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UTP LAN Cables

There are several types of UTP cable available on todays market, making it harder and harder to choose the right one. Luckily, all types of UTP cable fit all connections as they all - more or less - use the same, standard RJ-45 (8P8C) connector. This means you really only have to take the type of cable into consideration.

What type of UTP cable fits your needs? UTP cables are characterized by two aspects: transfer rate/data speed/throughput and bandwith:

UTP type Specifications
UTP Cat 5e throughput 1.000 Mbit/s
1 Gbit/s
bandwidth 100 MHz
UTP Cat 6 throughput 10.000 Mbit/s
10 Gbit/s
bandwidth 250 MHz
UTP Cat 7 throughput 100.000 Mbit/s
100 Gbit/s
bandwidth 600 MHz
  Cat5e or Cat6?

The given data transfer speed is the highest possible speed the cable can reach. It's important not to confuse these speeds in bits with speeds in bytes! 1.000 Mbit/s equals 125 MB/s. This seems to be a lot less all of a sudden, but these speeds are high enough for almost all home networks.

The bandwidth can best be compared to the number of lanes on a highway: the higher the bandwidth, the more available lanes, the longer the high speeds can be maintained.

Choosing a cable is quite easy:

UTP Cat 5e
Fast enough for most home networks with more than enough bandwidth for the avarage user.

UTP Cat 6
For users that don't want to experience any low speeds. Often used in smaller offices and by demanding users.

UTP Cat 7
For big offices or manufacturing environments where there is a continuous stream of data being sent and received.

UTP Cat7

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