All About Cat7

Network has become an indispensable part of our daily life. Many homes and businesses today deploy network with either a wired network connection or a wireless connection. These two network connection methods have their own advantages: wired connection is typically faster than wireless connection and has lower latency. However, the wireless connection makes it easier to get access to the network from nearly any convenient location. As network technology has kept stepping forward, these two types of network hardware also continue to advance, satisfying the requirements of users. Take wired connection as an example, now a newer cable category is Cat7 ethernet cable. This article will focus on Cat7 cable and share the advantages and disadvantages of this cabling.

Overview of Cat7 Ethernet Cable

This ethernet cable is not currently recognized by TIA/EIA, but it is designed to support 10G Ethernet with distance up to 100 meters. It can offer transmission frequencies of up to 600 MHz, which is 6 times larger than Cat5e and 2.4 times larger than Cat6. And it contains four twisted copper wire pairs, just like the earlier standards, and shielding has been added for individual wire pairs and the cable as a whole. In addition, this type of ethernet cable is terminated with GG45 (GigaGate45) connector, which is still compatible cat5e cable and cat6 cable with RJ45 connector.

Cat7 Ethernet cable

Advantages And Disadvantages of Cat7 Cabling

Though it’s a newer cable category, it is not the best choice for all network deployment. Why? Keeping reading and you will find the answer in the following part.

Advantages
  • Cat7 Ethernet cable has a higher bandwidth of up to 600 MHz, which is 6 times larger than Cat5e (100 MHz) and 2.4 times larger than Cat6 (250 MHz).
  • Cat 7 has an overall shield as well as individual shielding of every pair. It performs better to protect against outside interference. Therefore, it is suitable for installing in a strong RFI & EMI environment.
  • Cat7 is thicker, more bulky, and more difficult to bend.
  • Cat7 is regarded as the most durable cable and has a longer lifespan of fifteen years than cat5e cable and cat6 cable.
  • Cat7 is compatible with preceding Ethernet cable standards like Cat5e and Cat6. As a result, users can move Cat5e cable or Cat6 cable from existing copper based LAN and install Cat7 without having to change the existing electronics.
Disadvantages
  • Cat7 ethernet cable is not currently recognized by TIA/EIA. It is not a solid, established industry standard.
  • Cat7 is very heavy. Individual pair and overall shielding increase the overall weight and size of this cable, which makes it not a job for cabling. Larger & stronger pathway and more stringent bend radius (100 mm or 4 inch) are required.
  • Cat7 is more expensive. Individual pair and overall shielding also mean higher labor costs and more work towards cable termination.
  • Cat7 cabling may cause ground loop problems. If both ends of the cable are connected to ground, it will lead to ground loops which are a major cause of noise, hum, and interference in audio, video, and computer systems. They can also create an electric shock hazard, since ostensibly “grounded” parts of the equipment, which are often accessible to users, are not at ground potential.

Conclusion

For home network deployment, it is not a great option, because it is more expensive and Cat7 cabling is complicated. However, this type of cable is suitable for the place where needs high speed data transmission and is a high EMI environment. Therefore, in order to get a successful network deployment, you have to make a careful plan, be familiar with the environment, confirm the requirement of network deployment and choose the right transmission media. FS.COM offers the best and most versatile copper cables including Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat7 Ethernet cable. For more details, please visit our site.

Related Article: Running 10GBASE-T Over Cat6 vs Cat6a vs Cat7 Cabling?

Importance of Plug Boot For RJ45 Cables

Ethernet cables with RJ45 connectors are widely applied to our life. When choosing the RJ45 cables, you may discover that these cables have different appearances of their cable plugs. For example, some cables will have a rubber thing on the clip while some don’t. Why do RJ45 cables have such design and what is the function? This post is going to present the basic knowledge about the RJ45 boot.

What Is Plug Boot?

This rubber thing is known as plug boot. A booted cable has the plug boot on the cable end of the connector. You can find two main types of boots on the market. One is the separate boot that can be purchased individually to put on the cable, and the other is the injection molded boot to be bought together with the cable. Of course, the latter is stronger to provide support for the cable when the connector is being pulled out of a switch, patch panel or other devices. Non-booted cables will not have the plug boot as the protection, which is easier to be damaged.

cable with RJ45 boot

Functions of RJ45 Boot

Generally speaking, the RJ45 boot design has two purposes. Firstly, the plug boot can prevent the connector clip from flipping up or even breaking off from the cable. When the plastic clip is broken, cable won’t be able to firmly connect to the network which will then interrupt the data transaction. Secondly, using the booted cable is also a protection for your own nails. Because the clip is slim and small, it is easy to stick into the nails during the installation or removal of RJ45 cable. Hence, for the better protection of both cable connector and your nails, Ethernet cables with plug boots are a great solution.

Several Types of RJ45 Boot

If you want to buy the booted cables, you should also consider which type of boot is best fit for your network since plug boot also has different constructions. Here will introduce the common types of plug boots.

