An Ethernet cable is a common type of network cable used with wired networks. Ethernet cables connect devices such as PCs, routers, and switches within a local area network.
These physical cables are limited by length and durability. If a network cable is too long or of poor quality, it won’t carry a good network signal. These limits are one reason there are different types of Ethernet cables that are optimized to perform certain tasks in specific situations.
Types of Ethernet Cables
Ethernet cables support one or more industry standards including Category 5 and Category 6. Most technicians refer to these standards as CAT5 and CAT6, respectively. Because of this, many online stores that sell network cables use this abbreviated language as well.
Ethernet cables are manufactured in two basic forms:
- Solid Ethernet cables offer slightly better performance and improved protection against electrical interference. They’re also commonly used on business networks, wiring inside office walls, or under lab floors to fixed locations.
- Stranded Ethernet cables are less prone to physical cracks and breaks, making them more suitable for travelers or in-home network setups.