Although many latest generations of ethernet cables are available, Cat6 ethernet cables are the most popular choice for networking. The reason is that they provide fast data transfer rates, high bandwidth capacities, and are affordable. Cat6 Plenum cable is one of the many variants of the 6th category ethernet cables that meet these criteria perfectly.
It is safe, supports high-performance ethernet applications such as gigabit and 10Base-T ethernet. The data transmission speed of this cable is up to 1 Gbps and it offers a bandwidth capacity of 550MHz.
However, choosing the bulk Cat6 plenum cable is a difficult task. Because of the wide variety of options available for this cable. For example, shielded and unshielded, different conductor types, colors, lengths, etc. This article will answer all of your queries regarding this plenum cable. And you will be able to choose the cable that is best suited for your requirements.
Cat6 Plenum conductor: Bare Copper Vs CCA
Bulk Cat6 Plenum cables are available in two different types of conductors. Bare copper and copper-clad aluminum. The best conductor you can choose is the Cat6 Bare Copper conductor. It is more resistant to electromagnetic interference, it entertains minimum crosstalk and noise, and the flow of signals along this conductor is seamless.
Furthermore, this conductor is a ductile and pliable material which means it can be twisted and turned to give it the shape of your requirement. If you choose a plenum cat6 cable, it will not heat up which will mean you will have a more efficient connection. And it will last long.
The other type of conductor you can choose with a plenum-rated cat6 cable is copper-clad aluminum (CCA) conductor. It has a layer of bare copper coated on an aluminum base. It is a rather budget conductor. You will get the same data transfer rate and bandwidth capacity but the signals may not be as reliable as with a bare copper conductor.
Additionally, the CCA conductor is not so effective against EMI and crosstalk. It is also a brittle material, so in cold temperatures, it can break if not cared for.
Cat6 Plenum shielded vs unshielded
Choosing between shielded and unshielded cables is very important. If you choose this feature according to your requirement, it will make a lot of difference. Shielded cat6 cable has a protective sheath around the conductor wires. And unshielded cat6 cables lack it.
The purpose of shielding in ethernet cables is to reduce electromagnetic interference and crosstalk as much as possible. If the requirements of your network are extremely high-performance, you will need a shielded cat6 cable.
But if you need moderate performance, a regular unshielded cable will do the job. Shielded cables cost more than unshielded ones. For home applications, Unshielded cables are capable of delivering the data, but for office networks with a high density of cables, you need a shielded plenum cable.
Cat6 plenum color
The color of an ethernet cable is probably the only thing that has not an impact on the cable performance. You can choose the cable with any color of your liking. You must be thinking, then why are cables color-coded and why are there so many different colors of ethernet cables?
Well, the colors are only useful to manage cables. Like, saying that the blue cable is for such and such purposes and the red cable is for such purposes easier than labeling all the cables individually.
If you are buying ethernet cables for your office, it’s useful to choose according to colors. But if you are buying for your home network, you can choose cables with any color.
Solid Cable vs Stranded Cable
Solid cables have conductors made out of one single piece of metal. And the stranded cables have conductors made out of multiple strands.
The Solid conductors are better for longer run lengths of cable. They perform well and are easier to install. Stranded conductors, on the other hand, are better for short-run lengths of cable because, at long-run lengths, they are likely to twist, which reduces the efficiency of the cable.
Choosing bulk Cat6 Plenum cables constitutes three steps. Choose the type of conductor you need, decide whether you need it shielded or unshielded, and finally choose either a solid or stranded conductor according to your requirement.
Hopefully, this article has helped you understand what a plenum-rated cat6 cable is and how you can choose the best one for your requirement.