What Are the Best Kind of Ethernet Cables I Should Buy for My Business?

October 18th, 2022 by Alex Robles

Six ethernet cabled with fiber optics

There are many flavors to choose from when it comes to Ethernet Cables, so choosing the correct type is paramount to your networks' success. Whether you're choosing cabling for your own office or it's for a client, then you'll need to choose wisely if you want the best results. Selecting the correct Ethernet Cable is critical - not only because of financial costs but for the reliability of your network & building safety as well. This isn't a task that one should tread lightly. If you don't plan your cabling solution carefully, then you could make some costly and time-consuming mistakes in the long term. In this blog, we are going to lay out all options for you so that you can make the best possible choice of inside wiring either for your own business suite, home office, or for one of your clients.

How Do I Know What Kind of Cable Is Best for the Job?

We've all heard these sayings before, "You get what you pay for," or "Everything is NOT created equal." In both cases, these also apply to all your options when it comes to Ethernet Cabling. Not all Ethernet Cabling is created equal, so make sure that you pay for cabling through a reputable distributor. You can find ethernet cabling almost everywhere online these days, and even though you may think you're getting a great price break, you might be setting yourself up for disaster. The outer protection of the cable might be of sub-par quality, or the internal twisted strands of wire can be manufactured poorly.

Are you cabling a small home office? Or will it be for sprawling office space? For a small office in your home with 2 small cable runs under 10 feet, then this may not be that big of an issue. On the other hand, when you have multiple runs all over 50 ft in your business park office space, then it's very important not to cheap out on the cost. When buying online, make sure that you read the customer reviews and compare costs to find any red flags.

These Are 4 Things to Look for When Choosing the Correct Cable

  1. Find the UL Markings on the outer jacket of the cable - UL, also known as Underwriters Laboratory, is a global/independent Safety Science Company. Their job is to test, certify, and validate various products for multiple industries. Their focus is to guarantee safety to the public before products can be sold on the open market. Therefore, to ensure that your cable has been certified by this non-profit organization, then look out for the UL badge either on the jacket of the wire or on the box that the wire gets shipped in.
  2. Verify if the cable is Plenum-Rated - When it comes to Ethernet Cables, Plenum-Rated cables mean that the protective covering is manufactured with a low-flame and low-smoke insulation. This rating is required in any air handling areas in the building. The fire-rated cable reduces the risk of catching fire, but if somehow the building does have a fire and the wire gets burned, then the plenum-rated cable won't release toxic fumes in an area where there are a lot of employees.
  3. Make sure the twisted cable inside is pure copper wire and not copper-clad aluminum - Some manufacturers reduce costs by producing cabling using dipped aluminum wires instead of pure copper wires. Sure, this manufacturing process can cut corners, but there is a huge drop in efficiency. When compared to pure copper, you can lose up to 30 to 40 percent of the signal over these types of wires, so make sure that the cost-savings wire is pure copper and not copper-clad aluminum.
  4. To shield or not to shield - Because ethernet wires are twisted, extra shielding can help better protect cables. Cables with Extra shielding are more suitable for outdoor cable runs rather than inside-wiring cable runs. Outdoor cable runs have way more interference, so it's strongly recommended to have extra shielding for those types of cable runs.

As you can see, there are many variables when it comes to ethernet cabling, and I hope this blog helped to clear up most of your questions. If you're still not sure how to move forward with your cabling needs, then let the pros help you with that. Whether it's for your business or your home office, ATEL Communications can get the job done right the first time. Call us today at 858-646-4600 for a free quote.

Posted in: IT Solutions