Ethernet cables, also known as network 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.RS offer an extensive range of premium ethernet cables from industry-leading brands including Belden, Brand-Rex, Alpha Wire and of course RS PRO. Choose from reels of cable or ready-made RJ45 patch leads, in various lengths, colours and sheath materials. You can find out more information in our Ethernet cable guide
What are the different types of Ethernet Cable?
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 = Unshielded 10Mbps with a max bandwidth of 16MHzCat 5e = Unshielded 1,000Mbps to 1Gbps with a max bandwidth of 100MHzCat 6 = Shielded or unshielded 10Gbps up to 55 meters with a max bandwidth of 250MHzCat 6a = Shielded 10Gbps up to 55 meters with a max bandwidth of 500MHzCat 7 = Shielded 100Gbps up to 15 meters with a max bandwidth of 600MHzCat 7a = Shielded 100Gbps up to 15 meters with a max bandwidth of 1,000MHzCat 8 = Shielded 40Gbps up to 30 meters with a max bandwidth of 2,000MHz
Solid Vs Stranded
Twisted pair Ethernet cables are available with solid or stranded copper conductors and are used for different applications.Stranded cables are more flexible and are typically used for movable designs. They are often used for patch cables and can be terminated with RJ45 male connectors on each end.Solid cables are durable and sturdy and are more common for longer runs. Solid network cables are ideal for permanent installations behind walls.
Shielded Vs Unshielded
Unshielded Twisted Pairs (UTP) cables do not have any foil or screening. UTP cables are flexible and are relatively cheaper to manufacture. Not having shielding does increase the risk of crosstalk and can impact signal quality.Shielded Twisted Pairs (STP) cables are protected by a braided shield. The copper braiding can help to reduce noise and enhance connection.Foil Twisted Pairs (FTP) cables have a special foil shield for added protection. FTP cables are ideal for applications where better connection and connectivity and noise reduction are essential.