The size of Cat6a cable is larger than Cat5e. Copper is inherently unreliable due to Bit Error Rates or BER. This is why manufacturers have designed Cat6a cables with a smaller cross-section. It takes up less space in the tray. Yet, this space is needed to minimize crosstalk between cabling pairs. The protective shield in Cat6a cable adds to the expense.
Electricity and Mechanical Facets
Aside from the electrical issues, Cat6a Untwisted Pair (UTP) is fabricated with bigger conductors. It has more rigid twists compared to Cat5e and Cat6 and these heavier conductors plus large and stiffer jacket combines to make for more difficult cable installation. Besides, the external diameter of the UTP means that the Cat6a cable takes up more room in the trays and conduits.
Electrical and mechanical issues should not be overlooked since this can affect performance. The physical stability of Cat6a is essential to its transmission performance. Cat6a can be more sensitive to degradation of signal compared to Cat5.
These may be produced by the following:
- Cable twisting generates signal reflection.
- Excess insertion pressure on cables can cause poor connector performance.
- Weakness of RJ45 (communications) connectors.
For example, if the cable is wedged in a door or compressed or squeezed by a heavy object, can result in sporadic network problems which may not be easy to detect. Nevertheless, Cat6a functions at enhanced specifications compared to Cat6 UTP. Considering all of these issues it may seem that fiber cable will become the ultimate future for 10 Gigabit Ethernet. It is up to users and the market forces to make the choice.
Category6 or Cat6 cables have established standards for the Gigabit Ethernet. This variety is backward compatible with Category 5 and 5e as well as Category 3 cable. Cat6 facilitates computer networks by providing high-speed data transfer rates. Performance can be described as optimal if other components within the network are also running at gigabit speeds.
What are the upsides?
Cat6 is fast. It has the capability to handle maximum speed performance of 250 MHZ. The network includes Gigabit Ethernet along with 10-Gigabit Ethernet. With complementary routers, interface cards, switches, and patch panels a complete gigabit network is possible. Information Technology professionals are aware that Cat6 cable provides exceptionally fast network performance and gigabit speeds.
The composition is similar to Cat5 Cable. There are eight wires which are coiled together forming four pairs. With Cat6, each pair of wires is designed to be insulated from the others so it can produce twice the communications capacity of Cat5 and Cat5e. Cat6 cables plugs and ports are compatible to Cat5 and Cat5e. It may not have the same maximum speed of the computer cable but it will still function.
You can upgrade to Cat6 cable if your current network is not performing at a productive speed in retrieving and saving your data files. Even small enterprises are now thinking of installing this model because it is fast emerging as the industry standard.
However, Cat6 cable is definitely more expensive. It will surely be a waste of resources in cases where greater data speeds are not needed. That is why some users opt for Cat5e which is considerably less expensive while still providing splendid performance.
At the same time, you are not guaranteed 100 percent full speed. Sometimes, there is a misconception that purchasing a Cat6 cable will offer users the whole gigabit bandwidth on your network. The truth is Cat6 cable will only generate full speeds if all of the components in the network can function at gigabit speed. In case a single part (network card, patch panel, switch or connector) is not gigabit rated, the network may work at the slowest speed of the slowest component device.
You might be persuaded to buy Cat6 without really understanding if it will really produce the desired impact on the network. This is why it is essential to learn everything about the product before you make a decision.
Call us at 202-462-4290 before you decide so that you can get a free on-site analysis that will pinpoint your network cabling needs.
Category 6 or Cat 6 network copper cabling is the preferred infrastructure for Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, and Gigabit Ethernet. It has a maximum performance of 250 MHz, or 500 MHz for the more contemporary Cat6a standard. This type of cabling may be utilized for a maximum distance (end to end) of 100 meters, or 55 meters for the 10 GBASE-T networks. Aside from support for higher performance, Cat6 includes more rigid specifications for crosstalk and system noise. Although Cat6 is anticipated to surpass Cat 5 and Cat 5e cabling soon, all three cable varieties are still widely used for network installations.
Fast and Credible Performance
Most IT experts recognize this type of copper cabling for its speedy network performance due to its ability to deliver gigabit data transmission speeds. It has a parallel structure similar to Cat5 and Cat5e. These copper cables have eight wires coiled as one to form four pairs. The major difference is that one pair of the Cat 6 cable wires does not touch the others, so it can produce twice the transmission capacity of the two other models.
It is also backward compatible. The plug and port of Cat6 cable is the same as the 5 and 5e models. Thus, it can be plugged into any outlet that supports these cables. For instance, you can use the Cat 5 connection for a Cat 6 cable although it will not produce the full speed of the Cat 6 cable.
Resistance to Heat and Flexibility
Copper cables are second to silver in terms of effective conductivity, but among non-precious metals, these wires can cope with a broader load of electricity with less need for insulation. Furthermore, copper cabling has more resistance to heat, which eliminates overloading problems. They are impervious to corrosion despite their shiny surface. Copper is also more pliable, so it can be twisted without the risk of splitting. In fact, copper is used in fabricating thick wires for applications where very thin wires are required. It can also be part of an upgrade if you are looking forward to a more optimal network. Copper Cat5, Cat5e and Cat6 are the industry standards for most small to medium sized offices.
There are certain problems that deserve consideration. Such as copper cabling failure in high-performance wiring systems. Users may also need to contend with poor component performance, such as bad cable segments or connectors that do not comply with specifications. However, these problems are frequently the result of human error. So the choice of copper cabling is still a good one.
