Cat6a Ethernet Cable, Which Ethernet Cables to Buy

One of the most useful yet confusing pieces of technology is ethernet network cables. People use them regularly without a problem, but it gets tricky when it comes to buying them. If you too are confused about which ethernet cables to buy for your unique network requirements, read this article. We will discuss everything that you need to know before buying Cat6a cables.

What is Cat6a ethernet cable?

The ‘A’ in Cat6a stands for augmented. Meaning, it is similar to a cat6 cable but performs better. This augmented category 6 cable is an upgraded version of the regular cat 6 cables and it is specifically designed for business applications. You will find its application in schools, hospitals, offices, and even homes. The lengths of the cable vary but most of the time it is sold in bulk (1000ft). The standard run length of the cable is 100 meters (328 feet) and installing it at a length longer than that could result in poor performance. It features 4 twisted pairs of 23 AWG conductors which can be shielded or unshielded. The overall built quality and the compatibility of the cable make it one of the most popular for use in all sorts of networks. More detailed specifications of the cable are discussed in the next parts.

Must Read: A Brief Guide to Cat6a Ethernet Cable and Its Benefits

Cat6a speed and bandwidth

The data transfer rate of augmented category 6 cable is phenomenal. You can use it for virtually all ethernet applications. It transmits data at speeds of up to 10 Gbps and supports frequencies up to 750 MHz. Such high-speeds and voluminous bandwidth capacities are possible to achieve due to the overall integration of the cable with high-quality materials such as its jacket, conductor, and shielding.

 Bare copper stranded vs solid conductor

As mentioned earlier, 1000ft cat6a cable is made out of only premium quality products. For the conductor wires, bare copper is used. The benefits of using bare copper for the conductor are many such as its corrosion-free property and the capacity to transmit data packets efficiently. Bare copper is also a highly pliable conductor. You can twist it to give it any shape of your desire without damaging it. This also means that the bend radius of this conductor metal is higher than its rival - Copper-clad aluminum. Most of the time, the conductor is made out of a single piece of copper which is called a solid conductor. Solid bare copper conductors are better at resisting EMI and crosstalk, hence, better signal integrity. Stranded bare copper cat6a cables are not readily available in the market, the reason being the lack of properties of the solid conductor.

Cat6a shielded vs unshielded

The unshielded cable features regular insulation around the conductors and the cable jacket. The twisted-pair cables and the jacket ensure better signal integrity but are not as good as shielded cables. Cat6a shielded cable has at least one extra layer of insulation around the conductors. It reduces electromagnetic interference (EMI) and crosstalk and thereby delivers signals with excellent quality. If you will be installing the cable in a high-cable density space, you should choose a shielded cable. Otherwise, an unshielded cable will easily support your requirements - business or domestic.

 Cable Jacket/Insulation

Augmented 6th category cables are available in two different types of jackets. Namely, plenum and riser. The jacket is the most important part of the cable. It is important not just for the performance and the safety of the cable but also for the safety of your network and the space where you will be installing it.

Why Cat6a Plenum Cable?

The plenum-rated jacket is specifically designed for indoor open spaces but its application is not exclusive. It can also be used in riser spaces and outdoors. Communications multipurpose plenum (CMP) is made out of a flame-resistant, weatherproof, and long-lasting material. In the most unlikely scenario of catching fire, this jacket won't emit toxic smoke and that makes it safe for use in indoor open spaces. So, buy this cat6a plenum cable if you need it for application in indoor open spaces such as raised floors or dropped ceilings.

Why Cat6a Riser Cable?

Riser jacket is the second-best cable insulation after plenum. It is also designed for indoor spaces but can also be installed outdoors. A Teflon tape on a PVC jacket makes the fire-resistant, weatherproof, and durable riser jacket. However, it emits toxic smoke in case of a fire hazard therefore it must be installed in a contained space when used indoors. So, if you will be installing the cable in indoor riser-rated spaces, such as within walls, this cat6a riser is the one you need to get.


Buying bulk Cat6a ethernet cables can be tricky with all the different variations in the cable specifications. Use this guide to buy the best ethernet cables for your unique network requirements.