Ethernet cables, also known as network cables or LAN cables are cables used to provide an internet connection and allow you to connect to the local area network (or LAN). The cables connect to ethernet ports and allow the transmission of high-speed data and information between devices such as computers, gaming consoles, modems, routers, and switches. Ethernet Cables adhere to various standards, such as 10BASE-T, 100BASE-TX,1000BASE-T and 10GBASE-T which specify the maximum data transfer speeds they can support. Some Ethernet cables support PoE (Power over Ethernet), allowing both data and electrical power to be transmitted over the same cable and are used to power devices like IP cameras and VoIP phones.
There are several different types of ethernet cables, and they are classified by their transmission speed and maximum bandwidths. In industry, this is known as a category or Cat. The most common networking cables are:
Cat 5 Cable: Cat 5 Cable supports a speed of 100 Mbps for up to 100 m with a max bandwidth of 100MHz
Cat 5e Cable: Cat 5e Cable is the most used Ethernet cable which supports data transfer speeds of up to 1 gigabit per second (Gbps) and is suitable for most home and small office network applications.
Cat 6 Cable: Cat 6 Cable can handle higher data transfer speeds, up to 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) over shorter distances.
Cat 6a Cable: Cat 6a Cable also known as Cat 6 Augmented offers higher data transfer speeds of up to 10 Gbps over longer distances than Cat 6 cables.
Cat 7 Cable: Cat 7 Cable is designed for high-speed networking and offers data transfer speeds of up to 10 Gbps.
Cat 8 Cable: Cat 8 Cable is designed for extremely high-speed data transfer and can support data rates of up to 25 or 40 Gbps over shorter distances. Cat 8.1 is a variant designed for use in residential and commercial applications which supports data transfer speeds of up to 25 Gbps
Ethernet cables are available pre-terminated with ethernet connectors or as unterminated cable. Please see our range of Ethernet Connectors which can be purchased separately. You can also find out more information in our Ethernet cable guide