet ends. If you work in video editing or another field that takes a lot of data, you will need to choose an ethernet cable that is a 6a or higher.

 

You will also need a high ethernet cable if you plan to game a lot or stream movies and shows.

Final Thoughts

A network cable or an ethernet cable is a great thing to have because you can often achieve higher speeds compared to WIFI. Many people who need to transfer data at high speeds prefer to use ethernet cables because they can work faster and spend less time waiting for things to download.

 

Ethernet cables come in many different sizes and speeds. Make sure you are getting the features you need to make the most use of your ethernet cable.

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