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What Are Cat6 Cables Used For?

The ability to transmit data across distances at speed is quickly becoming less of a consideration in modern network design and more of a design requirement. We have all read the statistic - the one about how 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last years alone - and companies are quickly realizing that an effective networking infrastructure can be a truly game-changing strategic advantage over the competition. While some industries can still get away with networks built around Cat5e cabling, which only just allows devices to transfer data at Ethernet (1 Gbps) network speeds, more data intensive businesses are building for the future and adopting Cat6 data cabling in their builds.

As the Mainstream Goes Gigabit, Cat6 Rises to the Standard

With data creation increasing across industries, the networking community realized several years ago that a solution needed to be put into place to allow data to be moved faster and accessed faster across longer distances. While Cat5e allows data transfer up to Ethernet level speeds, Cat6 cables can support Ethernet speeds at 250 MHz ranging from 1 Gbps at 100 meters to upwards of 10 Gbps in cables limited to 50 meters. Cat6 cables are made with thicker shielding and more twists per inch than Cat5e cable, increasing the protection afforded to Cat6 cabling against line noise and interference.

For new network builds, or expanding existing networks with the intention of retroactively upgrading, Cat6 data cables have the advantage of scaling with your business as it grows and your data needs expand, as well as being backwards compatible to existing networks. This allows you to upgrade your network as your budget allows without loss of performance.

Enhancements and Cat6e Cabling

Once cable manufacturers broke the code on improving upon Cat5e cables in order to bring about the performance specifications found in Cat6 cables, they were soon able to break the code on eliminating the 50 meter limitation and to double the frequency of transmission. Cabling certified as Cat6e is capable of the same transfer speeds as Cat6 cable up to 100 meters at transmission frequencies reaching 500 MHz.

Plan for Your Future Data Storage Needs Now

Realistically, networking standard transfer rates are only going to grow in the years to come. Utilizing Cat5e cabling to give you transfer speeds that reach the Ethernet 1 Gbps threshold might get you by in the short term, but as your data needs grow, so to will your need to move large amounts of data at speed back and forth across your network to a data storage service provider. if you want to balance current costs against the costs of future upgrades, and you’re able to create an end-to-end Ethernet-level network solution - one that includes hubs, switches, cabling, and other components all capable of achieving at minimum 1 Gbps - then Cat6 or Cat6e data cables would be the proper solution for your networking needs. If you’re not certain what your network requirements might be, SANDirect can provide a free assessment of your data storage and networking needs and assist in the management of your data backup processes, freeing you up to achieve your business goals.

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