The Basics of Ethernet Cables

By Chad No comments

We live in a very technical age. Wires and cables are a part of every day life for things like our cable and internet, our computers, our phones, and more. You can even buy bulk USB cables if you want to. Whether it’s chargers, HDMI cords, surge protectors, USB cables, or something else, we use at least one cord or cable every day.

While most of them are relatively easy to identify because we use them so often, there are some that might remain a bit of a mystery. For many, these are Ethernet cables. We see them in our homes on a daily basis, but generally don’t touch them. They get installed when our internet is installed and then we leave them alone.

If you’re wondering what all of those colored cords do, read on for a breakdown of the different types and their purposes and performances.

The Purpose of an Ethernet Cord

Ethernet cords are essentially what connects our internet routers to our computers. They create a connection between the two so that your computer can connect to the web. This is the most common use for them, although they used in much higher tech situations as well to send different kinds of signals.


The category 5e cable is able to send out up to 1Gb/second speeds at 100MHz frequencies. They’re made for people who want more out of their ethernet cable without spending a lot of extra money. If you don’t want to sacrifice speed for price, this is a good option.


The category 6 cable is the more expensive version. However, you get what you pay for. It has higher speeds and frequencies, meaning you get better performance. It is said they can be more difficult to install, but for someone who wants the speed they provide that shouldn’t be too much of an issue.


The category 6a offers frequencies that can reach up to twice the amount of the Cat6. It is better used in industrial settings due to it being thicker and less flexible.

Now You Know the Basics

In our world of bulk USB cables and endless wires, there is also endless information about things like ethernet cables. We’ve covered the basics here. There are more categories beyond the 6a with varying prices and uses, but the first ones will be more common in an every day home.

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