Are you going to order bulk ethernet cables? If yes, then, read this updated guide to know all about ethernet cables and to make an informed decision so that you can get the best value for your money when buying ethernet cables. All you need to do is to stay with us till the end.
Bulk Ethernet Cables – Categories
The first thing that you need to find out is what category of network cables do you need to run your applications. There is a wide range of ethernet cables available in the market – from Cat5e ethernet cable to Cat7 ethernet cables. You can find it out by determining the data transfer rates and bandwidth capabilities. Cat5e bulk ethernet cables render a maximum data transfer rate of 1 Gbps up to a distance of 50 meters or 164 feet.
Cat6 ethernet cables render a maximum data transfer rate of up to 10 Gbps over a distance of 164 feet. Likewise, Cat6a delivers a maximum data transfer rate of 10 Gbps up to a length of 328 feet whereas Cat7 delivers a mammoth 40 Gbps data transfer rate up to a distance of 50 meters.
Just like different categories of cables provide different data transfer rates, the same goes for the bandwidth capabilities. Cat5e network cables come with a bandwidth capacity of 350 MHz, Cat6 cables with 550 MHz, and Cat6a cables with 750 MHz.
So, when buying an ethernet cable, you need to make sure that it meets your data and bandwidth requirements.
Bulk Ethernet Cables – Jackets
Another factor that influences the decision of picking the right bulk ethernet cables is its jacket type. The jackets of the ethernet cables decide their place of installation. Ethernet cables with plenum-rated jackets [also known as CMP-rated jackets] find their usage in high-risk or vulnerable plenum spaces of the buildings. In plenum spaces, there is always the risk of fire eruption as they accommodate return airflows.
If a fire erupts, the plenum-rated ethernet cables halt fire progression and emit no smoke or hazardous elements. Plenum-rated bulk ethernet cables are made up of the finest quality material and for the very same reason, they carry a heavy price tag.
Riser-rated network cables are meant for installation in the riser or vertical spaces of the buildings. These cables are also made up of fine material but this material is not as good as that of plenum cables. These cables are also fire retardant and emit very low smoke and no dangerous gases when exposed to fire.
Then, comes the PVC-rated jackets that are meant for installation in the outdoor spaces. PVC cables are excellent in resisting harsh outdoor environments and are resistant to some chemicals, too.
There is also a 4th type of internet cable that is used for underground [below the surface] runs. Cables with such jackets are called direct burial cables and these jackets provide excellent resistance against microorganisms and water particles.
Bulk Ethernet Cables – Conductors
Bulk ethernet cables come in 2 types of conductors: pure copper conductors [also known as bare copper or solid copper conductors] and copper-clad aluminum conductors. Cables with high-quality ethernet cables usually have pure copper conductors; such conductors exhibit extreme protection against external interferences such as crosstalk and EMI. Likewise, pure copper conductors convert more energy into signals to provide optimum-level connectivity.
Cables with copper-clad aluminum conductors find their usage in environments where external interferences such as crosstalk and EMI are non-existent. As compared to pure copper cables, these cables are relatively cheaper.
Bulk Ethernet Cables – Shielded Cables and Unshielded Cables
Cables that have an extra layer of insulation or protection in the form of foil sheets are categorized as shielded bulk ethernet cables. The foil sheet is either wrapped around individual twisted pairs or around all four twisted pairs combined. These cables provide excellent protection against alien-crosstalk, next-generation crosstalk, and electromagnetic interference. As they have an extra layer or layers of insulation, such cables usually carry an expensive price tag.
Cables that do not have any extra layer of insulation are categorized as unshielded twisted pair cables. As evident, these cables do not carry a heavy price tag because they do not have any extra layer of protection.
Som, when you go to buy bulk ethernet cables, you have to take care of the following things:
- Data transfer rates
- Bandwidth capacities
- Jacket type
- And external interferences
The jacket factor is specifically more important as you can’t run riser-rated cables in the plenum spaces or PVC-rated cables in the riser spaces. Also, only the latest cables are capable of supporting high-speed applications. A Cat5e cable is not suitable for data centers or gamers. And a Cat7 cable is not meant for simple household use.