We live in an increasingly wireless world, but wires form the backbone of any enterprise system. That’s why choosing the right Ethernet cable is critical.
Ethernet has been around for decades and is now known as the standard Internet wiring system. If you’re using a wired connection to the Web, you’re almost certainly doing it through Ethernet.
When you’re setting up an office IT and phone system, however, you have an important choice to make: what type of Ethernet cabling should you use? Ethernet cables all look the same, and they all plug into an Ethernet port. So what’s the difference?
Generally, your choices are Category 5e (Cat5e) or Category 6 (Cat6). Category 5 cables are an older standard, introduced to support 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps speeds. Cat5e stands for “enhanced Category 5” and was introduced to support 1,000 Mbps or “gigabit” speeds, a much better rate of data transmission. They’re also designed to reduce crosstalk, or interference among the wires bundled in the cable.
But even more advanced and faster is the Cat6 cable. It has insulators dividing the bundles of twisted copper wire, reducing crosstalk and noise even more, and is capable of achieving 100-gigabit speeds, providing for a true Gigabit Ethernet connection.
While the choice may seem obvious, Cat6 cable comes with more stringent installation standards and connectors and patch cords that are about 20 percent more expensive than Cat5e.
Luminet has performed countless Ethernet cabling jobs. We recommend that all new projects be outfitted with Cat6 cabling in order to future-proof the installation and keep it up to date for as long as possible.
It’s easy to forget that most of the cost of cabling is related to the labour–pulling out older generations of cable from the walls and adding the latest one can add to the cost of your IT infrastructure.
That’s why it makes sense to go with the latest and fastest Ethernet option, Category 6. To talk about your cabling and communications needs, drop us a line today!