Ethernet Cable Quality: Factors That Determine Ethernet Cable Quality

FACTS CHECKED BY  Jose George​

To find the best LAN cable, you have to know the specifications of the cables you intend to use. The network cable types come into play to determine the speed of the Internet one decides to use. If you plan to use the internet speed of 10Gbps, it is important to purchase a 10Gbps Cat6a cable to correspond to it and benefit from its full capacity. Besides the cat, ethernet cable quality significantly affects the cable’s performance and cost.

Today, we will see how to choose a high-quality ethernet cable.

Table of Contents

Shielded or Unshielded?

A Shielded cable has pairs of wires covered in foil with additional protection to cover the pairs. The shield helps prevent Electromagnetic Interference and any technical problems affecting the signals’ integrity.

Therefore, shielding is essential when your data is threatened by magnetic energy interference and noise. A shielded cable like Cat6a is ideal when installing ethernet connectivity in an environment with high interference.

Unshielded cables are pairs of wires covered in foil with no additional coat of protection. It may not minimize interference due to a lack of shielding, but it stops electromagnetic interference. They are suitable in an office setup with less data traffic. Also, it is the best option when your data transfer is low or urgent. In addition, the unshielded cable is better since it does not require grounding.

Copper Purity and Signal Loss

Pure copper is more stable, durable, and highly conductive, but there are other considerations you check. Copper, free from impurities, has a high conductivity rate which helps in the high-speed transmission of signals. Impurities increase current and signal flow resistance, leading to signal strength loss. Over time, the risk leads to a heating effect, which causes the insulation material to reduce, resulting in the untimely failure of the cable. There is also the possible threat of electric shock and fire, which can cause signal loss.

Gold and RJ-45 Connector Plating

RJ-45 maintains the connection between the device and the modem. The plating on the RJ-45 is important since it maintains conductivity, so it’s made of some metal. The signal quality of good conductors like nickel and copper will degrade if the connector is open to humidity and moisture elements. RJ-45 Gold connectors do not rust; it is durable and a good conductor. Hence it makes it suitable for plaiting the RJ-45 connectors. Gold-plated connectors are stable, and they maintain good internet connectivity. Thicker gold plating with a higher-quality cable will tear out slower. 

RJ-45 Gold Connectors

Caption: RJ-45 Gold Connectors

Cable Jacket Rate

A cable jacket covers a cable’s insulation and internal wiring. The jacket’s function is to shield wires from physical harm, humidity, ozone, and infrared rays. If a cable does not have ratings, don’t install it in walls or ceilings.

  • CL/CM/CMG 

These cable jackets are appropriate for use in all normal circumstances; Audio/visual applications use CL cables. At the same time, communications applications like ethernet use CM/CMG. You can lay these rated cables in the wall or ceiling in homes.

  • CMR

You can use a CMR rating cable in the risers of commercial premises since they limit the spread of flames better than cables in the CL/CM family. And You can install them anywhere except plenums. 

  • CMP 

You can use the CMP communications cable rating in plenums or anywhere.  CMP jackets can be made from PVC and other materials to delay the spread of flames and prevent giving off much smoke or toxic gas when it burns.

The Length

Various ethernet network cables have definite Cable length restrictions, which they can achieve at their best. The Cable length restrictions apply to all of the categories of ethernet cables. Regardless of a cable’s length, data transmission speed remains constant. However, running cables longer than their commended lengths decreases data transmission speeds. For instance, cat6a cables provide up to 1Gbps over a distance of 100 meters or 328 feet of data transmission. However, when you purchase a cable, get one that’s a little longer than you require since you may need to reroute it when circumstances force it. 

The Color

The cable color does not have performance features, but it is important when managing cables. Organizing your cables by color in large network infrastructures makes them efficient during problem troubleshooting. A better-arranged cable color setup will help identify faults more easily. There needs to be a specific order to arrange color code schemes in your infrastructure. The colors help in easy troubleshooting in case of network failure.

Various Colors of Network Cables

Caption: Various Colors of Network Cables

Conclusion

Having discussed the factors to consider to select a high-quality ethernet cable, the remaining task is finding a trustworthy supplier. At Cloom Tech, we provide high-quality, solid, and sleek cable constructions and designs at affordable prices to make cable management easier.

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