Cat 6 vs Cat 7 – Which Ethernet Cable Should You Choose?

In the modern world of streaming 4K video, online gaming, and internet-connected devices, your Ethernet cable serves as the vital backbone of your home or office network. With so much data flowing through, choosing the right cable is crucial. Two of the top options are Category 6 (Cat6) and Category 7 (Cat7) cables. On the surface they may seem similar, but there are important technical differences to consider based on your needs.

Speed and Future-Proofing

While Cat6 cables can handle network speeds up to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps), Cat7 is built for the future with capacity for a blazing 40-100 Gbps. As ultra high definition video and lightning fast 5G networks become standard, Cat7 will be ready for these advances. Its high bandwidth headroom ensures your network won’t get bottlenecked as connection speeds ramp up. Whether you need to transfer huge files or maintain smooth video calls, Cat7 has the speed for next-gen demands.

Power Over Ethernet

Both Cat6 and Cat7 support Power over Ethernet (PoE) to send power through the cable itself to devices like VoIP phones, security cameras and Wi-Fi access points. However, Cat7 Really flexes its muscles when it comes to power capacity. It can supply a mammoth 100 Watts of power compared to just 55 Watts for Cat6. So if you need to run multiple high-power devices like outdoor security cams or LED signs, Cat7 can easily handle the load.

Cleaner and More Reliable Connections

Network reliability comes down to noise rejection, and all that power and speed doesn’t mean much if the signal is disrupted. Here Cat7 pulls ahead with its dense shielding and heavy 24 AWG wires that limit interference. Even in environments flooded with wireless signals, Cat7’s immunity to Crosstalk and electromagnetic noise ensures glitch-free transmission.

Greater Installation Flexibility

Cat7’s enhanced shielding also enables longer cable runs up to 150 meters versus just 100 meters for Cat6. This gives you more flexibility in placement of devices. For large spaces or outdoor applications, those extra 50 meters make a difference in extending your network’s reach.

Cost Considerations

As you might expect, these performance advantages come at a price. Cat7 cables, connectors and installation will cost noticeably more than Cat6. However, for mission critical networks or future-proofed connections, the premium could pay for itself in the long run.

The Bottom Line

Cat6 is sufficient for typical home and office networks with its 10Gbps throughput and solid performance. But for cutting edge applications where speed, power and reliability are paramount, Cat7 represents the next-generation in Ethernet cabling. Its unmatched bandwidth, power delivery, noise resistance and installation flexibility make it the choice for advanced networks today and tomorrow. Though pricier, it’s an investment that will stand the test of time.

So when choosing the right cable, carefully weigh your needs. If you want a dependable, affordable option that will capably handle typical usage, Cat6 does the job. But for next-level networks built to support emerging demands, Cat7 is the superior choice. Whichever you go with, your Ethernet cable acts as the backbone for all your connectivity needs, so be sure to choose wisely!

Was this helpful?

Thanks for your feedback!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content