Ethernet cable, commonly known as cat5e or cat 6 cable.
Cat 5e (“enhanced”), is designed enabling speeds of up to 1000 Mbps – or “Gigabit Ethernet” as it’s more commonly known.
In particular Cat 5e is the most common kind of cable you’ll find being sold. It is totally adequate for general use in the home.
All four pairs in the cable are used for gigabit speeds, blue,orange,green and brown pairs.
Cat 6 can in theory handle up to 10 gigabits per section – that’s 10,000 Mbps – at a maximum of around 37 meters in length.
It is overkill for the home because you won’t find any consumer switches that support those speeds.
Most service provider routers only work to 10/100 mbps
Building a new house and need a connection to connect each floor to your network?
Perhaps consider Cat 6 for the sake of future-proofing, but otherwise don’t go out of your way to buy Cat 6 cabling.
It is completely compatible with existing Cat 5e and Cat 5 devices.
Physically, Cat 6 cabling is larger, has more twists in each pair, and has a plastic separator spine
running through the center, reducing crosstalk and enabling the higher speeds.
Cat 6a is a newer standard designed to support 10 Gbps over the full 100 meter length – Complete overkill for domestic use
For instance, the picture above shows a professional data tester, a Fluke DTX1800.
The latest piece of test kit is a Fluke DSX
Even though this is the respected piece of equipment by all professional installers, not many installers have them.
You need to make sure your cabling is verified correctly.
In contrast to cheap amatuer testers, not only will the Fluke tester show the workings of the cabling,
it verifies it to the standards expected of its use.
Specifically you should always insist on your cabling being tested by an approved tester.
Insist on a full report to prove its good, it costs enough to get it installed.
Ethernet Cable Testing
Although amatuer installers will use something like this above, labelled as a data tester it proves nothing about your cabling.
It does not show any conditions on your cabling, no speed issues, no crosstalk problems, just flashing lights.
Flashing lights may prove continuity – pointless after what you’ve paid to get the cabling installed.
Why would you accept anything but the best?
Don’t be fooled as this being a test on your ethernet cabling.
This is not a test of your data cabling installation:
Paid good money for an installation – Demand a certification test result
Mainly electricians and IT techs use this amateurish piece of kit above, a trained professional
would never rely on something so poor.
Nor should you, if you’ve paid for a quality installation. Get a qualified test report
Data installs should come with a minimum 15 year warranty in business locations.
This is how a certification test of your cabling should be handed over to you.
It’s shocking when we see how amatuer installers do not give you a “network” of cat cabling.
We are qualified LAN design consultants and too often find the cabling
“you think you have had installed professionally” – completed by electricians
with no understanding of what a data network is or how it should work.
Ask to see their qualifications: We will proudly show ours.
All the newly installed cabling should go back to the data cabinet – No single, separate cables should go elsewhere.
Already have this scenario? Router in an office?
Cables feeding off from the router to seperate locations and then off to a network switch at the data cabinet?
The broadband router should be located at the data cabinet.
This in turn will feed your network switch and then patch out to feed your cabling.
The router in a different location with separate cables feeding off to different locations is not a network
It’s simply a bunch of cables installed in an incorrect manner.
Call a professional installer – Don’t waste your money using a non qualified amatuer that cannot give a test result.
How will you know the quality of the cabling installed after paying up???