Tag Archives: Cat6 cable

Flat vs Round Ethernet Cables: How They Differ from Each Other?

As everyone knows, if you want to set up a home or office network, some particular devices will be needed, such as routers, switches, hub, connectors, modems, Ethernet cable, etc. Among them, we are very familiar with Ethernet cable. As many people know, there are some common types of Ethernet cables, such as Cat5 cable, Cat5e cable, Cat6 cable and Cat7 cable. But many people don’t know that there are actually two different types of Ethernet cables accessible on the market: flat Ethernet cables and round Ethernet cables. Then what’s their differences? Should we use flat Ethernet cable or round Ethernet cable? Here will cover these topics on flat vs round Ethernet cables: how they differ from each other?

Flat vs Round Ethernet Cables: What Are They?

To be honest, the Ethernet cables are always mentioned when people set up a wired internet network. However, just as mentioned above, many people do not know that there is another way of classifying Ethernet cables. That is, it can be classified into flat Ethernet cables and round Ethernet cables. So what exactly is flat Ethernet cables and what is round Ethernet cables?

What Is Flat Ethernet Cables?

After World War II, the flat Ethernet cable was made and became popular. Since then, they’ve been used in many fields, such as military, aerospace, robotics, etc. The flat Ethernet cables have many advantages, just like they are flexible in usage, efficient in packaging, and resistant to electronic noise. Besides, with their stability during working, flat Ethernet cables can be an ideal choice for current wired Internet networks.

flat vs round Ethernet cables: Flat Ethernet Cable

Figure 1: Flat Ethernet Cable

What Is Round Ethernet Cables?

As a form of insulated wire, the round Ethernet cable contains some layers of filler material, all these make the shape of the Ethernet cable round. The round Ethernet cables also have many advantages, such as it is capable of minimizing the cable heating that caused by friction and preventing it from external environment.

flat vs round Ethernet cables: Round Ethernet Cable

Figure 2: Round Ethernet Cable

Flat vs Round Ethernet Cables: How They Differ from Each Other?

In some specific industries, the two types of Ethernet cables are used. While, both have their own edges over each other. Now, let’s look at the difference between flat Ethernet cable and round Ethernet cable.

  • 1. The round Ethernet cable has a bunch of insulated wires surrounded by several layers of other filler materials. These layers are used to maintain the circular profile and minimize friction heating when the cable moves. The wires and fillers are surrounded by an outer sheath that holds them all together and provides a degree of protection against external components. While, the flat Ethernet cable doesn’t have this edge.
  • 2. However, also because the round Ethernet cable contains these multiple layers conductors, insulators and fillers, the heat dissipation of the conductors in a circular cable may be problematic. Despite the measures taken to reduce it, friction heat still occurs within the cable during repeated motion cycles. Similarly, this problem won’t occur in flat Ethernet cables, either.
  • 3. Within a flat Ethernet cable, each conductor is kept parallel to the adjacent conductor, forming a flat profile. So conductors in flat cables do not move within the package, and their electrical properties can remain unchanged. Furthermore, all the conductors in the flat cables have the same physical and electrical length. Therefore, the signal skewing and differential time delays between the signals in the cable are at the minimum.
  • 4. Lastly, because the flat Ethernet cable doesn’t contains the multiple layers conductors, insulators or fillers, it has the edge of volume and weight reduction. But, this also makes flat Ethernet cable needs more maintenance. On the contrary, The round Ethernet cable are more durable.

Flat vs Round Ethernet Cables:Which Will You Choose?

There is no doubt that both the flat Ethernet cable and the round Ethernet cable have their own advantages. The modern Ethernet cables has been designed to overcome many difficulties. You can choose the right one that meet your requirement. You can find good Ethernet cables that meet your requirements at FS.COM. Please contact us if you have questions or needs about Ethernet 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?

Performance

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.

Cost

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.

Conclusion

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.