Types of Ethernet Cable & Categories Cat 5, 5e, 6, 6a, 7, and 8

Hello Dears! Today, we will explore all possible things about different types of Ethernet cable as well as Categories of Ethernet cable Cat 5, 5e, 6, 6a, 7, and 8 with ease. At the end of this article, we will definitely understand about Ethernet Cable Types with its Categories without any obstacle.

Introduction to Ethernet Cable

Ethernet cables let your devices to be made connection over the computer network. It may be your tablet computer, PC, or other PlayStation. Ethernet cable also helps to make connection WI Fi to your devices through wire to link to the Internet.

Types of Ethernet Cable & Categories

In the market, Ethernet cables are fairly available long, so you would not any possibility to damage data loss. Mostly, Ethernet cables are supported with all types of hardware. Now these days, Ethernet cables are presented in different sizes along with different speeds.

‘Ethernet Cable Types’ Tutorial Headlines:

In this section, we will show you all headlines about this entire article; you can check them as your choice; below shown all:

  1. Introduction to Ethernet Cable
  2. What are the Different Types of Ethernet Cable?
  • Coaxial Cable
  • Twisted Pair Cable
  • Fiber Optic Cable
  1. Ethernet Cable Categories
  2. Ethernet Cable Performance
  3. Ethernet Cable Connectors

Let’s Get Started!!

What are the Different Types of Ethernet Cable?

In this section, we are going to share different types of Ethernet cable along with their types and connectors, then you can select best one of them as your needs. Below mentioned each one, you can read them:

Coaxial Cable

Coaxial cables are cylindrical cables used for transmitting signals. They consist of an inner metal conductor, an insulating dielectric material, a conducting shield, and an outer jacket.

Types of Coaxial Cable:

Here are the different types of coaxial cables, including:

RG-6: This is a type of 75 Ohm coaxial cable commonly used for cable television, satellite TV, and broadband internet networking.

RG-59: Another type of 75 Ohm coaxial cable, RG-59 is often used for video surveillance systems and lower-frequency applications.

RG-58: This is a type of 50 Ohm coaxial cable commonly used for Ethernet networking, radio frequency (RF) systems, and telecommunications.

RG-8: Another type of 50 Ohm coaxial cable, RG-8 is used for high-power transmission and professional audio and video applications.

Hardline: Hardline coaxial cables are rigid and have a solid outer conductor. They are used for long-distance transmission and high-power applications.

Twin Axial: Twin axial coaxial cables consist of two inner conductors and are used for high-speed data transmission, such as in computer networks.

Triaxial: Triaxial coaxial cables have an additional layer of insulation and shielding, providing better protection against interference.

Semi-Rigid: Semi-rigid coaxial cables have a solid outer conductor but can be bent to a certain extent. They are commonly used in microwave applications.

Rigid Line: Rigid line coaxial cables are highly durable and have a solid outer conductor. They are used for high-power and high-frequency applications.

Types of Connectors are Used for Coaxial Cable:

These connectors serve different purposes in various applications, ranging from telecommunications and broadcasting to wireless communication and electronics.

  • BNC Connector (Bayonet Neill-Concelman)
  • F-Type Connector
  • N-Type Connector
  • SMA Connector (SubMiniature version A)
  • TNC Connector (Threaded Neill-Concelman)
  • MCX Connector (Micro Coaxial)
  • MMCX Connector (Micro-Miniature Coaxial)
  • SMB Connector (SubMiniature version B)
  • UHF Connector (Ultra High Frequency)
  • Mini-UHF Connector
  • FME Connector (For Mobile Equipment)

Twisted Pair Cable

Twisted pair cables are mostly used for making communications. They consist of two insulated copper wires twisted together in a helical pattern. The twisting of the wires helps to improve electromagnetic compatibility and decrease the electromagnetic radiation and crosstalk in between neighbouring pairs.

Types of Twisted Pair Cable:

Here are two types of twisted pair cables:

Unshielded Twisted Pair (UTP): UTP cables consist of twisted pairs of copper wires without additional shielding. They are mostly going to use for Ethernet networks in your homes, offices, and data centers.

