Most ethernet cable is laid indoors, but there are occasions where you will need your network to traverse outside areas, such as:
- Connecting two or more external buildings
- Accessing internet-enabled outdoor surveillance cameras
- Connecting outdoor Wi-Fi access points
In many cases, the outdoor ethernet cable will be buried rather than running through the open air, but it will depend on the application. In both cases, the choice of ethernet cable is critical to ensuring a secure connection that will endure the elements. In this article, we will explore the best types of outdoor ethernet cable cat6 for outdoor use.
The Best Type of Ethernet Cable for Outdoor Use
Before running cables outdoors, you will need to plan your run, so you can be confident in the choice of cable you use. The first item is to know if you will be running through the air or burying your cable. A direct burial ethernet cable cat6 rated for outdoor use with UV resistance will make a suitable choice in either scenario.
In general, it makes more sense to bury outdoor Ethernet cable rather than create an open-air run. Direct burial cat6 ethernet cable will work for both, but there are variations available for outdoor use that are not rated for direct burial.
Direct burial cat6 Ethernet cable is manufactured with a thicker outer jacket that is tougher than the jacket for used indoor only cables. A cable capable of direct burial means you don’t have the additional costs and labor associated with laying conduit to ensure it is separated from the outside environment.
Further protection for direct burial cat6 Ethernet cable is provided in additional waterproofing created by waterproof tape or flooded gel core. Flooded gel core is a messier option, and it’s more challenging to work with, so it’s not always the best option.
It creates a lot more work because it requires solvents to clean up, and you must ensure it is completely removed before termination. There is also the issue that the gel will dry out over time and lose its effectiveness.
Enhanced shielding in direct burial cat6 ethernet cable ensures you can make long runs of just over 300 feet before encountering signal attenuation issues. Another benefit provided by shielding when running outdoors is that ESD (Electrostatic Discharge) will drain off.
In an open-air run, dry air running over the cable can build up a significant static charge sufficient to ruin delicate equipment if you don’t allow it to discharge safely.
Other Things to Know About Outdoor Ethernet Cable Cat6
Outdoor ethernet cable cat6 is not fire-rated. Therefore, you cannot use it for runs longer than 50 feet before termination in a commercial structure. Residential properties can use it without restriction.
Underground rodents can be a problem with direct burial cat6 ethernet cable. If your area has a known issue with rodents like moles, it is highly recommended to use a conduit for added protection (preferably metal).
Cables.com supplies direct burial cat6 ethernet cable for outside and underground use and is an excellent substitute for cat5. So, whether you need UV resistant, waterproof, and shielded cable for your network, be sure to check out your wide range of options today.