ANSI-TIA 568 2.D recognized cable Categories

Cat7 Ethernet Cable: What You Need to Know

Cat7 Ethernet Cable is a topic that has been generating a lot of buzz in the tech world. As we delve into the world of networking and data transmission, we often come across various categories of Ethernet cables, each promising superior performance and reliability. Among these, Cat7 Ethernet cables have been a subject of much debate and discussion. But what exactly is a Cat7 Ethernet cable, and how does it compare to its predecessors like Cat6? Let’s unravel this mystery and let the “Cat” out of the proverbial bag!

Understanding Cat7 Ethernet Cable

Cat7, or Category 7, is a type of Ethernet cable that promises high-speed data transmission and superior performance. It’s often marketed as the go-to solution for overcoming interference and future-proofing your network. However, it’s essential to understand that while Cat7 offers certain advantages, it may not always be the best choice for every situation.

The Cat7 cable is defined by an international specification created by ISO/IEC, but it’s not recognized by ANSI/TIA in North America. This means that while it’s available for purchase and use, it doesn’t have the same level of industry acceptance as some other cable categories.

Cat7 vs. Cat6A: A Comparison

When comparing Cat7 to Cat6A, we find that they offer identical performance for all intents and purposes. Despite a specification difference of 100 MHz, both cables can run at the maximum 10 Gigabit speed. This means that there’s no real reason to opt for Cat7 when Cat6A cable is readily available, typically for less money, and easier to work with and terminate.

The Reality of Network Equipment

Unless your network equipment is up to the task, you’re likely using 1 Gigabit Ethernet technology, like 99% of the world. 10 Gigabit equipment is extremely expensive and is usually only found in medium and large businesses that require very high speed. Cat7 cable will not make your existing network equipment or internet any faster. You will simply waste money. For the average home and small business user, purchasing anything higher than Cat6 is of no benefit.

A Note on Cat7 and Cat8

Both Cat7 and Cat8 cables are fully shielded, referred to as S/FTP. This means that not only do they have an overall braided shield, but each individual pair is also foil shielded. This results in extremely stiff and thick cables, which can be difficult to terminate. Most installers prefer to terminate these categories to patch panels or keystone jacks.

Making the Right Choice

The best Ethernet cable for your network depends on what your current equipment can support, while also considering future advancements. Network technology progresses, but not so quickly that a cabling installation will become obsolete overnight. Therefore, it’s crucial to make an informed decision based on your specific needs and circumstances.

Conclusion

In conclusion, while Cat7 Ethernet cables offer certain advantages, they may not always be the best choice for every situation. It’s essential to understand your specific needs and the capabilities of your network equipment before making a decision. As always, happy networking!

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