If you are considering installing a new network or if you are looking at upgrading your network, it is the perfect time to consider which cables are best for your network wiring needs. When choosing between network wiring options, keep in mind that you are not only thinking about today’s needs, you are also considering future needs (for at least the next 10 years). It isn’t easy to change your network wiring later, so in general it is a good idea to invest in the best cabling your budget can afford.
When it comes to network wiring, these are your options:
- Cat5 cabling: This was standard cabling in 1995 and has a maximum bandwidth of 100MHz.
- Cat5e cabling: This became the standard in 2001 and reduced noise and signal interference.
- Cat6 cabling: If you intend to use power over ethernet devices, VoIP technology, Wi-Fi connections or other advanced options, Cat6 cabling is the minimum you would want to consider. Its shielded structure reduces cross-talk, and it has a maximum bandwidth of 200MHz.
- Cat6a, Cat7, Cat7a and Cat8 cabling: In general, the longer an ethernet cable must be, the slower the transmission speed, so if you need longer cables, you may want to consider these superior options.
- Fiber Optic cabling: More and more, companies are turning to fiber optic cabling as their go-to option for network wiring.
There are many factors to consider before you make a final decision about which cabling you will use for your network wiring needs. Whether you own the building you use and how long you plan to stay in that location are significant factors in this decision.