What Do You Need To Know Before Shopping For An Ethernet Cable?

Ethernet cabling is an essential part of the home computing experience of most people. Still, only a few of them understand how essential they can really be in the long run and also, their differences. In this article, we will clear the air to make you know these ethernet cables and things to know before you buy an Ethernet cable.

The branding of Ethernet cables known as “Cat” is one of the most essential things to note before buying them because it provides vital details about the frequency (MHz) of the cable is well as the speeds of the cable. In this situation, “Cat” stands for Category. You need to purchase Cat 5 cables or even higher when buying an Ethernet cable. Cables of lower standards are used typically for telephone applications. They offer a very low speed and are not really Ethernet cables.

Below, we will provide you with a detailed list of the differences between these types of Ethernet cable to make your choice when buying them:

Cat 5 Cables

These cables operate at a frequency of 100 MHz and offers speed up to 100 Megabits per second.

Cat 5e Cables

These cables operate at a frequency of 100 MHz and offers speed up to 1 Gigabit per second.

Cat 6 Cables

Cat6 cables operate at a frequency of 250 MHz and offers speed of up to 10 gigabits per second, although, with this full capacity, the maximum length of the cable shortens down to 55m as opposed to the 100m usually provided by Cat cables.

Cat 6e Cables

These cables operate at a frequency of 500 MHz and with no such length as their predecessor, offers speed of up to 10 gigabits per second. You might wonder what cable type will suit your needs. To test the cables in a simple means, ask your internet service provider what their provided maximum speed is, or carry out a test for speed to gauge your connection speed.

If you are restricted to a 1 Mbps connection, for example, you don’t have any reason to buy any cable lesser than Cat 5 cables. Cat 5e cables are fast enough to cover most internet needs of the consumer level but investing in a good cable is well worth the investment for businesses and schools with faster networks.

Jackets And Shielding

The jackets and shielding are two forms of protection for Ethernet cables.

The jacket covers the bodies of the cable. Jackets are important to ensure the cables do not get damaged when it’s being routed around your home. The stronger the jackets, the stronger the integrity of the cable, and also, the longer it will last. Most Ethernet cables make use of PVC jackets, which is good, but take note that a cable with a low-quality jacket that breaks and tears down easily.

Shielded ethernet cable is a cable that that prevent interference and signal degradation, which is essential when cables are installed in a harsh environment. Also, it is very crucial in simultaneously running multiple cables together. 

Length In Buying Ethernet Cables

Ethernet cables max out at 100m without the use of a repeater and differ greatly in their lengths. However, do not purchase cables under 10 ft. According to what you need, always purchase a cable that is quite long, because at some point, you might need to move your computer or router, or you might need to reroute them. Spending more for the additional length will save you a headache in the long run and also save you a lot of time.

However, there are a lot of things to note when shopping for Ethernet cables.

Shop In Bulk

Buying Ethernet cables you need individually usually costs more than buying a set of bulk Ethernet cables. You will want to keep an eye out for most stores that offer discounts when purchasing Ethernet cables in bulk. Also, it assures that everything will arrive together so that the set up will proceed at once rather than waiting for them to come one after the other.

Shop Ahead Of Time

Shopping ahead of time is another key point to consider. Having everything you want available before you carry out the process of setting up implies that there would not be any last-minute scrambling. Stocking up and thinking ahead provides you with enough time to get ready and ensure that your business is properly set up.


In summary, an ethernet cable is an important part of a business, home, or any network. A lot of people that buy Ethernet cables do not have much idea about them, although, with this article, we hope that you have been provided with enough details you want to make a good buying decision.