Shielded Twisted Pair (STP): STP cables have additional shielding, such as metallic foil or braided shielding, around the twisted pairs. This shielding offers the additional protection against electromagnetic interference, and making STP suitable for industrial environments and areas along with higher interference levels.

Types of Connectors are Used for Twisted Pair Cable:

There are different types of connectors commonly used for twisted pair cables as following them:

  • RJ45 Connector (Registered Jack 45)
  • RJ11 Connector (Registered Jack 11)
  • RJ12 Connector (Registered Jack 12)
  • RJ14 Connector (Registered Jack 14)

Fiber Optic Cable

Fiber optic cable is the kind of network cabling that utilise the light to transmit data. They are build-up of a core that transmits light, a cladding that reflects light to prevent loss, and a protective sheathing.

Types of Fiber Optic Cables:

There are two primary types of fiber-optic cables: multimode and single mode. Here are some key differences between the two:

Multimode Fiber-Optic Cable

  • Can carry multiple light rays (modes) at the same time by having varying optical properties at the core.
  • Has a larger core size (50-62.5 microns) than single mode fiber-optic cable.
  • Uses a lower-cost LED or VCSEL technology that operates in the 850nm window
  • Has a limited range due to dispersion, so it tends to be used for premises cabling when less than a kilometer.

Single Mode Fiber-Optic Cable

  • Uses a laser as its light source
  • Has a much smaller core size (8-9 microns) than multimode fiber-optic cable and uses a single path.
  • Excels at long-distance communication and can travel much longer distances of up to 100km.
  • Is identified by the designation OS or Optical Single-mode Fiber

Types of Connectors are Used for Fiber Optic Cable:

  • SC Connector (Subscriber Connector)
  • LC Connector (Lucent Connector or Little Connector)
  • ST Connector (Straight Tip)
  • MTP/MPO Connector (Multi-Fiber Push-On/Pull-Off)
  • FC Connector (Ferrule Connector)
  • MT-RJ Connector (Mechanical Transfer Registered Jack)
  • E2000 Connector
  • DIN Connector
  • MU Connector

Ethernet Cable Categories

Ethernet cables are categorized based on their performance capabilities and specifications. You should be known about each cable along with their use cases in different areas, then you can choice one of them based on your hardware. The most common categories of Ethernet cables include:

Cat-1 (Category 1)

Cat 1 cables are the lowest grade of unshielded twisted-pair (UTP) cabling. They were designed to support analog voice communication only and were used for wiring installations of analog telephone systems, also known as Plain Old Telephone Service (POTS); however, it is not recognized by the EIA.

Cat-2 (Category 2)

Cat 2 Ethernet cables are not commonly used in modern networking. The Cat-2 designation is not an official standard established by TIA/EIA. It is worth noting that Ethernet cable categories typically start from Cat-3 and above.

Cat-3 (Category 3)

Cat-3 Ethernet cables were introduced in the early 1990s and were the first to support 10BaseT Ethernet networks as well as digital voice communications. Cat-3 cables have four twisted pairs and a maximum frequency suitable for transmission of 16 MHz, making them unsuitable for modern networking. They are still found in older buildings, but their 10 Mbps data rate is considered too slow for modern networking.

Cat-4 (Category 4)

Cat-4 Ethernet cables were primarily used for IBM Token Ring networks and had a data rate of 16 Mbps. However, Cat-4 cables are now out-dated and not commonly used in modern networking. They are typically found in older buildings where the cost of complete replacement is prohibitive.

Cat-5 (Category 5)

Cat 5 cables were widely used in the past and support data transfer rates of up to 100 Mbps (Megabits per second) at a maximum frequency of 100 MHz. They have largely been replaced by newer cable categories for faster networking speeds.

Cat-5e (Category 5e)

Cat 5e cables are an enhanced version of Cat 5 cables. They support data transfer rates of up to 1 Gbps (Gigabit per second) at a maximum frequency of 100 MHz. Cat 5e cables are still commonly used for basic networking needs.

