Our goal is for you to be completely satisfied with your purchase, so we have compiled the most common Q&As about the uses and differences between different types of cables to help you make an informed choice for your network.
Cat5 and Cat5e VS Cat6
Nearly all modern ethernet devices such as home internet modems, routers, and gaming devices support backwards compatibility with Cat5 and Cat5e cords. However, while the Cat5 data transmission rate of 100Mbps is very fast compared to telephone wire (1Mbps) or television coaxial cable (10Mbps), network speeds up to a Gigabit (1,000Mbps) started to become more common by the late 1990s and the Cat5e cabling standard was created in 2001 to match pace with newer high-speed broadband technologies.
A data transmission rate of 10-Gigabits (10,000Mbps) is now possible with Cat6 cabling, which has therefore become the standard for modern networks due to having the advantage of “future-proofing” your infrastructure: even cutting-edge ISPs and services are more than adequately accommodated by the maximum speed of Cat6 cabling, which was designed with the expectation of remaining the new ethernet standard for decades.
Solid VS Stranded
The copper wire inside ethernet cables can be either solid or stranded, and each design offers different advantages. Solid cabling offers improved protection against electrical interference, but stranded cabling is less susceptible to physical cracks and breaks. The solid type is therefore used most often for in-wall or subterranean installations, within environments having heavy ambient electromagnetic noise such as industrial complexes and large-scale facilities. Stranded cabling, on the other hand, is used for nearly all home networks, and most business environments.
Shielded VS Unshielded
Using twisted and paired copper strands already offers protection against outside electrical interference, so ethernet cables are usually unshielded (UTP, for “unshielded twisted-pair”). More expensive cables with additional shielding (STP) are typically used in industrial settings having higher signal noise. Generally speaking, there is no substantial benefit to installing shielded cables in residential networks or standard business and office environments (e.g. where fluorescent lights might be the largest sources of interference, and only because the cables were run excessively close to them).
Wired Ethernet VS WiFi
The primary advantage of WiFi is the convenience. Modems and routers require ethernet cables to connect to the internet, but the wireless router can substitute the need for additional wires to each device which will connect to the web (such as a computer, tablet, or gaming machine). The interference and latency of a wireless or WiFi connection will always be more severe than a wired connection, and typically the wireless internet speed will be approximately 50-60% of the wired internet speed. This means that if you pay for 100Mbps home internet, your download speed may theoretically reach 100Mbps when your computer is plugged into a modem or router which has an equal or greater maximum data transmission rate. But if your computer is connected to WiFi on that same network, your download speed is likely to be 50-60Mbps due to the transmission inefficiencies that are inherent to wireless connections.
It is recommended to use high quality cables to connect your modem and router to the internet and to each other, and then to use ethernet cables to connect your individual devices to the modem or router if high speed and low-latency is of prime importance (e.g. for HD video streaming, depending on your internet service speed, or for competitive gaming).
Do I Need Fiber Optic Instead?
Fiber optic cabling has the advantages of completely eliminating electrical interference, and immunity to the effects of moisture and lighting. It is very expensive to manufacture and install, so it is primarily used where there is heavy ambient interference or for long-distance external applications, such as connecting networks between buildings.
Is It Safe to Use Ethernet Cables Outdoors?
While fiber optic cabling is ideal for outdoor use, it is safe to use ethernet cables outdoors and between buildings. The cables should be placed in a conduit (such as waterproof PVC pipe) and buried 6-8 inches underground. Ordinary ethernet cabling is not designed for outdoor use, so extreme temperatures will somewhat lower the lifespan of the cables. It is now more practical for most homes and businesses to use WiFi for extending internet access into yards or between buildings. WiFi signal ranges can be enhanced for this purpose with the use of a WiFi repeater device.
Summary: Are DynaCable’s UTP Cat6 Cords Right for Me?
If you are creating a network for a home, apartment, or business in a standard operating environment then DynaCable Cat6 cords are right for your needs: their twisted-pair copper stranding will offer adequate protection against interference, and the Cat6 standard will fully accommodate all high-speed service in the foreseeable future.
For low-latency, demanding scenarios (e.g. competitive gaming and HD streaming), depending on your internet service speed you may want to use a wired connection for each device instead of WiFi. If you are extending your network between buildings, a WiFi router with a repeater to extend the signal range, if necessary, is usually the best option.
Cat6 cables are optimal for standard residential and business networks, but there are individual differences between Cat6 cables: DynaCable uses the highest quality build and thickness (24 AWG), a durable heavy-duty polymer jacket which ensures line integrity, the thickest gold plating standard for preventing corrosion (50 micron RJ45 contacts), and provides full Cat6 bandwidth performance at 550Mhz, versus cheaper cables which only have 250Mhz bandwidth. Using professional grade cables maximizes network efficiency, providing the best possible data transfer speeds.