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Network Cable Face Off: Cat6A vs Cat7 vs Cat8 Ethernet Cables

Cat6A, Cat7, and Cat8 Ethernet Cables

Category 6A ethernet cables are currently the industry standard for data network installations, but should you consider "future proofing" your network with Cables.com's Category7 and Category8 cables?

by Vikas Dayal • May 21, 2024

Network Patch Cables, Category8 Ethernet Cables, Category 7 Ethernet Cables, Cat5e / Cat6 Cables, Network Patch Cords


Category 6A ethernet cables are currently the industry standard for data network installations, but should you consider "future proofing" your network with Cables.com's Category7 and Category8 cables?

With network speeds constantly on the rise, it's hard to keep track of what you an expect for your data management. Singlemode fiber optic patch cables will do the job in some cases, while others call for a more complex multimode fiber cable setup. But what if you need the best of the best, and prefer to stick to a wired network? While fiber optic connections are considered the most cutting edge option for home and business data networks, ethernet cables remain in common use throughout the world. Category 6A ethernet cables are currently the industry standard for data network installations, but that doesn't mean the technology has stopped evolving - Cat7 and Cat8 connections are growing more popular by the day.

So which network patch cable is best for you?

Cat6A: A Reliable Standard

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. 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. 

Red Cat6A ethernet cable - Shop Cables.com.

Cat7: Ten Times Faster

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!

Black Cat7 Ethernet Cables - Shop Cables.com.

Cat8: Fiber Optic Speeds

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. 

Blue Cat8 Shielded 24AWG 40GB Ethernet Network 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. 

If you still have questions, remember that Cables.com is always here to help. Please feel free to reach out to us directly with our Contact form, or give us a call toll-free at 1-800-372-3725. 

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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