If you want your internet to function at its fastest, you want to be using ethernet directly. This will give you the fastest connection possible and offers a real improvement over the speeds you can get just from Wifi alone. If you want to install Ethernet cables yourself, here’s what you need to know so you can choose among Cat5e cable bulk, Cat5, or even Cat6.
Ethernet Cable Primer
All Ethernet cables have the same basic design. They’re made up of four pairs of twisted wires. The reason they’re twisted is to help prevent currents or any interference among the pairs. The old standard was the Cat5 cable, but recently Cat6 have become the new standard. “Cat” stands for category, and, as you can imagine, the numbers let you know what generation you’re working with. When you see the “e,” as in “Cat5e cable bulk,” it stands for “enhanced.” Enhanced cables are built to be more reliable at higher speeds.
In general, Cat6 will now perform most reliably at high speeds, and certainly better than Cat5 or Cat4. However, Cat5e cable bulk purchases wouldn’t be a waste, as this enhanced network ethernet cable is typically able to stand up to gigabit speeds.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Each?
You might think that all the cables are the same and it’s always better to just go bigger. That’s not always the case, however, Cat6 cable definitely has the power to handle high speeds, and in general, you can expect fewer errors due to better specifications for crosstalk and system noise. However, it’s not only more expensive than sourcing some Cat5e cable bulk style; it’s also harder to install.
The problem seems to be that Cat6 cables are better insulated and hence twisted more tightly. This means they cost more and you have to be a lot more careful when you cut them. If you’re installing bulk cable in particular, the extra cost and hassle can be a problem.
What Cable Should I Choose?
First, consider your speeds. If you’re running or want to run speeds over 10 gigabits per second, you probably don’t want Cat5e cable bulk or any other kind of bulk cable of this type. Fiber optic cables will be the better choice for you. But most homes aren’t running speeds like that.
Chances are you already have some older cable lying around somewhere, and you can bulk this out with a Cat5e cable bulk purchase. This should do you to the speeds that two or three household computers at normal usage are going to need. However, if you’re starting everything from scratch, getting Category 6 Ethernet cables is best to make sure you’re looking to the future.
Whatever kinds of cable you end up buying, don’t forget the surge protector. All the speed in the world won’t help when the computer blows out.