Standard Boot

The standard boot looks like the half of a dome. It protects the clip on all sides and prevents it from snagging or breaking off. This is the type widely applied to cable installation through floors or walls.

standard boot

Molded Boot

Molded boot does not protect the locking clip. It is easy to plug in and out. This type of boot is suitable for hard-to-access space where cables are seldom plugged or unplugged.

molded boot

Snagless Boot

Snagless boot has a small flap to protect the RJ45 clip. It is often used in applications where there are high insertion cycles in easy-to-access space.

snagless boot

Slim Boot

Slim boot has a 28% reduction in diameter than the snagless boot. It offers the minimal protection and is easy to plug or unplug. This type of booted cable is usually seen in high-density applications.

slim boot

No Boot

Non-booted RJ45 cable is much easier for plugging or unplugging, but the whole connector is exposed with no protection. This type is typically used for applications that don’t require frequent unplugging.

no boot

Conclusion

In summary, if you want to have better protection for your Ethernet cable, using RJ45 boot is an ideal solution. If the application does not demand too much cable shifting, non-booted cables are also acceptable. No matter which type of RJ45 cable you choose, the decision must be made according to your own project.

Related Article: Ethernet Cable Jacket Ratings: CM vs. CMR vs. CMP

Guide to Build Up Home Network

Since network has been ubiquitous in today’s world, building it into our home seems to be necessary when moving into a new house. However, millions of households are haunted by the terrible network cabling mess. Cables are usually tucked into corners, tangled around the ceiling or jumbled behind devices. If you want these problems to be solved, a good plan for home network is a must. Have you ever thought about setting up a fiber optic home network via network cables all by yourself? This article can be the guide to the beginners.

home network

Advantages of Good Home Network

A good fiber optic home network is beneficial to the visual neatness. House will be more tidy when less cables are exposed to the surface. Most wires will be installed through the walls. Possibility of cable mess is greatly reduced and you don’t need to be nervous about tripping over by the cables. Constructing a good home network also increases the value of the home. If the house is for sale in the future, a built-in network can certainly raise the price potentials. In addition, when setting up the network, you can add some aesthetic designs to your house like painting the wall into a new color or moving wall plates to appropriate places.

Different Network Connections

There are generally three types of home network connections. Choosing a suitable type for the network is also important.

Ethernet/LAN

Ethernet or LAN network uses physical cables to plug into the LAN port of router or network switch. The speed for Ethernet cables can reach up to 1 Gbps. The cable length usually runs up to 100 meters without any influence to performance. Using a wired network is more secure and reliable. However, if you want to totally get rid of the cabling mess, there are better alternatives.

wired fiber optic home network

WiFi/Wireless LAN

People nowadays are familiar with this wireless network. It is the network that operates through radio waves without any wires. The latest 802.11ac standard defines the WiFi network for the maximum of gigabit speed. Wireless network allows for easier access to mobile devices and is simple to be set up. However, the signal also has a limited range and is easily interfered by other devices or buildings.

wireless network

Power Line

Power line network, known as Ethernet over Power (EoP) is carried through the existing wiring. With the help of adapter plugs, it can be connected to small devices by standard Ethernet cables. It is a good option when installing traditional network cabling is not possible but you want better performance than wireless.

Components Needed for Home Network

Central hub, Ethernet jack, wall plate and Ethernet cable are some basic components for the home network. Technically, a basic 8 port switch could accomplish your goals in the central hub. Ethernet jack makes the installation more professional and allows for easier connection with wall plate. Wall plate also provides an easier and stable location for cables to plug into. Of course, Ethernet cable is indispensable and should be selected according to your needs.

How to Expand Fiber Optic Home Network

When Ethernet ports are running out on the router, you can buy a new one to add more ports so as to expand the wired network. As for the wireless network, the problem is always about the range of signal coverage. You can try the commercial WiFi extender, or use metal can focus the antenna in a specific direction.

Conclusion

Many homes are now building up networks into their places. A wonderful fiber optic home network can provide you with better online experience. This post only offers some basic knowledge about home network. If you are unprofessional, please consult the specialists first before starting the construction.

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How to DIY Ethernet Cables?

Buying the Ethernet cables in stores is probably a common way for average people. However, have you ever met the problem that the cable length is too long or too short? It is so difficult to find the most appropriate cable length at ordinary stores for your network. Especially when the cable is too long, the extra length may end up becoming a mess at your place. In order to solve this issue, why not make your own Ethernet cables? You can create your desired length and the procedures are fairly simple. This post will guide you to make a DIY Ethernet cable.

Essential Tools and Materials

Before you get started, there are some necessary tools and materials needed during the procedure. Wire cutter or wire stripper is used for the task of cutting and stripping wires. RJ45 cable crimping tool can make your cable’s data plug a permanent part of your new cable. RJ45 data plugs are important materials which can be found at many cable stores. Some plugs are labeled specifically Cat 6 or Cat 5e, you can buy specific ones if your network needs one or the other. And you should prepare the bulk Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6 or other Ethernet cables according to your needs. Sometimes, having a cable tester is better since it will save time and prevent headaches down the line when you have a problem with a cable or connection.

