Thursday, June 1, 2023

Which Ethernet Cable to Buy for DIY Projects?

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There is a reason ethernet cables 1000ft are produced in a myriad of variants. You have got shielded cable, unshielded cable, solid/stranded bulk ethernet cable, and many more. And the reason is that every different installation needs a specific cable that best suits the needs of the network. If you are wondering which Ethernet cable would be best to buy for DIY projects, read this article. It explores which ethernet cable to buy for DIY projects and we will also share important tips to up the ante of your cabling skills. Let’s dive right into it.

Ethernet Cables: An Introduction

Ethernet cables, as mentioned, are produced in a large variety of variants. The cables are different from one another based on their jacket, conductor material, conductor type, shielded/unshielded, etc. These specifications matter because they will ultimately define the type of project where you can use the cable. More on types of projects later.

Now, it is pertinent to mention the fundamental types of Ethernet cables and explain the types of projects for which they will be used.

Let’s start with STP cables. STP stands for shielded twisted pair cables. These cables have a protective layer of metal foil or a braided wire mesh around their conductors. The purpose of this protection in a shielded cable is to keep the EMI and other interferences at bay. It ensures better internet connectivity and higher signal integrity.

Then comes the unshielded cables. These cables do not have a metal foil or braided wire mesh around the cable conductors to keep interference out of the signal transmission.

Also known as UTP, unshielded cables are easy to install and more affordable as compared to STP ones.

Define Your DIY Project

DIY projects vary from person to person. If you are a seasoned network installer, your DIY projects could be larger and more complex than three amateur installers’. So you will have to pay heed to the scale and complexity of the project before you buy ethernet cables.

For instance, if you want to run a single ethernet cable from your router to your PC, you don’t have to go through the extra hassles. You can simply use an appropriate ethernet cable 1000ft directly from your pc to your router.

It is only when the DIY projects are so complex that different ethernet cables will be needed for use in different environments. The point is that depending on the scale of your DIY ethernet network project, you may need to use more than one cable.

Best Ethernet Cable for DIY Projects

Cat6 shielded cable with the plenum jacket is the only cable that can be used for any DIY LAN project. Because it is a bare copper cable with a plenum jacket and shielding, it can cater to a wide range of networking requirements.

It has a data transfer speed of up to 1 GBit/s over 100 meters with a 550MHz bandwidth. The cable conductors are made from 23 AWG bare copper which is twisted into four pairs. Tightly twisted pairs keep the EMI and internal cost bare minimum if any.

The bare copper Cat6 plenum cable can support all high-speed ethernet applications. From gigabit and 10-gigabit ethernet to power over ethernet applications.

Perhaps the most important factor that qualifies this cable for DIY projects is its versatility. You can use it indoors as well as outdoors. Moreover, you can even make ethernet patch cables out of it.

Pros and Cons of Cat6 Plenum Cable

Although the Cat6 plenum shielded cable is the most ideal option for do-it-yourself projects for hobbyists, it comes with its cons.

Let’s first discuss the benefits you get from using this cable for your pet projects.

Durability: Needless to say, the shielded Cat6 cable is highly resistant to extreme environmental conditions. Its plenum jacket protects it from hot, cold, and humid conditions.

Everlasting: This cable simply lasts for extended periods without showing the slightest signs of wearing out. The cable should last for at least 10 years and you can even get a warranty on this cable if you find the right vendor.

High-Performance: Unmatched quality of signals and the high-speed data transfer rate are the premium features of this cable. Durability and long-lasting features are important but a high-performing ethernet cable for DIY projects is more important.

The only disadvantage this cable has to offer, unfortunately, is the fact that it can be slightly more costly than its unshielded and riser-rated counterparts. The Cat6 plenum cables shielding and other raw materials are more costly and hence, the cable also costs more than other cables in the same category.

Bottom Line

All in all, the Cat6 plenum shielded is the top ethernet cable you can buy for your DIY projects – big or small. It caters to all kinds of requirements and is easy to install. Besides being slightly more costly than its counterparts, the cable has no downsides. And that is why it is the best-selling ethernet cable 1000ft.


Which ethernet cable is best for working from home?

Cat6 ethernet cable is well-suited to establish a LAN network. If you work from home, the Cat6 ethernet cable will provide more than enough features to support all applications you need.

Which ethernet cable should I use?

It depends on the type of use you are referring to. But generally, a shielded cable with a plenum jacket would be efficient and safe.

Should I run Cat5e or Cat6 shielded cable in my home?

Either. Both are immaculate cables, the Cat6 being slightly higher performing as compared to the Cat5e.

Are Cat8 cables worth it for home networks?

No. Cat8 cables are for data centers and home networks a Cat5e or Cat6 is much better.

What is better, Cat6 or Cat7?

Both are similar but the Cat7 ethernet cable 1000ft is more resistant to EMI, crosstalk, and external noise.

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