Specialty cable for uses such as outdoors, aerial or direct burial are also available but typically do not come in the wide array of options and colors the rest do. Because each of the 8 wires inside that transmit your data is using several smaller copper wires instead of the one solid wire it can bend easier but as such tends to be more expensive to manufacture and a bit more difficult to work with as well. Acquire an Ethernet cable. CAT6A as well as CAT7 Cabling have both been around now for years but to some extent they are each pushing the envelope of what copper cabling is capable of and and to some degree, rival the cost of fiber optic technology so neither have been embraced the way it's predecessors have. CAT6 comes in the same options as CAT5 above yet each is rated for higher speeds. There's plenty of acronyms already but here's a few more for you... CAT5 cable has been around for quite some time now and for the history of it detailing things like bending radius and other specifics you can always visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category_5_cable while not the definitive answer on all things CAT5 it covers most of the basics. Category 6 runs at up to 250MHz and sometimes used shielding around the bundle of data-carrying wires to reduce interference. Each end of the cable will be identical to each other. When you think of home networking, your thoughts naturally turn to Wi-Fi and the ability to move data throughout a house or apartment over nothing more than thin air. An overall foil shield (F) with unscreened twisted pairs (UTP). Thank you Belden for the following explanation (found here) as well as putting together a very helpful video tutorial explaining the differences in the many types of shielding available today. This should satisfy the data hogs among us. All three cables can work with Gigabit Ethernet. Cat 5e may be popular, and adequate for today's more basic connectivity needs, but you can future-proof your cabling by getting the fastest specs you can. Most Ethernet cables you will find are standard, straight-through cables. Fiber network segments always require two fiber cables: one for transmitting data, and one for receiving. Reason being is that it can not match the real copper cable in any way, the only thing it can do is to supply cable at a lower cost. The year 1995 brought not only Microsoft's Windows 95 but Category 5 cable as well. The old-fashioned Cat 5 cable is no longer a recognized standard, but it technically supports gigabit speeds--just not well. While it's true that the backbone of internet itself is comprised primarily of Fiber Optic the vast majority of what actually gets those 0's and 1's from A to B is copper network cable. Sure it's cheaper but at what cost? Solid CAT5 cable is without doubt the most common cable in use today, this is ideal for most applications in the home or office. An overall braid screen (S) with unscreened twisted pairs (UTP). We understand that it can be a little confusing and hope this information helps to clear things up a bit! Ethernet cables are manufactured in two basic forms: Solid Ethernet cables offer slightly better performance and improved protection against electrical interference. It is great for working with when using crimping tools, punchdown wall plates, patch panels, etc. It could reliably convey 100Mbps of data at a frequency of 100MHz over 330 feet. They require double-shielding, metal-jacketed connectors and are limited to runs of 100 feet. To be sure, always check to see whether your cable will have any kind of overall barrier, and whether the individual pairs have their own shield. Ethernet Cables Summary. If you have any question about what kind of cable you have,  check out the specs printed on the side of the plastic jacket, as seen here. One thing worth pointing out is that your connection is only as fast as the slowest piece in use. While TCP/IP is the newer model, the Open Systems Interconnection (OSI) model is still referenced a lot to describe network layers. Tom's Guide is part of Future US Inc, an international media group and leading digital publisher. The network cables have commonly been used for transferring the data between a PC and a network. It requires shielded cabling as well. The various types of network cables are useful for some particular needs. Happily, despite increasing speed, complexity and sophistication, the cables remain backward compatible. (See our primer on Gigabit-speed internet to learn why that 1Gbps threshold is so important.). In walls, ceilings etc speed limit Finally, Category 8 is the most popular common... 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