Ethernet cables are widely used for wired networks, or to carry telephone and video signals. Ethernet cables extend limited distances due to their electrical transmission characteristics. ![Ethernet Cable: Cat5](/assets/image6bda4b340fb2445492aa37e682195a8f.jpeg) ![Ethernet cable](/assets/imageb06c9d851b0a49198ad87e3aea575e92.jpeg) Types of Ethernet Cables ======================== Ethernet cables vary in durability, flexibility, signal capabilities, and manufacturing costs. **Solid UTP Category Ethernet Cables** * Uses solid insulated bare copper conductors. * Used in permanent and semi-permanent installations. * Designed for long distance horizontal and backbone cable runs, [Power over Ethernet (PoE)](/), and HD applications. * Should not be over-flexed, bent, or twisted beyond the cable recommended specifications. * Cost effective. **Standard UTP Category Ethernet Cables** * Uses multiple strands of insulated bare copper conductors. * Used for patch cords / cables connecting workstations (e.g., From wall-plate outlet to patch panel, and from patch panels to individual workstations.) * Designed for short distances. * Higher attenuation than solid category cables. * More flexible than solid conductors. * Costly to manufacture. Ethernet Cable Categories ========================= In addition to Ethernet cable types, Ethernet cables can be categorized based on how old they are, what speeds they support, and how they mitigate signal interference. **Category 5 (Cat5)** * An older type of network cabling. * Supports speeds between 10 Mbps and 100 Mbps. * Capable of 1000 Mbps gigabit with shorter cables. * Not commonly available for purchase, but could be found coupled with older routers, switches, or other networking devices. **Category 5 enhanced (Cat5e)** * An improved variation of Cat5 cabling. * Improved speed and reliability. * Supports 1000 Mbps gigabit speeds. * Reduces Crosstalk interference between wires inside the cable. **Category 6 (Cat6)** * An improved variation of Cat5e cabling. * Reduced interference. * Supports up to 10-Gigabit speeds. * Not commonly used on home applications.