A wired network provides seamless internet speed and browsing on your connected devices. An ethernet cable is a foundation for that perfectly working networks. However, people often neglect to pay attention to an ethernet cord after getting an internet connection.
Like buying the right internet plan, you should also know the ideal length for an ethernet cable for your place.
What is the Importance of Ethernet Cable Length?
An ethernet cable is a wired connection that transmits internet signals from a router to a desktop.
Generally, ethernet cords are copper wires with a maximum transmission length. Using it from a longer distance than its ideal limit means erratic internet connection speed.
So, choosing an ethernet cord with optimum length is crucial. It ensures smooth communication and data transfer between the devices in the wired network.
Does Ethernet Cable Length Matter?
An ethernet cable can transfer signals up to 100 meters without lowering internet quality. When you use it at a proper distance, this wire can’t affect the network’s download and upload speed.
So why does ethernet cable length matter?
Here’s the actual answer for anyone looking forward to investing in the ethernet cable. Using the ethernet wire more than recommended length will cause a few issues. It includes:
- Slower transmission speeds
- Latency issues
- Bandwidth deterioration
- Slow signals
- Lost connection
Hence, there are limits to using a cord beyond the recommended length. If you ignore its length, you may have unstable internet.
What is An Ideal Length for an Ethernet Cable?
There will be hardly any speed issues or delays if the ethernet cable’s maximum length is 328 ft (100m). So for an uninterrupted browsing session, always connect a recommended size cord.
How Can a Long Ethernet Cable Reduce Speed?
Some crucial parameters can help determine when the cable’s length will alter your internet’s speed and performance.
In residential applications, the length of the cord barely causes any problems. A small to medium workplace or home doesn’t create the level of interference that influences the ethernet cable’s performance.
On the other hand, you will have network problems by setting up connections across greater distances, like outdoors.
If the ethernet cable is more than 328 ft long, it can create an attenuation issue that corrupts the data. So the higher the chances of interferences through attenuation longer it travels through a wire.
Besides, crosstalk from other electrical cables and external interferences put transmitting data at risk. Sometimes, you may suffer a network loss if the connected ethernet cord is way longer than the limit.
Thus, connecting a too-long ethernet cable will weaken not only your network connection but also its speed.
However, some ethernet internet wires can still perform properly beyond 100m without any apparent issues. So, it also depends on the ethernet cable category and its maximum bandwidth.
Cable Types & Standards and Their Length
The performance of an ethernet cable varies based on the type of cable you use. “Cat” and a digit represents the version and functionalities of these cables.
Here’s a list of standard ethernet wires.
Cat5: The oldest version of ethernet cables with a frequency of 125 MHz. It supports up to 100 Mbps speed for a 100m distance.
Cat5e: It’s one of the most used and affordable ethernet cables. Since it’s an enhanced model of Cat5 cable, it provides faster speeds of up to 1000 Mbps at a range of 100m.
Cat6: It offers up to 5000 Mbps bandwidth at a distance of 55m. This cable model also ensures top-grade security against external interferences due to its high braided shielding.
Cat6a: The upgraded category of Cat6 ethernet cable offers double bandwidth, i.e., 10000 Mbps Gbps speed for 100 m length.
Cat7: At a frequency of 600 MHz, Cat7 ethernet cable provides up to 100 Gbps speed to the length of 20m. The highly robust shielding also helps block noise and crosstalk.
Cat7a: With more effective shielding, this enhanced ethernet cable version offer double the speed of the cat7 category.
Cat8: This ethernet network cable is ideal for lightning-fast speed of 25 to 40 Gbps at a 30m distance and a high frequency of 2,000 Mhz.
How to Extend the Reach of Ethernet Cables?
You can use ethernet switches to extend the reach of ethernet cables. This switch allows you to use another 328 ft of cord.
However, only increase the cable length once or twice using ethernet switches. Otherwise, it’ll start causing connection issues.
The internet is a part of our day-to-day life nowadays. Everyone can stay connected and informed, from chatting with friends and families to checking the weather. It’s possible with the high speed and seamless network connection.
So pick an ideal size and type of ethernet cable for your router to enhance your internet speed.
Usually, the effects of an ethernet cord are hardly noticeable if you use more than a recommended long cord. However, you will experience higher latency over longer distances. Thus, make sure not to go beyond 100m of cable length. Generally, Cat6a is ideal for a shorter range with better shielding.
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