Please visit copper-clad-aluminum-vs-pure-copper-cables/ for more information. When shopping for Cat5e or Cat6 network cables, make sure you are comparing apples to apples. One of the most common tactics of the “low cost leaders” is to use aluminum instead of copper wire. They take aluminum wire and dip it in a thin coating of copper. Visually the cables look identical, however, the performance and safety of the cable is radically different. In fact, aluminum network cables violates IEC standards for Cat5e and Cat6 cables. Aluminum patch cables, often marked as CCA or CCE (for Copper Clad Ethernet), has higher attenuation than pure copper cables. This results in more loss of your data, as packets have to be retransmitted. The more data that has to be resent the slower your network performs. Is the hit in network performance worth saving a few cents? The problems are compounded by every foot of cable you use. The longer the cable, the worse the performance. It affects installers because Aluminum wire also creates installation issues. Due to the lower tensile strength, aluminum cables can be damaged when pulling the cable. Single conductors can break, making the cable useless, or the whole cable can snap. Aluminum also has a lower bend radius than pure copper cables. This means you can’t bend it as much before it fails. If you think that all of these stats don’t matter in the real world, then check out this real world test. Here we have an aluminum patch cable. When we apply heat, the cable becomes brittle and breaks. A pure copper patch cable responds totally different. Notice how it retains its shape. In fact, the jacket is more likely to catch on fire before the conductors are damaged. Pure copper patch cables provide the best performance and safety for your network. Don’t risk your data and network safety by choosing aluminum patch cables. Choose ShowMeCables for all of your networking needs. All of our ETHERNET patch cables are pure copper and will keep your network running smoothly.