A Few Frequently Asked Questions About Ethernet Cables, Answered

500 ft ethernet cable

When faced with the insane amount of cables behind your television or computer in your home, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and not know what to do. Knowing which cables do what and how they connect to different devices isn’t an easy trade to master, especially if you still have questions.
People ask cable questions all the time, but one of the most frequently occurring topics of conversation is ethernet cables. Where should you use a cat5e ethernet cable versus cat6 ethernet cables? Well, we’re here to answer a few of the most frequently asked questions about these cables.
What is a Cat5e ethernet cable?
Cat5, or category 5 cables, provide minimal performance rates of 100MHz. These cables are used most frequently in environments where not a ton of speed is necessary for an internet connection. At their core, Cat5 cables are one form of ethernet cables.
What is a Cat6 cable?
Cat6 ethernet cables are just another iteration of the basic ethernet cable, but they’re capable of supporting higher speeds of data transfer than their previous Cat5 iteration. In short, these cables are usually preferable to Cat5 cables.
What do Mbps and Gbps mean?
Both of these abbreviations are different units used to measure the speed of data transfer from a source to the device it’s connected to. Mbps stands for megabits per second and Gbps stands for gigabits per second.
What does MHz stand for?
MHZ is short for Megahertz. Megahertz refers to the specific frequency that a cable operates on. In some cases, cables operating on the same frequency will “interrupt” each other while they’re communicating with a device. This can cause several issues, including lower speed and stuttering.
Should I use stranded of solid cables?
While a stranded cable is made up of multiple strands of copper inside a rubber casing, solid cables encase a singular, solid piece of copper wire. Both types of cable carry the same signal strength, but strand cables are typically preferred because they have a much higher flexibility than solid cables.
Hopefully some of your cable questions have been answered!