Are you moving into a new office and ready to run cabling to all of your employee workstations? If so, you'll need to select the type of cables you need, since there are multiple network cables to pick from. Here are some tips for selecting the right type of cable.
Network Cable Options
You'll first want to know what your options are for network cables. For many years, CAT5e has been the standard used for network cabling. It is the most affordable cable out there that allows for transfer speeds of 100 Mbps. In addition, it can maintain those speeds at distances as long as 100 meters.
CAT6 is the next step up from CAT5e. The main difference is that it can transfer data at 10 Gbps, but you'll only get those speeds within the first 328 feet of the cable. While there are other types of data cables out there, most businesses will likely be deciding between these two cables.
Internet Service Provider Speed Considerations
The speed of the Internet connection coming into your business will be a limiting factor in how quickly employees can download data from the Internet. If you only subscribe to an Internet service where the speeds do not exceed 100 Mbps, then spending more for CAT6 cabling does not make sense. A faster cable is not going to make your internet speeds any faster.
If your Internet service is faster than what a CAT5e cable can transfer data at, then you'll need a CAT6 cable.
Be aware that your hardware must be able to support the additional speeds that a CAT6 cable can provide. You typically pay more for hardware that is capable of providing transfer speeds of 10 Gbps, such as the modem and router that all of the data flows through. Computers often require upgrading to a faster Ethernet card as well if you want faster speeds. If you don't have the hardware capable of fast speeds, a better cable is a waste of money.
Data Transfer Speed Considerations
Even if you don't have a fast Internet connection, you may need higher transfer speeds within your office. For example, video editing requires high data transfer speeds to stream video from an Internal server and can benefit from 10 Gbps hardware and cabling that supports it. If your employees need these higher speeds and your hardware can handle them, then CAT6 is the better option.
Contact a network cabling service to learn more.