What is the Fastest Ethernet Cable?

One Stop Cables

Posted on December 04 2020

What is the Fastest Ethernet Cable?

The Fastest Ethernet Cable

Ethernet cable, like all things tech related, are constantly advancing and can be difficult to keep up with. Today we will get straight to the point and break down the different types of patch cables out there. This will include the latest CAT8 patch cable all the way down to what seems to be ancient technology CAT5e patch cables.

Category

Max Bandwidth

Max Data Rate

Shielding

Cat8

2000MHz

25Gbps / 40Gbps

Double Shielded

Cat7/ 7A

1200MHz

10Gbps

Double Shielded

Cat6A

750MHz

10Gbps

UTP or F/UTP

Cat6

550MHz

1000Mbps

UTP or F/UTP

Cat5e

350MHz

1000Mbps

UTP or F/UTP

 

Without wasting any time here is the list ranking from the fastest Ethernet cable down to the slowest Ethernet cable.

Category 8 Ethernet Cable

This is the latest Ethernet cable in today’s market. Cat8 patch cable boasts lightning fast speeds of up to 2000MHz (2GHz) bandwidth and supports up to 25G/40GBase-T applications. This cable is intended for data centers and the backbone of any network infrastructure. The maximum recommended length to achieve the highest performance is 30 meters and under. Any length beyond 30 meters will slowly hinder the performance, yet still beating out any of its predecessors such as Cat7A, Cat6a, etc. Cat8 cable also comes double shielded (F/STP), each individual pair is shielded with Mylar aluminum and an overall braided shield around all four pairs. This double shielding offers maximum protection against Electromagnetic Interference (EMI).

Features:

2000MHz Bandwidth

25GBase-T / 40GBase-T Data Rate

Double Shielding F/STP

Recommended usage: 4K Streaming, Data center, In-Wall Horizontal Runs Back Bone Networking, Gaming.

Category 7/ 7A Ethernet Cable

Introduced in 2002, yes you’ve read that correct this cable has been out since 2002. Regular Cat7 cable was introduced with no real standard and was not widely accepted due to it being unrecognized by TIA. However, it has grown popularity amongst the European market. With the advanced twisting of each pairs and the double shielding, this cable is able to achieve bandwidth of up to 1200MHz (for Cat7A). This is also a very fast and great cable for those that want a step above the standard Ethernet cables. Cat7A cable can also achieve 10Gbps up to 100 meters.

Features:

Up to 1200MHz Bandwidth

10GBase-T Data Rate

Double Shielding F/STP

Recommended usage: Streaming, Gaming, In-Wall Horizontal Run Back Bone Networking, and daily office usage.

Category 6A Ethernet Cable

Cat6A Ethernet cable is more than sufficient for daily usage. In fact, this cable is still considered the go to cable for high end installs in commercial buildings. This cable is used for in-wall installations as the back bone of the networking infrastructure. It’s also used in datacenters and provides more than enough performance to handle server needs. With a rating of up to 750MHz bandwidth and data rate of up to 10Gbps, this cable can almost stand toe to toe against CAT7 cable.

Features:

750MHz Bandwidth

10GBase-T Data Rate

Overall Mylar Foil Shielding

Recommended usage: Streaming, Data center, In-Wall runs, Gaming, Office.

Category 6 Ethernet Cable

The most well-known cable in the world. That is right, Cat6 Ethernet cable is probably the most common lingo you can use to just about anyone and they’ll know you’re referring to a “cable for internet”. This standard cable is still popular and widely used in just about ANYTHING you can think of. Cat6 cable is used in commercial buildings ranging from hotels, universities, and office buildings to residential back-bone networking. Cat6 cable can achieve speeds of up to 600MHz and can run up to 300 meters. It comes in both shielded or unshielded, has a max data rate of up to 1000Mbps, and can come with or without a spline in the center for extra protection and NEXT (Nearend Crosstalk). This cable is widely versatile and the price point is very affordable.

Features:

Up to 600MHz Bandwidth

1000Mbps Data Rate

Shielded / Unshielded optional

Spline / No-Spline optional

Category 5e Ethernet Cable

With this being around the longest, aside from obsolete Cat3 cable, Cat5e patch cable can still be found in many buildings. Cat5e cable has a bandwidth frequency of 350MHz and max data rate of 1000Mbps, which is still ideal for basic usage.

Features:

Up to 250MHz Bandwidth

1000Mbps Data Rate

Unshielded

No Spline

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