Cat-6 (Category 6)

Cat 6 cables offer higher performance compared to Cat 5e cables. They support data transfer rates of up to 10 Gbps at a maximum frequency of 250 MHz. Cat 6 cables are used in environments where higher bandwidth and faster data transfer speeds are required.

Cat-6a (Category 6a)

Cat 6a cables are an enhanced version of Cat 6 cables. They can support data transfer rates of up to 10 Gbps at a maximum frequency of 500 MHz. Cat 6a cables are suitable for applications that require higher bandwidth and better resistance to interference.

Cat-7 (Category 7)

Cat 7 cables are designed for even higher performance and are often used in professional networking environments. They can support data transfer rates of up to 10 Gbps at a maximum frequency of 600 MHz. Cat 7 cables also typically have additional shielding to reduce interference.

Cat-7a (Category 7a)

Cat 7a cables are an improved version of Cat 7 cables. They can support data transfer rates of up to 10 Gbps at a maximum frequency of 1000 MHz. Cat 7a cables offer excellent performance and shielding against interference.

Cat-8 (Category 8)

Cat 8 cables are designed for data center and enterprise environments with high-performance networking needs. They can support data transfer rates of up to 25 or 40 Gbps at a maximum frequency of 2000 MHz. Cat 8 cables are often used for high-speed connections over short distances.

Ethernet Cable Performance

The maximum distance mentioned in the table is a general guideline and can vary depending on factors such as cable quality and environmental conditions. It’s important to select the suitable Ethernet cable category based on your specific network needs to make ensure optimal performance.


Max. Data Rate


Max. Distance


Cat 1

1 Mbps

0.4 MHz


Telephone and modem lines

Cat 2

4 Mbps

4 MHz


Local Talk & Telephone

Cat 3

10 Mbps

16 MHz

100 m

10BaseT Ethernet

Cat 4

16 Mbps

20 MHz

100 m

Token Ring

Cat 5

100 Mbps

100 MHz

100 m

100BaseT Ethernet

Cat 5e

1 Gbps

100 MHz

100 m

100BaseT Ethernet, residential homes

Cat 6

1 Gbps

250 MHz

100 m

Gigabit Ethernet, commercial buildings

Cat 6a

10 Gbps

500 MHz

100 m

Gigabit Ethernet in data centers

Cat 7

10 Gbps

600 MHz

100 m

High-performance networks, data centers

Cat 7a

40 Gbps

1000 MHz

100 m

High-performance networks, data centers

Cat 8

25 Gbps or 40 Gbps

2000 MHz

30 m

High-performance networks, data centers

Ethernet Cable Connectors

Ethernet cable connectors play a crucial role in establishing reliable network connections. There are different types of Ethernet cable connector, include:

RJ45 Connector: This is the standard connector used for Ethernet cables. It contains eight pins that is designed to fit into Ethernet ports on devices like as computers, routers, switches, and networked devices.

RJ11 Connector: Smaller than an RJ45, this connector is often used for telephone connections. It has four or six pins and is not suitable for Ethernet networking.

TIA-568A and TIA-568B: These are two common wiring standards for terminating Ethernet cables with RJ45 connectors. They dictate the arrangement of wire pairs within the connector for proper signal transmission.

Modular Plug Terminators: Used to attach connectors to the end of Ethernet cables, modular plugs come in various categories (Cat 5e, Cat 6, etc.) to match the cable type.

Ethernet Couplers: These connectors allow you to extend the length of an Ethernet cable by joining two cables together. They are handy for creating longer connections without losing signal quality.

Ethernet Adapters: These connectors enable you to convert between different types of Ethernet connectors, like converting an RJ45 connection to a USB or HDMI connection for specific devices.

Final Thoughts

Now, we make ensure that you have been completely educated about different types of Ethernet cable as well as Categories of Ethernet cable Cat 5, 5e, 6, 6a, 7, and 8 with ease. If this article is useful for you, then please share it along with your friends, family members or relatives over social media platforms like as Facebook, Instagram, Linked In, Twitter, and more.

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Happy Learning!!

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