If you Google “Ethernet cables” you’ll get about 5 million hits. It’s no wonder that shopping for Ethernet cables can be confusing. But if you simplify the cables down to their main differences, it’s much easier to choose the one that’s best for your use.

This blog post explains the chief differences among the cable categories. But instead of trying to cover everything from Cat1 to Cat8, we discuss only the four categories used most in office networks, data centers and residences: Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a and Cat7. We conclude by clarifying some of the choices you might also have to make about cable jacketing t

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