What Is an Ethernet Cable & What Are Its Types? 

What Is an Ethernet Cable

When you think of fast internet, you think Ethernet. The cables allow you to access the web without any network interruptions. Invented by Bob Metcalfe in the year 1973 to establish a high-speed networking system, the Ethernet cables are widely used in homes, businesses, and corporate areas.

But what is Ethernet wire? Is it better than WiFi? What are its types? Which type would be the best? If you have so many doubts regarding these cables, then you have landed in the right place. The article gives you all the necessary information about Ethernet wires and their types.

What Are Ethernet Cables?

An ethernet cable is a common type of network cable that connects your computer, internet router, and switches within a Local area network (LAN). It resembles an ordinary phone cable but has got eight wires in the connector while the phone cable integrates four. 

You can connect the Ethernet cable to the laptop or desktop via a LAN port. Different types of Ethernet cables exist today, and each of them is specialized for different work.

No matter what medium you use to connect to the web, wired or wireless, security is a must. Before you start browsing the internet, ensure that firewall protection is on, regardless of the operating system you use. On macOS, sign in with apple on website to ensure added security and authenticate with websites and apps while online. 

Types of Ethernet Cables

Types of Ethernet Cables

Ethernet cables are labeled with ‘Cat’ meaning category and a number marked after Cat. The bigger that number would be, the more will be the bandwidth of that wire. Bandwidth basically defines the number of cycles completed in a second. 

This means the higher the bandwidth, the more high-speed data transfer rate that wire can provide. Now let’s have a look at different types of Ethernet wires that you can use today for faster data transmission.

1. Cat5: These are 5th generation cables that provide a data rate of up to 100 Mbps. It is used for standard 10baseT and 100baseT networks that can send data at a distance of up to 100 meters. Due to advancements in technology and the availability of better options, these wires aren’t used much now.

2. Cat6: These are 6th generation twisted pair cables and are much more advanced than the Cat 5 Ethernet wires. Cat6 cables can provide you with better internet access even at the height of 700 meters. With improved shielding and higher bandwidth, the Category 6 Ethernet cables can provide a data rate of up to 1000 Mbps.

3. Cat7: These are 7th generation cables, more advanced, but not of much use for home users. Cat7 is not an IEEE standard but a proprietary standard cable designed by a group of companies. Instead of RJ45, the Category 7 Ethernet cables use GG45 connectors that give the data transfer rate of up to 40 GB over 50 meters and provide 100 gigabits per second speed up to 15 meters.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which Ethernet category is best for the home network?

Even if you have a high-speed internet connection, you can only claim it via an appropriate category Ethernet cable. If your home network supports Gigabit Ethernet cable, Category 5 or Category 6 are the most preferred options for getting high-speed internet. It would be much more economical and easier to install. If you are an avid gamer, opt for Cat6 or Cat5e for an uninterrupted gaming experience.

2. How to connect Ethernet wires with the laptop?

The Ethernet port on your laptop allows connecting the Ethernet cable. Once you plug the cable in, the operating system will download drivers and will configure it automatically. If you wish, you can create a Homegroup to share libraries and devices with the network.

3. How to connect Ethernet if there is no Ethernet port in your laptop?

You could still be able to connect an ethernet cable with a computer or laptop having no ethernet port in it. In that case, the laptop’s USB port A or port C will be used to connect the cable via a Gigabit Ethernet Adapter. Once you have the adapter, connect it to the USB port and then plug Cat6 or Cat5 Ethernet cable into it to get started.

4. How to fix Ethernet issues?

How to fix Ethernet issues?

The Ethernet cables are not immune to technical glitches, and like any other wires, they do fail too. However, several simple tips can allow you to bring them back to functional mode.

First of all, make sure that the cable is properly connected to the laptop’s port and the router. Run the Network Troubleshooter tool to find and fix the network-related issues. Check if the Ethernet drivers aren’t corrupt or missing. Update the drivers if required. You can also use Network Reset Tool to revert all networking elements to their default settings.

Alternatively, check Power Management issues to identify if they are affecting the functionality of the internet connection. If that doesn’t fix the internet connection, make sure to consult your Internet Service Provider as the internet problem may occur at the other end.

5. Is Ethernet faster than WiFi?

A WiFi connection transmits data with a wireless signal, while the Ethernet connection transmits it over the cable. While the WiFi connection can provide mobility to the users to stay connected to the network, Ethernet connections are termed to be faster than WiFi.