Ultimate Guide about 10GBASE-T Cable

People who were consumers of electronic networking devices in the early 1990s witnessed an unprecedented change in the industry. The change was brought about by the introduction of 10GBASE-T cables. These cables were a huge upgrade to the previously popular 1000BASE-T cables. These new generation cables were faster, reliable, and did not cost as compared to the promises they made.  Their predecessor, 1000BASE-T Cables had a data transfer rate of up to 1 gigabits per second, and these cables had a whopping 10 Gbps. And that is where their names come from - their data transfer rate. Moreover, "Base" denotes that baseband transmission is being used, whereas the "T" indicates the use of a twisted pair cable. Today, these cables are still the most popular for ethernet networking and other networking applications. And in this article, we will look at what they are, where you can use them, and their types. We will also explain the advantages and disadvantages of these cables. Read on to find out. 

10BASE-T definition and examples

As mentioned, 10GBASE-T is the latest protocol of twisted-pair cables and it has been the most popular ever since it has been introduced. They are also referred to as 10G cables.  Because the capacity of these cables to transfer data is a phenomenal 10 Gbps. For instance, Cat6a is a 10GBASE-T Cables and it can transfer data at such lightning speeds over a length of 100 meters. Cat6 cables are also one of these cables with a 10Gbps data transfer rate over a length of 50 meters.

Cat6, Cat6a, Cat7, Cat8 10GBASE-T Cables

Well, a common question that you might ask here is that; if an affordable Cat6 cable can provide me with 10G speeds, why do I need to get the expensive cat7 or cat8 cables? The answer is, you are right. You don't need to get the expensive cables because a cat6 cable can transmit data at just the same speeds as a Cat7 or cat8 cable. However, you must note that the relatively older categories of ethernet cable have some limitations. For instance, a Cat6 cable can transmit data at 10G speed only over a length of 50 meters, whereas a cat7 cable can provide the same speeds at 100 meters.  But interestingly, this limitation also applies to the cat8 cables, which can transmit data at high speeds only over a length of 50 meters. These cables are therefore used mostly in data centers and server rooms where you are not required to run the cables at long lengths.  When you look at the pros of getting expensive 10-gigabit cables, the only pro you can see is that some of them do not have a cable run length limitation. 

Advantages of 10GBASE-T Cables

The popularity of these cables stems from the fact that they have more advantages for the user than disadvantages. For instance, these cables are backward compatible with the 1000BASE-T cables. We discuss more advantages in the next parts. 

  • Cable Run Length Limitation

These cables, except cat8, do not have too limited a run length. You can install them at up to 100 meters and still get the optimum performance. Note that you can also install them at even longer lengths and the difference in performance will be unnoticeable, but the guarantee for 10G speed is only limited to 100 meters.

  • Performance

Well, the highlight of these cables is their unparalleled speed. In addition to that, 10G cables are made out of the most premium quality materials. Take Cat6a for example, it is made with only plenum and riser-rated jackets to ensure high-performance and longevity. 

Disadvantages of 10GBASE-T Cables

The cost may be the only disadvantage of 10G cables. As compared to the fast ethernet and gigabit ethernet cables, these are more costly. But given the value they provide in the long run, it is worth it. 

Difference between Gigabit ethernet and 10G ethernet cables

Both terms have gigabit in them so you might ask, what is the difference. Apart from the gigabit and 10 gigabits, there are more differences between these cables. For instance, as mentioned above, 10GBASE-T cables are backward compatible with gigabit cables.  Additionally, 10G cables are mostly used in business applications, whereas gigabit cables are mostly used in domestic networks.  These are the key differences, advantages, and disadvantages of the most popular ethernet cable protocol and if you are wondering if switching to 10G ethernet enhances your business operations, you are absolutely right. 10G ethernet can drastically enhance the efficiency of your business.