Want Faster Internet? Choose the Right Cable

WE have been providing tips, tricks and tweaks to make broadband internet browsing and download speed faster since 2007. Little did we know that choosing the right LAN cable will have a positive impact on connection speed.

There are lots of UTP (Unshielded Twisted Pair) cables available in stores. But do you know that there are various types of cable for Ethernet wiring to choose from? The categories are Cat3, Cat4, Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat7.

Ethernet Cables Comparison
Based on the table seen on Unlimited Cables USA, the most commonly used cables are Cat5 and Cat5e, and the emerging kind is Cat6. For comparison, you can read the wikis about Cat5 and Cat5e cables here and Cat6 cable here.

A portion of Unlimited Cable's comparison article reads: "If you're cabling a mission critical system or you want your network to be future proof, go for the CAT6 cables (and patch panels and connectors), but for the average home or small office network CAT5 or CAT5e will be just fine."

To find out how these cables perform, we conducted speed tests using the Cat5e and Cat6 cables each connected to a Windows XP powered computer with broadband speed of 1000 kbps. The tests were perfomed at different times within 1 day to observe how the speeds vary between intervals.

Time: 6:28 A.M

Cat5e

Cat5e
Cat6

Cat6
10:46 A.M.

Cat5e

Cat5e
Cat6

Cat6
12:44 P.M.

Cat5e

Cat5e
Cat6

Cat6
4:02 P.M.

Cat5e

Cat5e
Cat6

Cat6
8:26 P.M.

Cat5e

Cat5e
Cat6

Cat6In these tests, the Cat5e cable performed better than Cat6. The gap isn't wide but for users with limited internet speed, every byte counts.