Cat6 Ethernet Cable, Types, and Uses: A Guide
If you look up any query about the Cat6 ethernet cable, you will find that countless guides explain the types, uses, and other specifications of the cable. But what almost all of those guides are missing is a fresh perspective on what the bulk Cat6 ethernet cable is, its types, its uses, and which one should you buy. Yes, you will have to choose between one or more of its variants to buy the 1000ft Cat6 cable. So this guide will provide you with a new outlook on this cable. Let’s get right into it without further ado.
The Cat6 ethernet cable is standardized by IEEE as per category 6 of twisted-pair ethernet cables. It has twisted-pair conductors of 23 AWG. The conductors are twisted to prevent crosstalk (electromagnetic interference) from interfering with the signal transmission (more on that later).
Category 6 cables are produced in multiple variants and each one has its unique use. However, the plenum and riser are the main types of cable. A Cat6 PVC variant is also produced but it is not used commonly anymore so we will not be discussing it in detail. But pertinent to mention about it is the fact that it can be used outdoors. For indoor use, it is not the best Cat6 cable.
The cost of the bulk Cat6 ethernet cable is moderate as compared to the more recent cables such as the Cat7 and Cat8. But performance-wise, it is just as efficient and durable as the latest cables. It can relay data at up to 1 GBit/s speed with its 550 MHz bandwidth. This is enough speed to run all LAN applications.
As mentioned earlier, this is a twisted-pair cable. What that means is that its conductor wires are twisted into pairs. Twisted-pair cabling is a technique that is used to reduce the internal and external crosstalk in cables that run parallel to one another. So the twisted pair of Cat6 cables have good tolerance against crosstalk.
Now what’s more important here to note is that the Cat6 ethernet cable’s conductors feature more twists per unit length as compared to its previous generations. Meaning, in the one-inch length of the cable conductors, you will find far more twists as compared to the Cat5e cable. This ultimately results in a better, cleaner, and faster data transfer. For example, if you are using this cable to stream video games, you will be able to stream faster and much more efficiently.
The plenum variant of this cable is known as the Cat6 plenum. It is designed to be used in horizontal spaces of buildings such as in air ducts which are found above-dropped ceilings and below raised floors. This cable has the same speed and bandwidth and its main distinction from other cables is its communications multipurpose plenum jacket.
This jacket’s safety features make it possible for the cable to be used in HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) ducts. The CM-plenum jacket is made from thick FEP (fluorinated ethylene polymer) materials that do not emit toxic smoke in case of catching fire. Further, this cable jacket is coated with fire-retardant material which discourages flame propagation along the cable length.
Cat6 riser cable is designed for use both indoors and outdoors. Except, for indoor use, it can only be run in vertically rising spaces that are contained. Examples of such spaces are the space between two floors, elevator shafts, and the inside of rising walls. These spaces are also known as risers, hence the name Cat6 ‘riser’.
The core of the Cat6 riser cable is the same as the Cat6 plenum cable. Its performance is also the same with the same data transfer speed and bandwidth. But note that the performance of the cables might vary depending on external factors such as cable density of the network, temperature, length of the cable, etc.
Uses of the Cat6 ethernet cable are varied and many. It finds its use from simple residential LAN networks to large commercial buildings. Because of its high-speed data transfer rate, bandwidth capacity, and excellent performance against crosstalk, it is used for connecting IP security cameras, computers, smart TVs, VoIP Phones, and any electronic device that supports ethernet connections.
Pertinent to mention here is another fact about the bulk Cat 6 ethernet cable. Its 1 GBit/s data transfer speed can be increased up to a whopping 10 GBit/s by running the cable at short 50-meter lengths. Running it at shorter lengths decreases crosstalk and attenuation (ping) levels dramatically which increases its speed. So, its 10 GBit/s data transfer speed makes it usable for data center applications as well where cables are run at extremely short lengths, a few inches in some cases.
How to Buy Cat6 Cable 1000ft?
To buy Cat6 Cable 1000ft, you need to know two things. First, what are your requirements, and second, which cable is ideal for that requirement?
You need to answer these questions to buy the bulk Cat6 cable. And knowing its types allows you to make an informed decision.
But generally, people buy the 1000ft Cat6 plenum cable for use in indoor horizontal spaces and the riser cable for indoor vertical spaces. You can use either of the two cables outdoors.
Note: for outdoor or indoor underground settings, get a Cat6 cable with a direct burial jacket.
To conclude, the Cat6 ethernet cable is a high-performing cable that comes in two major variants: plenum and riser. Both have their specifications and uses but their cores are the same. Hopefully, this blog provided you with a fresh perspective on the 1000ft Cat6 cable.