Structured Cabling

When it comes to the choice of cabling, the market has numerous offers and it is hard for you to know which cables are the best for you. Each type or series of the cable has its unique results for varied types of projects therefore, it is important to understand different cable types such as Cat 5 cable, Cat6 structured cabling, Cat5 structured cabling, and their differences so you can make the right decision on which cabling suits your specific project.

Copper wires have long been known to be the primary material for making network cables. A data cable is composed of 8 cooper wires all in a single sheath and is designed to deliver a signal transmission between two or more devices. Standardisation of the ends of the cable is done to allow for a common connector. These cables have evolved over time to allow for faster and bigger transmission speeds. Data cables are used to connect a device to common hosting hardware or server such as internet router or a data switch.

Cat 5 Cabling

As one of the oldest types of data cables, Cat 5 cabling came up in 1995 to provide for 10/100 Mbps Ethernet capabilities over a distance of up to 100m. However, advancements in technology have witnessed an introduction of higher series cables such as the Cat5e, that features less noise and crosswalk. Nevertheless, Cat 5 is still used in some institutions although a majority of organizations have replaced them with high capacity cables. Thus, Cat5 e has become the desired choice with a capacity of 1 Gigabit speeds that were a problem for businesses in the past. But still, Cat5e has since been beaten by the Cat 6 cabling because of the need for enhanced speeds, reliability, and longer transmission distance.

Cat 6 Cabling

Conceived in 2002, Cat 6 is a more robust copper wired cabling, thanks to its tightly wound wires compared to its predecessor Cat5. It has since become a dominant option when it comes to the data cable market. However, special care should be taken when installing the Cat 6 cables. It requires more time and additional installation cost, but its benefits outweigh these requirements when compared to Cat5.

Cat 7 Cabling

Cat 7 cable features extensive shielding with individual pairs of wires featuring a separate layer of sheath throughout the cable. Perhaps this is what makes Cat 7 cables stiffer compared to other types of cables. It can support 10Gbps data transmission. Tests have revealed that this cable can withstand a transmission of up to 40 Gb over a distance of 50 meters and 100 Gb over 15 meters.

While this cable is undoubtedly superior in terms of transmission capacity, it comes with a few complications. The shielding requires to be electrically grounded not to mention that it is not "backwards compatible" just like the previous versions. The Cat 7a standard that was adopted in 2010 and has been in use but it is yet to get an official nod in telecommunications.

Whichever the category of data babbling you go for, you need to first get professional advice. You also need to contact a reputable data networking company to help you with the installation of the right structured cabling systems.


If you require IT services delivered quickly and precisely, contact ShanCo IT Services today. Their expert team will ensure you get the help you need.

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