6 Things You Need to Know About Ethernet Cables

  • Last modified: September 11, 2023

Are you planning to buy bulk ethernet cables? Then, these are the six things that you should know about ethernet cables, including Cat5e ethernet cable, Cat6 ethernet cable, and Cat6a ethernet cable.

The difference between Bare Copper and CCA

A conductor is an indispensable component of ethernet cables. The conductors are either made up of pure copper (also known as solid copper or bare copper) or copper-clad aluminum. For superior results, bare copper conductors are preferred by all as they surpass CCA conductors in every field. However, pure copper ethernet cables are much more expensive than copper-clad aluminum cables; the former provides top-notch protection against crosstalk and other interferences that help in keeping signal quality intact.

Cable Jacket Ratings

Be it Cat5e ethernet cable, Cat6 ethernet cable, or Cat6a ethernet cable, all of them come in different jacket ratings. 

You will install plenum-rated ethernet cables in plenum spaces of the buildings. The jacket of plenum cables comprises high-quality polyvinyl chloride material. As the risk of fire eruption is greater in plenum spaces, these cables, when exposed to fire, act as a fire retardant and halt fire progression. You can use plenum cables in riser spaces too. 

Riser-rated cables come in handy in riser spaces of the building. The jacket material of riser-rated ethernet cables is also of good quality, but it is not as good as plenum cables. Also, these cables are not a replacement for plenum cables. 

For outdoor installations, you will use PVC-rated cables. 

Bandwidth Capabilities

The bandwidth capabilities of the Cat5e ethernet cable bulk, Cat6 ethernet cable, and Cat6a ethernet cable differ vastly. Cat5e cable comes with bandwidth capabilities of 300MHz, Cat6 comes up with up to 550MHz, and Cat6a comes up with up to 750MHz. 

Data Transfer Rates

Cat5e can transfer data at a speed of 1Gbps over a length of 100 meters. Cat6a Cable can transfer data at a mammoth speed of 10Gbps over a distance of 50 meters. When the distance increases to 100 meters, the data transfer speed plummets to 1Gbps (similar to Cat5e). Cat6a can transfer data at a rate of 10Gbps over a length of 100 meters. All these cables easily meet the needs of all existing applications. If you install Cat6 or Cat6a ethernet cable, it will leave you with room to upgrade. 


All ethernet cables run between 22AWG to 26AWG. Higher the AWG, the smaller the diameter of the conductor. 

Shielded & Unshielded

To protect against crosstalk, manufacturers add an extra layer of protection. In shielded ethernet cables bulk, all four twisted pairs are wrapped in tightly braided wire or foil while another braided layer protects the entire group of conductors. It provides superior level protection against crosstalk and EMI, and signal quality is not compromised. STP cables are ideal for installation in environments where there is a lot of crosstalk or EMI. Unshielded ethernet cables don’t come with these protections. They are the best for installation in spaces where there is no or little crosstalk or EMI. 

Here at NewYork Cables, we provide a wide range of cabling solutions. All of our products not only meet existing standards but surpass them. Free shipping on orders above $249.99 is the cherry on the top. Our return policy is also customer-friendly. 

Specification Cat5e Cat6 Cat6a
Cable Jacket Plenum, Riser & PVC Plenum, Riser & PVC Plenum & Riser
Wire Gauge 24-AWG 23-AWG 23-AWG Highly Twisted
Frequencies 350 MHZ 550 MHZ 750 MHZ
Installation Temp 0°C to 60°C 0°C to 60°C 0°C to 60°C
Pairs 4 Twisted Pairs 4 Twisted Pairs 4 Twisted Pairs
Package Easy Pull Box Easy Pull Box Wood Spool
Colors Black, Blue, White, Red, Green, Yellow Black, Blue, White, Red, Green, Yellow Black, Blue, White, Red, Green, Yellow
Written By:

Ryan, a seasoned networking professional with over a decade of experience. He is passionate about all-things tech and avidly reads IT journals.

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