Difference between Indoor and Outdoor Ethernet Cable

Difference between Indoor and Outdoor Ethernet Cable

The construction and the material used to make the cables play an integral role in determining the cable’s application. Most of the ethernet cables are of the same type. But there are some that are designed for outdoor applications and some for indoor applications.

Simply put, outdoor Ethernet cables are meant for running long distances in harsh environments, whereas indoor cables can run long distances too but may not be able to resist harsh weather conditions.

In this article, we will look into the different types of network cables. Namely, indoor and outdoor. We will also discuss how you can differentiate between the two types with an example.

The Different Types of Ethernet Cables 

One of the most difficult things to find in the market when you’re looking for a network cable is the ability to be able to tell the difference between all of the different types. The only way you can make sure that you know the different types of network cables is to do your research.

There are two types of Ethernet cables that are commonly used for ethernet cable networking.

The first is the traditional outdoor cable, which is typically thicker and more durable than indoor Ethernet cable. These cables are often used by internet service providers to establish a network for their business. Additionally, outdoor cables are also used in home and commercial networks where an outdoor cable run is required.

Then there are indoor cables. What makes them different from their counterparts is that they are less resistant to extreme temperatures.

Ethernet cables are also differentiated according to their category such as Category 6 cables, Category7 cables, etc. But today, we will discuss indoor and outdoor.

What is an indoor Ethernet Cable?

An indoor Ethernet cable is primarily used for connecting devices to a network in a building. Because of the nature of the cable, it is designed to be used in areas that are not subjected to harmful outdoor conditions.

The cable is typically used in areas such as offices, homes, schools, and other similar environments.

What is an outdoor Ethernet Cable?

An outdoor Ethernet cable is commonly used to connect a computer to a network and is usually run along pavements, in backyards, etc. This type of cable is particularly effective for long-distance network connections, and in some cases, it is used for temporary installations.

They are made from a PVC cable jacket but other types of jackets such as plenum and riser can also be used.

How is an Outdoor Ethernet Cable Different?

The main difference between the two cables is the outer jacket.

The indoor Ethernet cable is made of a relatively less thick plastic that is fairly flexible and easy to run through walls and ceilings. The indoor Ethernet cable is made to be run through walls, ceilings, and other tricky spaces. The cable is used for connections that are short-range and don’t need to be used outside of a building structure.

The outdoor Ethernet cable, however, is made of a thicker plastic that allows for the cable to be run outside of a building. This cable is made for long-range use and is often used to connect to a nearby cell tower. The cable is also made to withstand extreme weather conditions.

Outdoor and Indoor cable Jackets

To differentiate between the two types of cables, you need to recognize the type of your cable jacket. As mentioned earlier,  there are three types of cable jackets. Plenum, Riser, and PVC. Let’s take a look.

Plenum Jacket: If your ethernet cable is featuring a communications multipurpose plenum (CMP) jacket, it is designed for the outdoors. But the best thing about this jacket is that it can also be used in indoor plenum spaces. It is recommended for indoor spaces where air can freely circulate such as raised floors or dropped ceilings.

It is an excellent cable jacket for outdoor use with features like extreme resistance to climate, water, etc.

Riser Jacket: It is also called a communications multipurpose riser (CMR) jacket. They find their best use in indoor vertical rising spaces like within walls and elevator shafts. It is resistant to fire but can emit toxic smoke, which limits its use in indoor and outdoor use. For example, it can be installed in enclosed indoor spaces and outdoor open spaces but if you think it will pose a threat if it should catch fire, it should not be used outdoors.

However, it is ideal for outdoor spaces because of its thick Teflon-coated PVC jacket and weatherproof features.

PVC Jacket: This jacket is made out of a high-quality plastic called Polyvinyl Chloride. Cables with a PVC jacket are mostly used outdoors. Because they are resistant to harsh weather conditions but not fire-resistant. They also emit toxic smoke in case of catching fire that’s why they are not recommended for indoor use.


You can now use this information to choose the right outdoor indoor or outdoor ethernet cables for your network. Always follow the legal safety standards to keep yourself and your property safe.

For more information on ethernet cables, check out NewYork Cables listings. We provide free shipping on orders above $199 and customer service. Contact at [email protected] for a free quote or advice.

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

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