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How to Choose the Right Cables for your Home Network


One of your home network’s indispensable components is the Ethernet cable connecting modems to computers, switches, among other devices. There is a wide variety of networking cables like the Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, among others. However, it’s not an easy task to choose the right type of cable for your home network, even if you know their differences.

The speed of a home network and its connectivity are determined by the type of cable used. Various factors need to be considered, such as distance, function, and network type, among others. Without further ado, let dive in, read more and see how you can choose the right cable for your home network.

Consider the Most Used Type of Cable

The standard type of cable used for home network connections is the twisted-pair Ethernet cable. These cables are used to connect computers to modems, hubs, switches, routers, access points, printers, and other computers. 

There are three common types of twisted-pair Ethernet cables that include Cat 5 (Category 5), Cat 5e (Category 5 Enhanced), and Cat 6 (Category 6). Each of these categories has varying performance capabilities, which are essential to consider depending on your internet usage.

 Cat 5 cables can withstand network speed of up to 100 Mbps at 100 Megahertz. On the other hand, the Cat 5e cables can withstand up to 1000 Mbps at 100 Megahertz. These two cables feature a 100 meters cable length. Cat 6 cables withstand network speeds of up to 1000 Mbps at 250 Megahertz with a maximum cable length of 90 meters.

Consider the Network Speed the Cable can handle

 As mentioned above, each network cable has a network speed capacity to which it can support. For example, the Cat5e and Cat6 support the most speed of 1000 Mbps at 100 Megahertz. These are recommendable if you are subscribed to a network package of that network speed capacity.

Cat 5 cable is probably outdated and will subject you to low internet speeds even if you are subscribed to a higher speed internet package. 

Consider the Cable Length you need    

Even though you can get custom made cables to be made, it is essential to consider the cable length you need for your home network. You’ll probably need enough cable to run around corners, along the walls, under your floor mat, among other things.

While considering the option of twisted-pair cables highlighted above, it is best to choose Cat5e cable as it combines network speed capability and just sufficient length.

Consider your Budget

You might also want to consider your budget when selecting the type of twisted-pair cable to use. There are two types of twisted-pair Ethernet cables: unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) and Shielded twisted pair (STP). 

UTP is commonly used in home and moderate industrial environments as it is less expensive and flexible. On the other hand, STP is expensive and not common and is mostly used in noisy industrial complexes due to its durability and high resistance to interference. STP is also durable compared to UTP.


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