CAT7 VS CAT8: Which is Better for You?
If you are considering installing Ethernet cables around your home, office, or other establishments and have no idea where to begin, look no further. Many cable types are currently available in the market today, and it is vital to consider quality, performance, and scalability.
Acquiring the right cabling system suitable for your needs can be an overwhelming task. You need to have a clear understanding of the prominent features and specifications that can address your demands. From CAT5, CAT6, CAT7, to CAT8, this article focuses on two of the latest models currently available. We will discuss the significant differences between the two to help you make an informed decision moving forward.
What is CAT7 Ethernet Cable?
The Category 7 (CAT7) cable is among the line of high-end Ethernet cables that aim to complement faster data transmissions. The initial introduction of the CAT7 on the market was to deliver the core infrastructure of wired Gigabit Ethernet setups. CAT7 is composed of four individually shielded twisted pairs within an overall braided shield. It also achieves increased connectivity speed with data transfer rates reaching up to 10 Gbps. This cable can integrate directly linked servers, switches, and computer networks.
Over the past years, many commercial and industrial sectors are looking for options that increase internet connectivity and data transmission rates. It is acceptable to have such high expectations considering the rapid advancements of cutting-edge technology.
The closer we move towards the era governed by the Internet of Things (IoT), the growing number of technologies can transmit user data almost immediately. Advanced cabling systems are required to keep up with such changes in the tech landscape. These changes are where CAT7 comes into the picture to supplement high-speed internet on any infrastructure. It offers a coherent Ethernet delivery infrastructure, signifying our progression towards optimizing speed connection and digitalization.
Why Speed and Efficiency Make CAT7 Worth Considering?
Category 7 Ethernet cabling systems offer consistent support for up to 10 Gbps Ethernet. Recent findings from experts reveal that CAT7 can even go beyond that. However, precise installation is required to be able to achieve this kind of speed. Households and offices can experience no issue achieving the indicated speeds so long as the cabling system supports the standard frequencies. The bandwidth (frequency) for CAT7 can reach around 600 MHz covering 100 m of copper wire.
In comparison to previous generations of Ethernet cables, the 7th revision is six times better than CAT5e (100 MHz) in terms of performance. Additionally, it performs far better than the CAT6 Ethernet cables which have a bandwidth of 250 MHz. It can also support long-distance connections with a maximum cable length of 100 meters ( 328 feet).
What is CAT8 Ethernet Cable?
The latest generation of Ethernet cables available in the market is Category 8 (CAT8). Leveraged with the newest technology, you can already get your hands-on improved bandwidth and data transmission speed. Since it is the fastest Ethernet cable yet, you can expect 25 Gbps to 40 Gbps data transfer rates depending on the setup. The frequencies are tremendously improved running at a whopping 2000 Mhz through a single Ethernet line.
This advancement indicates the Ethernet cabling systems are catching up to the modern fiber and wireless connections. It can be just the one you need to future-proof the networks in your office, home, or other establishments. Although it is essentially more costly than previous versions, this is perfect for running cables through the walls during a build or remodeling. After all, you get the value of what you pay for with advanced features and the latest materials. CAT8 is backward compatible with older versions, so you can never encounter any issue with the connection on all of your devices. Therefore, CAT8 is ideal for those looking for an affordable option than readily available fiber solutions everywhere offering similar performance.
Category 8 Ethernet cables address connection for the switch-to-switch communications in data centers and server rooms. These are the infrastructures where the 25GBase‑T and 40GBase‑T are augmented. The cables are composed of RJ45 ends allowing users to integrate with standard network accessories and perform network upgrades seamlessly. This means that you don’t need to overhaul your existing setup to upgrade to 25G or 40G with a smooth connection to devices such as routers and switches. Similar to Category 7 cables, CAT8 is designed with shielded foiled twisted pairs to protect every pair of wires within the cable. It also helps minimize the near-end crosstalk (NEXT) to prevent electromagnetic interference within crowded network installations.
Are Category 8 Ethernet Cables Suitable for Households?
Although this cabling system can accommodate high-speed data transmissions within data centers, no one is stopping you from future-proofing your home network. However, it is essential to note that these cables can be more rigid than usual, making it more complicated to install and terminate.
CAT8 Supports Power Over Ethernet Technology
Category 8 cables implement Power over Ethernet (PoE) technology to promote robust performance, increased speed, and scalability. The latest version’s primary goal is to draw sufficient power and data while reducing the need for more power cords. Not only can it be the sustainable solution you need but it also conserves space in rooms with crowded servers.
Side-by-side Comparison between CAT7 and CAT8
Cat 7 and Cat 8 cables are the most noteworthy models offering impressive specifications. Here is a direct comparison with the two cabling systems to help you make an informed decision:
|Cable Type||Maximum Speed||Bandwidth||Maximum Cable Length|
|Category 7 cable||10 Gbps||600 Mhz||100 meters|
|Category 8 cable||40 Gbps||2000 Mhz||30 meters|
Which one should you choose?
Category 7 Ethernet cable is the right choice if you are looking into fulfilling a Gigabit Ethernet in any infrastructure. Not only does it support high-speed data transmission, but it is also backward compatible. This compatibility means that you can use it with previous standards like CAT5e, CAT6, and CAT6A.
In contrast, Category 8 Ethernet cable has a maximum speed of 40 Gbps and frequency of 2000MHz. It is the fastest Ethernet cable yet, matching the performance of fiber and wireless connectivity. This is a perfect choice if you are looking for long-term benefits and willing to pay the price for its quality.