Which Ethernet cable is best for long distances?

which ethernet cable is best for long distances?

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Cat6 Ethernet cable is the best cable for long distances. It offers high-speed data up to 10Gb per second and higher bandwidth. Surprisingly, the length is 100 meters. That means optimal data speed, bandwidth, and range are available in Cat6.

There are multiple types of Ethernet ports. The maximum long-range distance is 100 meters. This is undoubtedly more than enough for your system, but some people have concerns when their devices are away from the network. Here are significant types of Ethernet ports.

  • Cat3
  • Cat5
  • Cat5e
  • Cat6
  • Cat6e
  • Cat7
  • Cat8

You can observe these Ethernet ports in PoE systems using a PoE switch.

Let’s go through them in detail.

Eight different types of Ethernet ports

Have you ever heard of Cat3? You might wonder what precisely cat 3 means. No surprises! Simply put, it is a “Category 3” port. Here are all types of Ethernet.

Cat1

Cat1 is the oldest type of Ethernet port. It is unimportant because we have advanced classes, but voice telephone systems were popular in the 1980s. It is a UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) type port. The maximum data speed is 1 MB per second. It is no longer in use!

Cat2

Category 2 Ethernet is also no longer in use. Its origin refers to its use for communication and data purposes in the 1980s. It provides 4 Mbps-4 times the Cat1 ports. Its applications include Token ring networks.

Cat3

Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineering(IEEE) introduced the Cat3 Ethernet in the early 1990s. It was the first Ethernet port with 10BaseT compatibility— Fast Ethernet. That’s why its maximum data speed is up to 10 Mbps. Especially in PoE 802.3af networks, you can observe the use of the Cat3 port.

If you want a detailed guide over PoE 802.3af, look at the manual—What is the difference between PoE and PoE+?

Here are significant features that differentiate it from other Ethernet ports.

Cable Type

  • Cat3 Ethernet has four twisted pairs and is compatible with most devices.

Maximum data speed

  • A maximum data speed of 10 Mbps is possible with Cat3.

Maximum Bandwidth

  • The bandwidth is around 16 megahertz.

Maximum distance

  • Cat3 can work within 100 meters of range, similar to standard Ethernet ports in range.

Cat4

Cat4 is similar to Cat3 in several respects. Typical applications for it include older buildings and token ring networks. It is not compatible with 10BaseT. That’s why you might not find its use in your PoE networks. Here are some features worth mentioning.

Cable Type

  • Like Cat3, Cat4 is a twisted pair of copper wires that provide speed for data.

Maximum data speed

  • The maximum data speed is 16 Mbps.

Maximum Bandwidth

  • The maximum bandwidth is 20 Megahertz.

Maximum distance

  • Like standard Ethernet ports, you can use it to 100 meters of range.

Cat5

Cat5 Ethernet is a better technology than Cat4 and Cat3. It is compatible with Fast Ethernet and supports data speeds up to 100 Mbps. In the PoE 802.3at network, you can observe the applications of Cat5.

To know what PoE 802.3at is, look at— What is PoE 802.3at?

Here are the most popular features of the Cat5 Ethernet.

Cable Type

It comprises a twisted pair of copper wires to enable the power and data speed within the network.

Maximum data speed

The maximum data speed is 100 Mbps. That’s why it is compatible with Fast Ethernet systems.

Maximum Bandwidth

The maximum bandwidth is 100 megahertz, supporting high-speed data.

Maximum distance

The distance is the same as the others— 100 meters.

Cat5e

Don’t you think Cat5 and Cat5e seem to be the same? Why is there Cat5e when Cat5 is already present? Surprisingly, the scenario is different here. Cat5e is a variant of Cat5. In simple words, it is an upgrade of the Cat5 port. That’s the main reason you can find the Cat5e to be faster than Cat5.

Cable Type

Like the other Ethernet ports, it is twisted copper wire.

Maximum data speed

Ten times more data speed than the Cat5. Simply put, it offers data to speed up to 1GB per second.

Maximum Bandwidth

Bandwidth is 100 megahertz, which enables such a high-speed data connection.

Maximum distance

Distance is the same 100 meters.

Cat6

Cat6 Ethernet ports are popular in data centers and industrial PoE. They are the best option for optimum performance at longer distances. They provide 100-meter ranges with 1GB per second of data speed.

Here are the main features.

Cable Type

It is twisted copper wire, usually shielded.

Maximum data speed

Data speed is ten times that of Cat5. Presumably, it is 1GB per second.

Maximum Bandwidth

The bandwidth is 250 megahertz, which supports the data speed within the given range.

Maximum distance

It allows you to get a data connection within 100 meters.

Cat6e

Like Cat5e, Cat6e is an upgrade to the Cat6. It offers better features in terms of data speed and bandwidth. In 2009, IEEE developed a system to provide power over Ethernet at a maximum distance with a high-speed connection.

Have a look at the distinct features of Cat6e.

Cable Type

Cat6e is a shielded port with a twisted pair of copper wires.

Maximum data speed

Data speed is ten times that of Cat6—10 Gb per second. Imagine transferring files between computers using such high-speed data.

Maximum Bandwidth

Bandwidth is 500 megahertz— twice that of Cat6.

Maximum distance

It provides a range of up to 100 meters. Just like standard Ethernet ports!

Cat7

A consortium of companies has developed a Cat7 Ethernet port. It is undoubtedly incredible, but IEEE doesn’t endorse it. That’s why it has applications in a limited number of networks. The maximum range is 100 meters for 10Gb per second data speed. However, it reduces to 50 meters when you increase speed to 40Gb per second. In the case of 100GB per double data speed, the range might only be reduced to 15 meters.

Cable Type

Cat7 is a shielded port with a twisted pair of copper wires.

Maximum data speed

The maximum data speed is 100GB per second, while the full speed is 10GB per second for a higher range.

Maximum Bandwidth

Bandwidth is one gigahertz.

Maximum distance

The maximum distance is 100 meters.

Cat8

Cat8 is the latest Ethernet port designed for high-speed data connection. It minimizes the cross-talk phenomenon and makes the transfer at higher data rates. It is compatible with 25GBaseT and 40GBaseT. However, there are two versions of Cat8. Cat8.1 enables 25 Gbps data speed, while Cat8.2 ensures the data speed is 40 Gbps.

Cable Type

The cable type is a shielded twisted Ethernet port.

Maximum data speed

The maximum data speed is 40 Gbps.

Maximum Bandwidth

Bandwidth is two gigahertz.

Maximum distance

The distance is 30 meters.

Final Words:

What conclusion have you gotten from the whole discussion? By comparing features, it is evident that Cat6 is a top choice for higher data speed with a more extended range. Depending on compatibility, when distance is not your ultimate requirement, you can try Cat8. PoE extenders will be ideal if you want to increase the distance.

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Mr.Hua

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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