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?
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.
Figure 1: Flat Ethernet Cable
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.
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.