If you are looking for ethernet cables to build a new network in your house, then you are likely to see a variety of different cables while buying from a store. The standard ethernet cables that you are likely to find are Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, and Cat7. The Cat6 and Cat7 are the latest versions of the ethernet cables.
After going through all these cables in the store, you may have wondered what ethernet cable should I use? In this article, I have given a detailed explanation of Cat6 vs Cat7 cables. After reading this article, you will know which ethernet cable you should buy for your home.
Cat6 Vs Cat7
Here I have explained in detail the difference between the ethernet cables and which ethernet cable will suit your home best. First, let’s understand what Cat means. Cat is the short form for Category. The different Category of ethernet cables shows the different specifications it has.
Each higher category of Ethernet cable is backward compatible. This means that Cat6 is compatible with Cat5 and similarly Cat7 is compatible with Cat6 and Cat5. So, what is the difference between the different Categories?
Difference Between Cat6 And Cat7
Each Category of ethernet cable is different from the other ones. The main difference is the speed of transmission and the possible distance of transmission. The cables of higher Category have better transmission speed and transmission range. The Cat5e is only slightly better than Cat 5. The Cat6a is much better than the Cat6 as it has a major increase in bandwidth allocation and transmission range.
However, the Cat7 is only slightly better than Cat6a. Cat7 has double the bandwidth of Cat6a and 10 times the speed within 15 meters of transmission range. But after the 15-meter transmission range is exceeded the transmission speed of both Cat7 and Cat6a is same.
Here is a detailed comparison between all the categories of the ethernet cables available:
|Categories||Maximum Speed||Maximum Bandwidth||Transmission Range|
|Cat7a||100 GBPS||1000 MHz||50 meters, after that speed drops to 10 GBPS|
|Cat7||100 GBPS||1000 MHz||15 meters, after that speed drops to 10 GBPS|
|Cat6a||10 GBPS||500 MHZ||100 meters|
|Cat6||10 GBPS||250 MHZ||55 meters, after that speed drops to 1 GBPS|
|Cat5e||1 GBPS||100 MHZ||100 meters|
|Cat5||1 GBPS||100 MHZ||100 meters|
What Is The Price Difference Between The Categories?
The newer Category of cables is costlier than the older ones. Right now, Cat7 cables are the costliest ethernet cables. However, there isn’t much cost difference between Cat7 and Cat6a cables. It is cost-efficient to buy the Cat7 wire over the Cat6 as the difference isn’t much and you get an upgrade on specs.
What Ethernet Cable Should I Use?
So, we have finally come to the end of this article. But the question remains, which ethernet cable should your buy. In my opinion in Cat6 vs Cat7, you should buy the Cat7 wires over the Cat6 even if your network devices may not need it right now. There is a significant difference between Cat6 and Cat7.
In future you are bound to make an upgrade anyway and having the latest Category of cables now will postpone the upgrade requirement further. Also, the price difference between Cat6 and Cat7 isn’t too big. If you have any other questions related to this article, ask them in the comment section below.