Cat6 Cable: Category 6 Networking Cable

Cat6 Cable is a phone and Ethernet computer cable consisting of 4 pairs intimately twisted together with either a PVC (riser) or Plenum rating.

Cat6 Cable is the latest standard in indoor phone and computer networking cable. It can be used in all cat3, cat5 and cat5e or enhanced applications. It is rated up to 550 MHz making it ideal for Gigabit Ethernet connections.

Cat6 Cable is widely used in newer building structures these days to plan for the future speed of computer and voice signals. It can be run up to a maximum of 721 feet while still preserving its integrity. It is worth mentioning that your performance of signal is limited to the lowest possible category cable in your system. In other words, if you have a Cat5 cable in your system, you will need to upgrade it to receive the full benefit of the faster cat6 cable. One good part of upgrading to a Cat6 cable is you can use the standard RJ45 connectors to terminate your cable.

Another big benefit of Cat6 Cable is in its ability to limit electromagnetic noise and crosstalk of the signal. The tightly twisted pairs and special bonding agent help insure the integrity of the signal with fewer data losses or interruptions. A faster and more reliable signal can be critical to businesses that depend on the reliability of information technology to operate daily.

Cat6 Cable is offered in stranded bare copper as a patch cable, or more commonly, in a solid bare copper construction on reels or easy pull boxes for fixed wiring constructions such as office buildings. Cat6 Cable also can be found in a rainbow of jacket colors to help installers identify multiple runs. The most popular jacket colors are blue, grey and white.

Cat6 Cable cost typically 10-30% more than Cat5 or Cat5e four pair cable. It is offered in both PVC and Plenum constructions. Plenum Cat6 Cable is used in drop ceilings or environments where toxic smoke burn off may be an issue to the safety of people. Cat6 PVC, or riser, is found in areas where a plenum rated cable is not required by the fire marshal. Cat6 PVC is considerably less expensive than plenum Cat6 Cable.

While the majority of today’s networking systems may not be able to fully take advantage of the speed and reliability of Cat6 Cable, many people still insist on installing this premium item to plan for the future of their home or business network. In the long run, it is almost always more cost effective to add the latest version of category cable for your phone and computer system as opposed to re-wiring your structure in the future.