This ‘enhanced’ version of Cat 5 supports 10 gigabit speeds and with bandwidth up to 200MHz and less interference than its predecessor. As the lowest category cable for gigabit Ethernet it’s a cost-effective solution for applications such as media streaming that need to transmit large datasets.
With double the bandwidth of Cat 6 (500MHz) and far less interference, Cat 6a comes into its own where a greater distance needs to be covered – handling up to 100 metres compared with a maximum of 55 metres for Cat 6.
This is the fastest category of Ethernet standard – recommended for critical applications that need maximum headroom for data transmission such as hospitals, government facilities and datacentres.
With a higher signal-to-noise ratio than Cat 5e and bandwidth up to 250MHz Cat 6 is called for where there are multiple and simultaneous network demands, including large data transfers and video conferencing.
Double shielded for maximum interference protection, Cat 7 is considerably more costly but with 600MHz bandwidth it is now the accepted standard for ultra fast Ethernet and an effective way to future-proof your network.