Cat6 Ethernet Cable Facts

by Jeff Atkins on May 05, 2020
cat6 cable facts

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Cat6 ethernet cables are one of the most popular cables in the market today. They have a wide range of capabilities and different uses. Whether using cable for your home network or business Cat6 cables can give your applications just what they need for a powerful setup. In this blog post we answer common questions for Cat6 cables. 

What Is The Maximum Supported Throughput Of A Cat6 Cable?

The maximum supported throughput of a Cat6 ethernet cable is 10Gbps. It can achieve this speed up to 180 feet (55 meters). Cat6 however is specified by TIA standards for 1Gb and 250 MHz up to 328 feet. Getting higher speeds on Cat6 cables are not guaranteed but show you that the cable is capable of achieving these faster speeds at shorter distances. Not only can Cat6 cable get up to 10Gb but based on IEEE 802.3bz it can achieve 2.5GBase-T and 5GBase-T up to 328 feet (100 meters).

What Gauge Is Cat6?

Cat6 cables have a gauge size that ranges from larger to smaller. You can find Cat6 ethernet cables having a gauge size of 23, 24 and 28. They will be listed with (AWG) American Wire Gauge) next to the number. This tells you the gauge size of the conductors in the cable. So if you see a 24AWG cable then this lets you know that the gauge size is 24.

Gauge sizes have an inverse relationship so the smaller the number the larger in size the conductors are and the larger the number the smaller the conductors.For example a 28AWG cable will have smaller conductors than a 24AWG cable.

How Many Wires Are In Cat6 Ethernet Cable?

Cat6 ethernet cables will have 8 copper wires inside them. They have 4 pairs of 2 copper wires surrounded in insulation material. These wires are used to connect to RJ45 modular plugs, keystone jacks and patch panels. Each ethernet standard can require a different amount of the wires inside Cat6 cables.

10GBase-T requires 2 pairs

100Base-TX requires 2 pairs

1000Base-T requires 4 pairs

2.5GBase-T requires 4 pairs

5GBase-T requires 4 pairs

10GBase-T requires 4 pairs

How Far Can You Run Cat6?

The maximum distance you can run Cat6 ethernet cable is 328 feet (100 meters). This is the distance that 1Gb and 250MHz can be run up to according to its standard set by TIA. This doesn't mean that you can run this further but it is absolutely not recommended. At longer distances on Cat6 cables signal strength can start to decrease and factors such as attenuation can happen, Keeping your Cat6 cable run shorter than 328 feet ensures that  gigabit speeds can perform reliably. 

At shorter distances you can expect high speeds. Running Cat6 ethernet cables under 180 feet gives you the opportunity to power 10Gb under ideal conditions. Not guaranteed but the proper equipment and good terminations gives you a great chance


Cat6 cable is great cable for so many different applications. It can be used indoor, outdoor and in plenums. It comes in many different structures as well which make it suitable for almost any type of environment. We hope you found these Cat6 ethernet cable facts helpful! If there is anything you would like us to add please let us know!


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