What Cable Should I Choose for 10GB Ethernet?

what cable should i choose for 10gb ethernet

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The increasing demands of videos and multimedia have rapidly boosted the need for high bandwidth among the end-users.

The majority of internet users, mainly those who have established industrial setups, are craving for speed.

Are you also going to set up a 10 GB Ethernet connection for your home or office? Are you getting confused about choosing a cable for it?

Through this guide, I will provide you with an appropriate idea about the different cable options. Besides, the points that I will mention here will lead you towards the best choice in the league.

What Are the Forms of Gigabit Ethernet?

10-Gigabit Ethernet is the technology that provides maximum rates of about 10 gigabits per second. It is one of the fastest Ethernet services that support only full-duplex communication. The different most popular fast Ethernet types include the following.


Being defined by IEEE 802.3ae standard, it is a regular fast Ethernet variety that uses fiber optic cables for better connectivity.

This fast Ethernet can provide a maximum segment length of about 300m. Moreover, you can deploy it easily using multimode fibers having a 0.85μ frequency.


You will find this form of Ethernet under the IEEE 802.3ae standard. Besides, it also uses fiber optic cables for better connectivity.

It is a fast Ethernet service that provides a maximum segment length of about 10 Km. In addition, one can deploy it by using a single-mode fiber of about 2.3μ frequency.


It is another form of fast Ethernet defined by IEEE 802.3ae standard. This Ethernet variety also uses fiber optic cables and ensures users have a maximum segment length of about 40 Km.

This Ethernet service is pretty easy to deploy. You can do it by using single-mode fibers of about 1.5μ frequency effectively.


It is yet another Ethernet form defined by IEEE 802.3ak standard. It uses about four pairs of unshielded twisted pair cables for connectivity.

This Ethernet variety provides a maximum segment length of about 15 m. In addition, it uses 8B/10B encoding to run efficiently.


It is a popular form of the Ethernet defined by IEEE 802.3an standard. It uses four pairs of unshielded twisted pair cables.

Moreover, it provides a maximum segment length of 100 m. You can deploy 10GBase-T by using low-density parity-check code.

A Brief Introduction to Different Types of Cables

The type of cable you choose has a significant impact on the overall Ethernet connectivity. I have highlighted these points in detail in the previous post Does gigabit Ethernet require a special cable?

If you search the marketplace, you can easily find two types of cables that work efficiently with 10 GB standard Ethernet and SFP fibers.

Worry not! I will provide you with complete information about the three different types of cables, i.e., Cat6, Cat6a, and Cat7.

All of these cables are in twisted pair form and support 10GBASE-T applications.


Cat6 cables are the best Ethernet cables in the list that effectively provide complete support to 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX, 1000BASE-T, and 10GBASE-T.

These cables support frequencies of up to 250MHz. The best thing about these cables is that they can perfectly manage up to 10Gbps under throughput conditions with a cable length of about 55 meters.


It is another excellent Ethernet cable option in the list that supports 10 gigabit Ethernet connectivity.

This type of Ethernet cable is well-designated to provide complete support to a massive frequency range, up to 500MHz.

You will notice that this frequency range is almost double as compared to that of Cat6. Besides, it supports the 10Gbps transmission for about 100 meters effectively.

Cat6a Ethernet cables are a better alternative to the Cat6 cables as they provide better network performance without any issues.


Cat7 Ethernet cables are unique. They can provide full support to the frequency transmission of up to 600MHz.

These are among the best Ethernet cable options in the list that support 10GBASE-T Ethernet connectivity across the 100-meter range. The best thing about the Cat7 Ethernet cable is that it features enhanced crosstalk noise reduction.

Why Consider Different Types of 10GbE Cables?

10GbE cables are an assurance of better connectivity for 10GB Ethernet services. If you search the marketplace, you can easily find two cable types available for the 10GbE applications. And these are copper and fiber optic cables.

The usage of different types of 10GbE cables often depends upon their basic requirements.

The fiber optic cables often work great with higher interface speeds. These cables are basically of two different types: single-mode fiber and multimode fiber.

The single-mode fiber cables do come up with an optical core of about 9 microns. Thus, these types of optic fiber cables have lower modal dispersion than multimode fibers. As a result, they can support a distance of around 10 Km to 100 Km and even more, depending upon the transmission speed.

If we talk about the multimode fiber, these fiber cables have an optical core of 50 microns to 62.5 microns. Besides, it can reasonably support distances up to 600 meters.

The best thing about both of these optic fiber cables is that their pricing is almost the same.

I will suggest you check the durability of this cable to use it for about 15 to 20 years efficiently. Then, go with any of these two that provide you with the desired results.

To sum up, here I am sharing some simple pointers that will help you choose the suitable cable for 10GbE.

  • Let’s assume that your network connectivity is short, within short distances, for example, between one rack to another. Then, you can use a DAC cable along with SFP+ connectors.
  • If you want to cover a mid-range distance, go for laser-optimized multimode fiber along with SFP+ connectors.
  • Now here comes a long-range distance option. In this case, you can choose single-mode fiber-optic cables.

Above all, things can get more straightforward if your Ethernet switching infrastructure can support 10BASE-T (RJ45) cables. In this case, using either Cat6 or Cat6a cable will be sufficient.

Examples of such Ethernet switches include 8-Ports Ethernet switches and 16-Ports Ethernet switches. I will explain more points in the next part.

More About the Ethernet Switch

The Gigabit Switch is a kind of Ethernet switch that connects multiple devices effectively. It can connect devices, such as computer systems, servers, and game systems, to a local area network.

The Gigabit Switch can speed up the data transfer and ensures users have faster response time and better frame rate effectively.

In addition, you can choose the Gigabit Switch depending on the number of devices you have on the same network. If you plan to use the Gigabit switch at your home, the 8-port option will be great for you.

A gigabit switch is always supposed to be a better option for all those willing to expand their internet connectivity. The gigabit switch also boosts the overall performance and improves the efficiency of the network effectively.

Note that not all devices that you use will require 10 GB/s speed. Thus, you can keep such devices connected to your old 1 GB/s switch. And for devices that require 10 GB/s speed, you can buy a 12 or 14-port 10GB switch.

This way, you will save some money by not buying a large 10 GB/s switch, which contains more ports. You can follow the pointers given in my post How many port switches do I need?

Final Thoughts!

So, guys! If you are willing to enjoy better 10GB Ethernet connectivity, the Cat6a cable is a better option you rely on at the moment.

This cable option provides better performance and connectivity. Moreover, it also ensures users have better speed.

If you still can’t figure out the cable specifications required for your 10Gb Ethernet, don’t worry.

Instead, tell me about your network infrastructure needs. Then, I will come up with a better idea to help you build the network infrastructure of your dream.

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Hi, I'm Mr. Hua, The funder of HoweVision technology, I'v been woking industrial communication equipment for 8 years now, and the purpose of this article is to share with you the knowledge related to industrial communication from a China supplier's perspective.

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