top of page

All network cables are not the same

Not every network cable that you plug into your laptop for internet access is the same. Ethernet or CAT cables vary in strength - there are several common categories. A Cat 3 cable will only be able to handle 10 Mbps, whereas a Cat 6a cable can handle up to 10 Gbps.

Cat 3 and 5 cables should be avoided as most internet connections will allow for speeds of far more than 10 Mbps. A Cat 5e cable is enhanced to prevent crosstalk between channels in the cable - it can handle up to 1 Gbps. It's likely that most cables you'll find in use in 2020 will be Cat 5e cables.

A Cat 6 cable can also support 1 Gbps and will generally be faster than a Cat 5e cable because it is more tightly wound. Speeds will slow down as the length of a network cable increases. Upgrading to a Cat 6a cable can almost entirely eliminate the crosstalk factor

The category of a cable should be printed on its body.

bottom of page