Category Archives: Bulk Fiber Cables

Cat6 vs Cat6a Cable: How They Differ From Each Other?

An Ethernet cable, one of the most commonly used network cables in wired networks, connects devices in local area networks, such as computers, routers and switches. In the past few years, Cat6 cables and connectors have become a necessity for new buildings to support Gigabit network applications and to support up to 250MHz of bandwidth. Subsequently, the Cat6a, which supports the data rate of 10G to 100 meters and the bandwidth of up to 500MHz, has been popular, becoming a new requirement for many data centers, hospitals and universities. Cat6 and Cat6a may be the two most commonly used standards for Ethernet cables.

What Is Cat6 Cable

Cat6 cables can improve interference and crosstalk, and support the maximum speed of 10Gbps, with a maximum length of 50M. The Cat6 cable uses RJ-45 connectors to make it fully compatible with the old IT devices and computers.

cat6 vs cat6a: cat6 cable

Figure 1: Cat6 Cable

What Is Cat6a Cable

Cat6a cable is an upgraded version of Cat6 cable that supports 10Gbps running over 100M with a maximum bandwidth of 500MHz. Cat6a is significantly thicker than Cat6 cable because of the increased insulation of cables, which helps to reduce crosstalk between other cables. This is also one of the few drawbacks of using Cat6a cables, because it requires extra space in pipes, cable bridges and cabling racks. Cat6a is backward compatible with Cat6 and Cat5e cables, using the same RJ-45 connector.

cat6a cable

Figure 2: Cat6a Cable

Cat6 vs Cat6a: What Are the Differences?

After learning about the Cat6 and Cat6a cables, our next question is, what are the differences between them?


Cat6a is an improved version of Cat6 routing and can provide better performance. Its cabling is a bit complicated. The rated speed of Cat6 cable is 1Gbps, while the rated speed of Cat6a cable can reach 10Gbps. Because its working frequency is 500Mhz, which is two times that of Cat6 cable running at 250Mhz.

Crosstalk Prevention

Cat6a cables are also stricter in shielding and protecting foreign crosstalk. Crosstalk occurs when a signal from a cable is leaked to another cable. This will distort signals by introducing noise and force network devices to work at a slower speed. As a result, the Cat6a cable is stricter in shielding and protecting external crosstalk, so the Cat6a cable will work better with a lot of other cables.


As always, the reason why making full use of Cat6a cable is not yet realized is the cost. The cost of a single Cat6a cable is two times more than that of a Cat6 cable, not to mention the cost of equipment that works in 10Gbps. As expected, 10Gbps connections will become standardized and affordable in five to ten years. Only then would it be worthwhile to invest in expensive Cat6a cables when cabling a house or any structure under construction.


All in all, there are many differences between Cat6 and Cat6a cables, and you should make decisions according to your needs. If a project requires 10Gbps over longer distances, Cat6a is a better choice. If a project requires capability to project against crosstalk and provide better performance, also Cat6a is a good choice. However, if a shielded cable isn’t necessary, and a lighter option will operate best, Cat6 is you first choice. For Cat6 and Cat6a cables, if there is any need or doubt, please feel free to contact us. FS.COM is looking forward to helping you solve your problem.

Optical Fiber Cable Types

In recent years, the trend that optical fiber cables are gradually replacing copper wire as the appropriate method of communication signal transmission has become obvious. They straddle the long distances between local telephone systems and provide backbone for many network systems. Besides, other system users of optical fiber cable include cable television services, university campuses, office buildings, industrial plants, and electric utility companies. Then, what are the optical fiber cable types?

Optical Fiber Cable Types

According to the light transmission mode, optical fiber cable can be classified into two types: single mode and multi mode.

Single Mode Optical Fiber Cable

Also known as single mode optical fibers, and single mode optical waveguides, the single mode optical fiber cable is a kind of single stand of fiberglass, 8.3 to 10 microns in diameter (mostly two fibers are used), which has one mode of transmission. The diameter of single mode optical fiber is relatively narrow, through which only one mode will propagate typically 1310 or 1550nm. It has higher bandwidth than multimode optical fiber, but requires light source with narrower spectral width.

Single mode fiber cable provides higher transmission speed and 50 times higher distance than multimode cable, but it also needs higher fiber optic cable price. The single mode fiber has a much smaller core than the multimode. The small core (just 9µm) and single light-wave almost eliminate any distortion caused by overlapping light pulses, providing the minimum signal attenuation and maximum transmission speed for any type of fiber cable.

single mode optical fiber cable

Figure1: Single Mode Optical Fiber Cable

Single mode cables can be classified into OS1 and OS2.

  • OS1 – OS1 is used for indoor, that is, campus, data center and so on. The wiring is tightly cushioning. Indoor fiber is more resistant to bending. It is more plastic and flexible, and the buffer cable can reduce the risk of catastrophic damage.
  • OS2 – OS2 is used for outdoor or loose tube, namely streets, underground, etc. Outdoor fibers are bend sensitive, so it is easier to break during installation, unless unless they are carefully installed.
Multimode Optical Fiber Cable

Multimode cables are slightly larger in diameter and share a common diameter in the 50-100 micron range of optical components (the most common size in the United States is 62.5 µm). Multimode fiber provides you with high bandwidth (up to 10 to 100Mbs- Gigabit to 275m to 2Km) over medium distance.

Multimode optical fibers are usually cost-effective for inside buildings or enterprise campuses, while single mode is more suitable for longer distance running. Single mode optical fiber can transmit longer distances, but usually used in expensive equipment. For devices with a length of not more than a few hundred meters, multimode is cost-effective.

multimode optical fiber cable

Figure2: Multimode Optical Fiber Cable

Multimode cables can be found in OM1, OM2, OM3 and OM4 types. Each type has its own characteristic.

  • OM1 – With a core size of 62.5 microns (µm), the OM1 cable is usually equipped with an orange jacket. It can support 10 Gigabit Ethernet at a length of 33 meters. It is most commonly used in 100 Megabit Ethernet applications.
  • OM2 – OM2 also has the orange color suggested jacket. Its core size is 50µm, not 62.5µm. It supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet, up to 82 meters in length, but it`s more commonly used for 1 Gigabit Ethernet applications.
  • OM3 – OM3 has the suggested jacket of the aqua color. Like OM2, its core size is 50µm, but cables are optimized for laser-based devices that use fewer light modes. As a result of this optimization, it can run 10 Gigabit Ethernet over a length of 300 meters. Since commissioning, production technology has improved the overall performance of OM3, enabling its use with 40 Gigabit and 100 Gigabit Ethernet up to 100 meters.
  • OM4 – OM4 also has the suggested jacket of the aqua color. This is a further improvement of OM3. OM4 also uses a 50µm core, but it supports a 10 Gigabit Ethernet at a length of 550 meters and a 100 Gigabit Ethernet at a length of up to 150 meters.


Optical fiber is so powerful, there is no doubt that on-line communication through optical fiber cables is our future, and optical fiber will carry most of the traffic. Only fiber optic cable, its long distance, reliability, space saving, anti-interference and relatively low cost can help the public and enterprise operators to control their budget and provide high quality services at a faster rate. FS.COM provides a wide range of fiber optic cables with detailed specifications to facilitate your choice, including simplex/duplex single mode fiber optic cable, as well as OM2/OM3/OM4/OM5 multimode fiber optic cables. Custom service is also available for your specific requirements.