What Kind of Ethernet Cable Do I Need?

Kudox Network2022-04-10

When looking for high-speed connectivity at home, one name that comes up repeatedly is ethernet. These high-powered cables can connect your home to the power of the World Wide Web and completely change the way you view the Internet. However, there are many types of ethernet cables, and when it comes to finding the right ones for residential use, the answer may not be straightforward. Let’s review some of the most common characteristics of ethernet cables and how to choose the best home wiring ethernet service.

What Kind of Ethernet Cable Do I Need?

Types of Ethernet Cables

Twisted Pair with RJ-45 Connectors

The twisted pair of Ethernet Cables contain eight copper wires inside a plastic sleeve. These eight wires are split into four sets of 2, and these sets are twisted together to make twisted pairs. The cable is capped on each end with RJ-45 connectors, which look just like an old-time phone jack but are a little bit bigger.

Common twisted pair cables are Cat5e, Cat6, and above, all the way to Cat8. Choosing between these depends on the type of overall performance you want from your home wiring ethernet service. A general rule of thumb is the higher the cat (or category) number, the higher the frequencies (MHz), and the faster the speeds (Mbps).

Ethernet cables are also kept fairly short. The longer the cable, the slower the speed. For the most part, ethernet cables between 10-30 meters are the most common and preferred when wiring home for ethernet.

Shielded vs. Unshielded Wires

Twisted Pair Ethernet Cables can be shielded or unshielded. For home wiring ethernet service, shielded wires are a good choice. Unshielded wires were preferred a few years ago, but with the increasing complexity of home networks, distortion rates rose, making shielded wires a better option. Anything over a Cat6 will only be available as shielded.

Other Details to Consider for Ethernet Cables

When considering which ethernet cable you need for home ethernet wiring service, it’s important to remember that the higher the category of the cable, the better the performance. Cat8 cables are the newest version of ethernet cables and are considered the best choice. They are the only current cable that meets the highest standard of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). A Cat8 cable is rated for 40 Gbps and 2,000 MHz. By meeting the most recent standard, you can be sure to future-proof your at-home ethernet cable.

Getting the Type of Speed You Need

While you can opt for a Cat8 cable, you might also want to test your at-home internet speeds to set a baseline. Connect your computer directly to your modem and run a speed test like Speedtest.net.

Also, remember that your home ethernet wiring service is only as good as the modem you have, which is only as good as the devices you run on the network. For example, if you’re using a modem from 5 years ago and plug a Cat8 ethernet cable in, it might not provide a noticeable difference. The same is true if you’re running older equipment.

Here’s another way to think of it - let’s say you rent the streaming version of the latest blockbuster in HD, but your TV is just SD. The best image you’ll be able to get is an SD image.

So, to recap, you should look for a shielded, Twisted Pair Ethernet Cable with RJ-45 connectors at a category 6 or higher. That type of cable should give you all you need for your home ethernet wiring service.

Another term you may hear is an ethernet switch. While it sounds fancy, it is just a term that refers to where your ethernet cables are plugged in. If you currently have a cable modem at home, you probably have at least 2, maybe 4, ethernet ports in its back. For most home computing, this is plenty. While ethernet hubs used to be more common for small networks, like those in a home, the cost of ethernet hubs has risen in recent years, leaving ethernet switches as the more viable option.

Installing Home Ethernet Wiring

First of all, installing ethernet wiring in a home that has never had it before is best left for either new construction or home going through a major refurbishment, where the drywall will come down, and studs will be exposed.

You will need to make a plan if you’re looking to install a home ethernet wiring service. Like structured cabling, placing ethernet cables throughout your home requires careful consideration. An expert installer is your best bet when deciding to add ethernet to your home. You want to be sure it’s done correctly since fixing any mistakes could mean opening up walls. You also want to be sure it’s safe.

If you’re interested in learning more about ethernet cables or are looking for help installing a home ethernet wiring service, contact Kudox Network today. Our team of expert installers can provide advice and is ready to help you maximize your home’s networking capabilities. Call today (310-827-2288) or contact us to get a quote.

ethernet cable
ethernet wiring
smart wiring