Every now and again, PrimeCables receives questions from consumers seeking to install Ethernet cable in their homes. The most common inquiry that we receive is how to pick the right Ethernet cable for a home network.
This can be difficult to answer for anyone who does not yet know the difference between Cat 5 and Cat 6 cable. Let’s break it down and simplify things. ‘Cat’ stands for ‘category’. In all likelihood, you already have Cat 5 cable installed in your home. Cat 6 is a more reliable cable when operating at higher speeds than Cat 5 though they look pretty much identical as Ethernet cables.
As gigabit Ethernet routers continue to gain in popularity, Cat 5 and Cat 6 as connecting cables have seen more interest than ever before. Cat 5 is an older type of cable that used to be the standard for Ethernet. Cat 5 cable supports gigabit speeds though its reliability has been questioned in the past. That’s why Cat 5e was further enhanced to reduce interference and improve reliable delivery of those speeds. Compare this to Cat 6 cable which can handle higher gigabit speeds and is no doubt the cable of the future. Though Ethernet has not progressed to 10-gigabit uses as of yet, Cat 6 cable is prepared to handle it when it comes. Despite the obvious benefits to Cat 6, it is generally harder to install with conductors that are twisted tighter and more insulation.
The prices between Ethernet Cat cables are very similar so it’s ultimately up to you which one you choose to use for your home network. If you happen to have a preference for Cat 5 cables, these are very reliable cables that have very much set the standard for Ethernet home networks. Cat 5 cables will do an excellent job for the next several years. If this is your first time setting up a home network on Ethernet, go with the Cat 5 cables to save yourself a few bucks. Then again, if you are looking a decade down the line, choosing a Cat 6 cable may be the way you want to go. Either cable makes a great choice as an Ethernet cable for your home network.
Prime Cables has a wide range of Cat 5 and Cat 5e Ethernet cables available for purchase. Please feel encouraged to browse our selection here to find the right solution for your Ethernet home network needs.