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A History of Ethernet Cables

Cat6A Ethernet Cables and More

How far has ethernet technology come since Cat1 cables, and where will it go next?

by Vikas Dayal • June 07, 2024

Cat5e / Cat6 Cables, Category 7 Ethernet Cables, Category8 Ethernet Cables, Network Patch Cables, Network Patch Cords, New York Cable Company


Ethernet cables have been used in data network installations since the 1980s. Today, Cat6 ethernet cables are the industry standard. Cables.com carries a wide variety of ethernet cables manufactured here in the US for the best prices on the market. 

Ethernet cables have advanced rapidly in speed and bandwidth since the release of Cat 1, an unshielded twisted-pair cable introduced in 1985 with a data rate of 1 Mbps. Though not considered adequate enough for data transmission at the time, they were nonetheless the start of ethernet networks as we know them. How far has ethernet technology come since then, and where will it go next?

Category5e Ethernet Cables

Category 5e ethernet cables are an updated version of the Cat 5 cables that revolutionized networking in the 1990s. The difference is that Cat5e cable can handle speeds of up to 350 MBPS, whereas the regular Cat 5 cables can only handle speeds up to 100 MBPs. Cat5e cables are reliable at high speeds, and are considered the best alternative to Cat6 or Cat7 cables when you need high speed data and gigabit ethernet for your organization's network on a budget.

Blue Cat5e Ethernet Patch Cable - Shop Cables.com.

Category 6A Ethernet Cables

Category 6A ethernet cables remain the industry standard for data network installations. The "A" stands for "Augmented," referring to the cable's enhanced performance speeds in comparison to standard Category6 ethernet cables. Cat6A cables combine affordability with connection quality, and when you're purchasing from Cables.com, you can be sure you're getting the best cable for your money. Rated for up to 500 Mhz, Cat6A cables can offer up to twice the speed of Category 6 cables and are gigabit rated, which makes them suitable for POE (Power Over Ethernet) devices - no additional cables needed! Our Datacomm Cat6A cables offer a reliable and secure connection between your devices and your home or office network. 

Category 7 Ethernet Cables

Did you know that Cat7 ethernet patch cables are up to ten times faster than Cat6 cables? Cables.com's Category 7 network cables are capable of delivering up to 10 gigabit per second data transfer. This includes data with frequencies of up to 600MHz compared to Cat6's 250MHz. The Datacomm cables available here on Cables.com feature shielded connectors with 50 micron gold plated pins on both ends and consist of four individually shielded pairs inside an overall braided shielded jacket. The connectors are the same you'd find in Cat5e or Cat6 cables, with the key difference being their power and their ability to protect against signal noise and ensure a smooth signal transfer. These cords are available in a variety of lengths between one and one hundred feet and several colors, and you should also remember that you have the option of working with us to order custom cables for your home or business network if you don't see just what you're looking for in our online catalog!

Category 8 Ethernet Cables

What should you buy when you want to future-proof your ethernet connection? Let's take a look at our Cat8 ethernet patch cables next. These network patch cords are capable of achieving the same speeds you might expect from fiber optic cables. In terms of construction, they're made up of a thick 24awg jacket with each pair foil shielded and an overall braid shield, which provides exceptional signal transfer. You're guaranteed to receive 100% copper cable, available at competitive pricing and shipped fast right to your door. It's also worth noting that our cables come with a lifetime warranty - if they wear out or get damaged over time, Cables.com is ready with the support you'll need to keep your data center operating efficiently. 

Cat8 Shielded 24AWG 40GB Ethernet Cable - Shop Cables.com.

Shop Cables.com

What should you do if you're having a hard time figuring out exactly which cables are the best ones for your network? With so many options available on Cables.com, it might be difficult to decide. Luckily our Quick Patch Finder for Network Cables and Cords is free and easy to use. Use the drop down menus to identify your particular cable needs, and the tool will point you in the right direction. 

While we stock our cables in a variety of lengths and sizes, you have the option of ordering your cables in custom lengths and configurations. Contact Us or send us an email at sales@cables.com to discuss your custom cable order. We can also offer our cables for purchase in bulk pricing, guaranteeing that you'll be able to get all the cable you need for your job at the best prices!

SHOP NOW: 10 Gb Shielded Category 6A Ethernet Cables - 70ft blue Cat7 Snagless Patch Cable - Cat8 Shielded 40GB ethernet cable 24awg 


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