Distinguish A Good Ethernet Cable From A Bad One During the Selection

When you plan to deploy your network by using bulk Ethernet cable, you will find there are always various types of bulk Ethernet cables available on the market. And cables provided by different vendors vary in quality. There is no doubt that the quality of bulk Ethernet cable have an influence on the network performance. During the selection, how to distinguish a good Ethernet cable from a bad one is critical, which can also directly embody the ability of an engineer. Then, how to make sure that bulk Ethernet cables used in your network are of good quality? This article aims to share some tips with you.

Test the Data Transmission Rate

Testing the data transmission rate is one of the most effective methods to identify the quality of Ethernet cables. It is recommended that you connect two computers directly to do the test. But there may be some other factors that can affect the data transmission rate of the bulk Ethernet cable, such as the configuration of computer itself, the network card, RJ45 connector and so on. Hence, you should use machines with high configuration to reduce the external factors on the data transmission rate of the bulk Ethernet cable to a minimum. In this way, the result of test will be accurate.

Test the Flexibility

Ethernet cables of good quality are as flexible as possible, because the convenience of cabling has been taken into account at design time. It is easy to bend them in any ways and they are less likely to be broken easily. However, on the current market, there are some inferior bulk Ethernet cables which are mixed with other cheap metal components. The texture of such bulk Ethernet cables is no longer so soft and the data transmission rate becomes slower. In the process of cabling, if you bend the bulk Ethernet cable repeatedly, the copper wires inside the cable may be broken. While if the cable is too soft, then you should also note that it may be a fake and shoddy product.

Test the Flammability

In general, the materials composed of bulk Ethernet cable must be characterized with fire resistance, otherwise there is a fire, it will suffer heavy losses. Therefore, when choosing the bulk Ethernet cable, it is necessary to check the flammability of the cable jacket. Take cat6 cable 305m for example. In the test, you can use scissor to cut off about 2 cm length of its cable jacket, then burn it with a lighter. Under the condition of fire, cable jacket of good quality will gradually melt and deform after six seconds, with white smoke, but it will not burn itself up; while if the cable jacket is unable to resist the fire and burns up in less two seconds, with a large amount of black smoke, even though the cat6 cable 305m can provide 1000Mbps data transmission rate, you should give up the choice.

Test the Temperature Resistance

When carrying out cabling, bulk Ethernet cables are highly required to resist the external temperature changes. Not to say they can resist any change in the environment, at least those cables will not become soften under high temperature environment or frost crack under low temperature environment. For the sake of the performance of cable that will not be affected in the high temperature environment, cable jacket of good quality bulk Ethernet cable utilizes the material that can resist high temperature of up to about 50 degrees. And phenomenon like becoming soften or deformation will not occur. Take cat6 cable 305m from Fiberstore for example, its operation temperature range is from -10 degrees to 60 degrees and its installation temperature range is from 0 degree to 50 degrees. To do the test, you can place a short length of its cable jacket next to the stove for a while. And you will find that the cable jacket does not become softer than the normal one, it means that the quality of this cat5e cable 305m is good.

Observe the Identification

In the actual selection of Ethernet cables, sometimes due to the lack of test environment or conditions, you are not able to test the quality or material of the cable by the methods mentioned above. So what should you do at that time? You might as well observe the identification on the cable jacket. Normally, the regular brands of Ethernet cables have category identification and manufacture trademark on the cable jacket. If there is no identification on the cable jacket, you should be vigilant and try to create conditions to test the cable by following the above methods. Here is a figure of cat5e cable, from which we can clearly see the category identification and some other information about the cable.

cat5e cable

Conclusion

It is essential to select Ethernet cables of good quality for your network deployment, and that is the basic requirement to make your network achieve high performance level. As a result, when making a choice among various Ethernet cables, you have to observe carefully, compare more and test more. FS.COM provides good quality bulk Ethernet cables with many color and length options, such as gray cat6 cable 305m, yellow cat6 cable 100m, red cat6 cable 305m. If you want to know more details, you can visit our site.

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What Is The Difference Between Cat5, Cat5e, and Cat6 Cable?

00ftWhen it comes to network cabling, there are always a variety of choices. And there is no doubt that people prefer the cable with high performance and low price. In this article, we will discuss three different copper cable options—Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6. After reading, you will be much more acquainted with these cable specifications and have a better idea of what you would like to use in your network.

Overview of Cat5, Cat5e, and Cat6

First, let’s come to the overview of Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6 cables. Cat5, or Category 5, is an Ethernet network cable standard defined by the Electronic Industries Association and Telecommunications Industry Association (commonly known as EIA/TIA). Cat5 cable uses the fifth generation of twisted pair Ethernet technology and contains four pairs of copper wire supporting Fast Ethernet. Cat5e, or Cat5 enhanced, is designed to better support Gigabit Ethernet by utilizing all four wire pairs. And Cat5e cable additionally preserves backward compatibility with Fast Ethernet equipment. As the sixth generation of twisted pair Ethernet cable, Cat6 contains four pairs of copper wire and utilizes all of these pairs for signaling in order to obtain the higher level of performance—supporting 10G Ethernet. Here is a figure of the inner structure of Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6.

Inner Structure of Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6

Differences Between Cat5, Cat5e, and Cat6

This part will discuss the differences between Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6 from four aspects: speed, length, cost and application.

Speed

Data speed is important for cable selections. You have to choose the cable that is equivalent to what is running on it. As for Cat5 cable, it can handle 10/100 Mbps speed (Fast Ethernet) with bandwidth up to 100 MHz; for Cat5e cable, it can support 1 Gigabit Ethernet with bandwidth up to 100MHz; while Cat6 can support higher data rate of 10 Gigabit Ethernet with bandwidth up to 250 MHz.

Length

The common ground for Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6 cable is that they are all designed for short distance data transmission, because they are made of copper wires. Their cable runs are limited to a maximum recommended length of 100 meters (328 feet) for their nominal connection speeds—Fast Ethernet speed for Cat5, 1 Gigabit Ethernet speed for Cat5e and Cat6. At present, Cat5 cable 1000ft (305m), Cat5e cable 1000ft (305m) and Cat6 cable 1000ft (305m) are available on the market, and both of them can support 1000Mbps maximum data rate with 100MHz bandwidth.

Cost

Compared with Cat5e cables, the cost of Cat6 cables is typically 10 to 20% more expensive because of higher transmission speed. However, the cost of these cables are comparatively low, which only takes up a very small portion of the total budget once you consider all the other equipment (racks, servers, switches, routers, etc). For the consideration of your application, Cat6 might be a better choice if higher data rate is required. The additional cost can save you more money in the long run.

Application

Cat5 is often connected to patch panels, switches, routers, desktops, IP phones and many other networks and network devices that utilize the internet. And traditionally, Cat 5e cable is run for the business telephones. Cat 6 is suited for broadband video and digital video applications because of the lower signal losses and better transmission performance at higher frequency.

Conclusion

Be sure to make clear of these three types of Ethernet cables and select the suitable one for your home or business project. I hope the information in this article could be helpful or a guide for you when you are confused about which Ethernet cable to choose.