The conventional process of copper cabling has been used for several years and is still preferred by many network cable providers and end-users. Companies like Progressive Office Cabling offer a complete range of cabling solutions in Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6a and Cat6, providing clients with high-quality cable as well as connectivity components. Progressive Office Cabling makes use of highly effective cable management systems and well-trained technicians for installation jobs. It also employs a web-based online project management system to guarantee proper implementation and monitoring of any project.
How Does Copper Cabling Work?
Installation technicians have to follow specific policies and standards, particularly when it comes to building structure concerns. There are several steps to follow with regard to installation. First, the cable should have the appropriate covering or insulation, which is normally made of PVC, Plenum, Ultra-Violet, or mold-resistant varieties. The cable is cut according to the needed length, and outer covers are removed before connectors are attached. Use the appropriate stripping tools for this purpose. Cables should be mounted as orderly as possible.
There are instances when installers have to use ladder trays and J-hooks, which are made for network cabling, or shoot nails into concrete ceilings using a tool that literally propels nails like bullets into the concrete surfaces. Network cables must be installed away from electric power lines, fluorescent lamps and industrial machines; the risk of electrical coupling can increase dependent on proximity and voltage factors.
Copper cabling has multiple benefits and is the most effective conductor out there. Copper cables are flexible, which is especially advantageous if you are using electrical wires. It is necessary to bend the wire during installation, so you need something durable that will not easily break after a lot of twisting. Copper does not easily melt, so even if a sudden surge of current or overload takes place, there is no risk of burning or melting. At the same time, copper is not difficult to work on. The majority of electricians opt for copper wires because they can be stripped easily or pulled through rigid spots.
With regard to structured copper cabling, there is the Power over Ethernet benefit. This means that it is possible to run power through devices such as Wireless Access Points, surveillance cameras, and power phones. There is an emergency power supply that continues to power mission-critical devices even if electrical power conks out. Copper cabling supports modern technologies and facilitates the convergence of different applications. Hence, it is important that copper cabling is optimized for your requirements. That is why you should make sure to get the services only of experienced and trustworthy providers in the industry. Choose the provider that ensures customer satisfaction and warranty after installation.
An efficient cabling system is one of the prerequisites for a functional network and is considered to be an investment that will comply with your networking needs in the long term. Fiber optic cabling is the product of modern technology. This type of cabling conveys information from one location to another through pulses of light in an optical fiber. It is important for users to learn the advantages of fiber optics.
Fiber optic cables possess more bandwidth, or communications capacity, compared to metal and copper wires. This variety can transmit more information with greater reliability, which is one of the reasons for cable television and telephone providers to opt for fiber. The optical fiber also generates minimal power loss, thereby allowing longer transmission. Such cables are resistant against electromagnetic interference; they can operate in loud electrical environments because the interference does not have any effect on fiber cables.
Moreover, data moves at higher speeds since the fiber optic signal ensures that only a small amount of signal is lost in the course of transmission. Data is safe with fiber cables. It does not give off signals and is relatively hard to utilize. You will easily find out if the cable has been tapped or infringement has been made on the system, as this tampering causes the cable to give away light and causes the whole system to break down. Fiber optic cabling allows users to store electronics and hardware in a particular area rather than wiring cabinets with equipment.
Fiber optic cabling facilitates consistent transmission of data. The central part is fabricated from glass, an insulator, so that electricity cannot pass through. It is barely affected by ebb and flow of temperature, unlike copper, and can be immersed in water without any negative effects. Fiber optic is lightweight and thread like, but tougher than copper wiring. Specifications are a lot more than the copper cable. Although it is more difficult to terminate compared to copper, modern connectors make it easier to terminate.
The costs of fiber as well as other components are decreasing gradually but installation is more costly. Of course, fiber is more expensive than copper but it become more cost-effective in the long run due to less required maintenance, networking and downtime.
Practical users value their money. There may be certain downsides, such as installation expenses, but these are decreasing steadily each year. Fibers are also prone to damages because of the fine and smaller strands. Nevertheless, you can always institute safeguards that will address these points. Make it a point to determine the benefits of using fiber optic cabling. Install the highest quality of optic fiber cabling that your financial resources will allow.
Ultimately, this decision is about costs vs. gains. And before a decision can be made, it is critically important to determine if your existing cable infrastructure is running into bottlenecks that cause traffic slowdowns at the desktop for your users. Internet might only needs about 5 - 25mb of bandwidth. But if your office has a lot of workstations and/or a group of users that are utilizing data-intensive publishing or graphic applications, you might need more speed. We have sophisticated network monitoring tools that can determine the traffic across your network. If we determine that you are using all available bandwidth, than your decision will be based on solid information.
Cat6 and Cat6a will boost your network speeds to 10gb/sec. Can you afford to upgrade to Cat6/6a? If the costs justify the expense, please contact us. We will send out one of our top network cabling technicians to analyze your network and determine if this upgrade option is a good idea for your office. And if it is, we will follow up with a proposal all at no cost to your firm.
We were asked to bid on a cabling project that was fairly straight-forward. It involved replacing the existing Cat5e cable with either Cat6a, Cat7 or fiber cable. The site was an open, standard modern office with a drop ceiling and hollow office walls. The client needed 64 single drops to existing faceplates, three new 24-port patch panels and patch cables.
The need for higher speeds by the client was created by a demand for faster access to larger files from the Server. This potential client was involved with heavy drafting and multimedia applications that require more bandwidth through the cabling system. Cat5e yields up to 1000Base-T, 1-Gigabit, data transfer speed.
The challenge is in deciding on which type of cable to use. Cat6a and fiber are very standard solutions. But Cat7 is not at all a standard installation yet (and might not ever be one). The problems with Cat7 are that the cable is very heavy,