Copper cabling has been used in the communications industry for more than 100 years, and it is still in use in many networks today. While there have been several advances in network technology in recent years, with fibre-optic networks and wireless networks becoming more popular, copper cables still dominate most networks because they are affordable, fast and reliable. There are several different kinds of copper network cabling.
Cat 3 cables are simply twisted pairs of wire. This kind of cable is incredibly slow and outdated, and would almost never be found in a modern network.
Cat 5e cables are the most common form of network cable, and they are based on a similar twisted pair form to Cat 3 cables. Most home and office networks use Cat 5e for their Ethernet network. This type of cable has a bandwidth of 100MHz, which is sufficient for most day-to-day use.
Cat 6 cables then superseded Cat 5e with a higher bandwidth of 250MHz giving better characteristics for PoE, Power over Ethernet.
Cat 6a cables offer significantly more bandwidth at 500MHz, so they are popular for higher-end applications such as 10 Gigabit Ethernet.
Cat 6 and Cat 6a cables also use the twisted pair design, but these cables are more durable and offer significantly more bandwidth, so they are popular for higher-end applications such as 10 Gigabit Ethernet.
Cat 7 and Cat 7a are the fastest form of copper wire network cable. This cable offers the fastest speeds, and a bandwidth of up to 600MHz for CAT7 and 1000MHz for Cat 7a. However, it is also the most expensive type of copper cable.
It is important that you choose the right kind of copper wire data cabling for your network’s needs. Some business owners are reluctant to invest in copper cables because fibre-optic technology provides even greater bandwidths. However, for most business applications there is no need for the extra bandwidth that fibre-optic technology provides. Copper cabling is fast, reliable and affordable and is also easy to maintain.
If you would like to know which technology is the best choice for your network, please do not hesitate to contact our team of networking professionals at Indigo Technology Services. We would be happy to discuss your needs and explain your options.