How do I know what kind of Ethernet cable category I should use for PC?

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Catherine Le Nevez
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Fifty years ago, a new form of interconnection emerged to share resources and applications under the name of "Ethernet". For the network to function optimally, a special cable is required to ensure its performance. If you are wondering how to know what kind of Ethernet cable category should I use for PC? This article is for you.

The truth is that although there are now optical fibers of different types and characteristics, wireless networks and many other types of connections, the Ethernet cable is still very important. Today we will talk about the correct choice of this type of cable.

How do I know what kind of Ethernet cable category I should use for PC?

In a local network (LAN) the type of cable used can affect the performance of the connection. Since some devices have an Ethernet port to connect them to a gateway, the Ethernet cable becomes the best medium for establish the connection physical between these devices and the network.

The Ethernet cable is very important to the various types of computer networks that exist. Therefore, below, we present all the information you need to know about the Ethernet cable, its categories and what you need to do to choose the appropriate one.

What is the Ethernet cable?

It is a cable that has the ability to connect any component or device with an Ethernet port to the network of networks (Internet).   The Ethernet cable is used to connect a computer network without interference and with a standard that dictates the speed of the connection.

Categories of Ethernet cables

There are multiple categories to differentiate the Ethernet cable based on some certifications that have evolved over time. In this sense, the Ethernet cable has the categories: 3, 5, 5e, 6 e 6a, 7 e 7a. Each category can be used based on the transfer rate and the transmission frequency.

  • Category 3 and 5 (CAT 3 AND CAT 5): i Ethernet cables of this category are the most obsolete and they do not guarantee a high transmission speed.
  • Category 5e: these cables offer an advanced option that guarantees zero interference during connection. CAT 5e cables are the most used in home networks due to their usefulness and low price.
  • Categoria 6: I cables in this category are more expensive than CAT 5e but support speeds up to 10 Gbps and have a screen that guarantees an optimal signal.
  • Category 6a: i CAT 6a cables support the double the maximum bandwidth and they also have a shielded construction which makes them less flexible than CAT 6 cables.
  • Category 7: these cables support transmission speeds higher than CAT 6a cables (up to 100 Gbps) .
  • Category 7a: i Ethernet cables of this category offer bandwidth improvements of over 50%, although they are not widely available on the market at the moment.

In addition to the above, in order to choose the best network cable for connecting to the Internet, it is necessary to consider its types (UTP, FTP, etc.) of what we talked about in the link provided earlier.

Which category of Ethernet cable should I use for PC?

It is convenient to check the connection speed and the number of devices that will be added to the network. If you have a very low speed connection (between 10 Mbps and 20 Mbps), you can use un cable Category 5 Ethernet (CAT 5).

If you have a local network where small files are transferred, you can opt for a Category 5 (CAT 5) Ethernet cable for transfer speed up to 100 Mbps. However, for moving large, high-bandwidth files, CAT 5e or CAT6 cable is best.

Direct connection to the router

For home networks, the most viable option is cable Ethernet CAT 5e o CAT 6, as Category 5 could be uncomfortable. Category 6 would ensure high-speed transmission for considerable bandwidth and better network performance. Although even a CAT 5e cable can work efficiently.

Once you have purchased the appropriate cable, you can proceed to set up and install a router to connect to the Internet. As we noted earlier, the choice will depend on what you are looking for and what equipment you own.

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