Whether you’re hooking up a computer to the internet or in the process of setting up a small network, large network, or anything in between, there will be one common component included – the white Ethernet cable. Computers, printers, video games systems, and all manner of other devices may vary from setup to setup, but the cable is the constant that links them together. Even in a day where Wi-Fi systems are the norm, you’ll still have to utilise a few cables here and there. But like anything else, there are plenty of options available. You’ll want to keep a few things in mind to ensure you select the right cable for your needs.
Cat-3 cable was once the standard, but today it’s largely been replaced by other types of cables. Still, for low speed applications that require short spans of wire, it can save you a good bit of money when you buy this type of a white Ethernet cable. Voice data and internet connections that are less than 10Mb are the limits of Cat-3, so if your internet speeds exceed that you’ll likely want to consider moving up to the Cat-5 or higher cables that are now the more common choices in network wiring.
The Cat-5 cable can handle 100Mbps worth of data and has drastically reduced signal interference compared to the Cat-3. It’s very commonly used in most home or small office setups, but even it has been replaced by the Cat-5e and Cat-6 Ethernet cable. Cat-5e is probably the new standard and can handle a one gigabyte internet connection with ease and deliver it across longer stretches of wire without needing a booster. It’s used in a variety of applications today. Cat-6 line is the top of the line version at the moment and is used in high-speed applications were rapid data transfer is required.
Odds are that you’ll end up selecting a Cat-5 or Cat-5e cable since they’re more than adequate for most needs. But be sure that you determine what your exact needs are so that you don’t pay too much or purchase an inferior cable unwittingly. You can find all of these types of cables in a variety of lengths, and can even buy them in bulk if you’re handling a large scale network installation. Whatever your needs, take the time to look into all your options and make the right call. The best Ethernet cable will have a profound impact on your connection speeds.
Cable colour is an irrelevance, you can use whichever colour you want. If your router came supplied with a yellow cable, you can use a white Ethernet cable if you wish.