Which Wiring Schemes?

Ethernet cables have several standard wiring schemes. T568A and T568B are the common wiring schemes which define the order of the individual wires and pin-outs for eight-pin modular connectors and jacks. If the cable is used for home-networking connections, T568B wiring scheme is recommended. T568A wiring scheme may be employed for the preexisting residential network wiring or other similar projects. The following figure presents the different wiring orders of T568A and T568B.

t568a-t568b-wiring-schemes

Ethernet Cable DIY Steps

After all the preparations, now you are ready to make your own Ethernet cable. Follow these steps and you will soon have your first self-made cable.

    • Step 1, measure the cable to the proper length you want. And don’t forget to add an inch or two because you may lose a bit of cable during the process. Then use the tool to cut down the cable.

cut-the-ethernet-cable

    • Step 2, remove the outer jacket of the cable. A good way to do so is to cut lengthwise with snips or a knife along the side of the cable, away from yourself, about an inch toward the open end. Also leave an inch to an inch and a half if you are green hand.

strip-the-cable-jacket

    • Step 3, untwist and straighten the wires, then arrange the wires into the desired scheme order.

wire-the-cable-into-specific-order

    • Step 4, once your wires are in the correct order, trim the excess away. Only leave slightly less wire to be fit inside the RJ45 clip. And hold the wires in place with your fingers and insert them all at once into the data plug.

install-cable-into-plug

    • Step 5, place your data plug into your crimping tool and give it a firm squeeze. And you just finally complete your Ethernet cable.

cimp-data-plug

Conclusion

If condition permits, using the cable tester to test the Ethernet cable before installation is recommended. Getting this new skill, you will no more worry about the cable length, you can make them as long or as short as you want. Enjoy using your DIY Ethernet cable!

Cat 5e or Cat 6 – Which Do You Choose?

atAs one type of copper cabling, twisted pair wiring is widely adopted for Ethernet networks which wraps the two conductors of a single circuit together. Nowadays, many kinds of twisted pair cables are available in the market. To specify the cable wiring standards, the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA) and Telecommunications Industry Association (TIA) have defined twisted pair cables into a series of categories, such as Cat 5, Cat 5e, Cat 6, Cat 6a, Cat 7, etc. This article will put emphasis on  Cat 5e vs Cat 6 to see their differences and which one to choose for your application.

cat 5e vs cat 6

Wiring Standards of Cat 5e vs Cat 6

Two standards of T568A and T568B can be used to wire Cat 5e and Cat 6 Ethernet cable. The only difference between T568A and T568B is that the green/green strip and orange/orange strip wire positions are swapped. In general, T568B is more popular for office and commercial networks. But no matter which wiring standard you choose, the most important thing is to continue with the selected standard for consistency. The following picture shows the concrete structure of T568A and T568B wiring.

t568a-t568b

Differences Between Cat 5e vs Cat 6

Speed

Data speed is important for cable selections. You have to choose the cable that is equivalent to what is running on it. As for Cat 5e cable, it can support 1 Gigabit Ethernet. While Cat 6 can support a higher data rate of 10 Gigabit Ethernet. This is because Cat 6 cable performs up to 250 MHz, which is more than twice that of Cat 5e cable with 100 MHz.

Maximum Length

The common ground of Cat 5e vs Cat 6 cables is that they are all designed for short distance data transmission because they are made of copper wires. If the cable is used for lower data rate transfer, both Cat 5e and Cat 6 are able to reach the maximum length of 100 meters. However, when the data rate achieves the maximum speed, Cat 5e cable can only reach 50 meters and Cat 6 with 37 meters.

Cost

Compared with Cat 5e cables, the cost of Cat 6 cables are typically 10 to 20% more expensive because of the higher transmission speed. But the price of these cables is comparatively cheap, which only takes up a small portion of the total budget. For the consideration of your application, Cat 6 might be a better choice if higher data rate is required. The additional cost can save you more money in the long run.

Application

Traditionally, Cat 5e cable is run for the business telephones. But using Cat 6 cable with a phone might be a waste. Cat 6 is suited for broadband video and digital video applications because of the lower signal losses and better transmission performance at higher frequencies compared with Cat 5e.

Can We Use Cat 5e With Cat 6?

The answer is yes. Regardless of a possibly different coating on the pins, Cat 5e and Cat 6 are both employing the RJ45 plug standard which makes them compatible to each other. But you can only receive a limited speed of the lowest link in the chain. Therefore, if you want to receive the best performance of cables, you should better use the matching components for your application.

Conclusion

As regard with Cat 5e vs Cat 6, they are two different categories of twisted pair cabling. The major difference between them is the data speed. Cat 6 has a higher speed than Cat 5e which accordingly varies their maximum length, cost and application. All these factors are important for you to make a choice between Cat 5e and Cat 6. Moreover, if a higher speed over long distance is demanded, fiber optic cables might be a better solution.

Related Article: Cat5e and Cat6 RJ45 Cable

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