Our Tips On How To Choose The Right Network Cables

By Steve George

April 8, 2014IT Equipment


Finding the right network cable depends on several factors, such as the network cable size, speed, plug type and of course, your budget. First, you need to decide which devices you want to connect and what exactly you expect from your network cabling. If you expect better performance, reduced interference and greater speed, then price should not be the main factor. It is better to spend more on buying the right network cable, then buying cheap network cabling products that can cause additional problems that will cost you more time and money. In order to avoid such problems, we have listed few important things to have in mind when shopping for a specific network cable.

Determine The Speed – When choosing network cables, consider the connection speed. When compared to Cat5 and Cat5e network cables, Cat6 is far more reliable and offers higher speed. Therefore, you need to determine whether you need a faster connection or not before choosing certain network cable. The Cat5 and Cat5e network cables are ideal for connections up to 100 Mbps, while the Cat6 is generally used for faster connections. Since most home routers support speeds of 10 and 100 Mbps, you won’t make a mistake if you buy any of the three network cables mentioned above. However, the Gigabit Ethernet routers are becoming quite popular these days, and they require more powerful network cables. The Cat6 network cable is specially designed to successfully deal with gigabit speeds. If you are looking for faster and more reliable connection, then go with the Cat6 network cable.

Cable Length – Another thing that needs to be considered, is the length of the network cable. Depending on how far one device is from another, you will need to purchase the right length network cable. Have in mind that the signal degrades in long sized cables, so if you don’t really need large sized cables, go with the shorter ones. Cat6 and Cat6a network cables are ideal for distances up to 100m. This is consider as an ideal cable length for clear and fast signal. For 100 m or less, the Cat5e is the one to buy, and for 20 m go with the Cat5 network cable. The size however, depends on your specific requirements. In order to have proper network cabling, determine the size and the speed of the cable.

Plug Type – You also need to pay attention to the plug type. You need to determine which jack is ideal for your home network. In order to connect your computer with a Cat5 network cable, you need to select the plug type that is ideal for that cable. Jacks are used to connect devices, so always buy the right plug type that matches the type of a network cable. Usually, the RJ45 is the standard type that can be used for most network cables.

Budget – Probably the most important thing to consider when shopping for network cables, is your budget. Buying the right network cable will depend heavily on how much you are willing to spend. It is recommended to spend extra on high-quality network cables in order to avoid costly repairs in the future. The difference in the price between the Cat6, Cat5 and Cat5e is insignificant when compared to the costs involved when not using the proper network cabling products.