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When you're looking around the best Cat7 ethernet cables for your home or business network its important to understand just what are its capabilities. Choosing which cable is right for you comes down to a couple different factors. For the most part it will be where you are installing the cable and what type of performance do you want? Cat7 is slowly becoming a popular choice with the large amount of patch cables in the market today. In this article we will get in to more detail on just what is Cat7 cable?
Cat7 cable is a category of copper cables. They are used to create ethernet connections in your home or businesses. For more information on ethernet check out our blog on ethernet definition.
Cat7 cables can be connected to just about anything that has an ethernet port on it. Cat7 cables are an international standard ISO/IEC 11801 which is created for cabling in general purpose telecommunication systems. That can be deployed in numerous applications ranging from residential to buildings and factory use.
Cat7 is designed to be an improvement on previous categories by having a max speed of 10Gb and frequencies up to 600MHz. It achieves this by having a tighter twist ratio on the wires and also includes shielding around the individual wires. Shielding helps protect your cables from EMI and also aids in achieving higher frequencies. The structure you will see on Cat7 ethernet cables is S/FTP. This type of structure has a dual shielding design. It has each individual wire wrapped in shielding and an overall layer of shielding.
Here is an example of the structure of Cat7 cable:
Here is an example of a data sheet for Cat7 cable. Even though the maximum frequency set by TIA is up to 600Mhz this Cat7 cable has been tested up to 750MHz.
Cat7 is similar to Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat6A in that it has a maximum distance of 328 feet (100 meters). This distance includes a channel run of 90 meters backbone cable and 10 meters of patch cables on the ends. If you run cable longer than this recommended distance rating then you run the risk of signal quality issues and attenuation at longer lengths. This is why it is always recommend to keep you cable runs 328 feet and less. With all the necessary equipment and proper cable terminations you can run 10Gb up to 328 feet on Cat7.
Now that we have a good understanding of what Cat7 ethernet cable is we can look to what type of connectors to use. Cat7 cables are terminated with 8P8C GG45s or with TERA connectors. These connectors are made for high frequency cables and are compatible with Cat7 cable. However, when working with bulk Cat7 cables since it is an ISO/IEC standard there are no other connectors that support Cat7 specifically. You will have to look to TERA connectors in the US for compatibility. Cat7 patch cables that come pre terminated can be used for plug and play applications.
Looking under the hood of Cat7 ethernet cable you can see that it is fairly similar to Cat6A cables. This is why at Infinity Cable Products we choose not to stock Cat7 cables. We always recommend that if Cat7 cable is what you are looking for to give Cat6A cable a look. They both can achieve 10Gb up to 328 feet and can run at almost the same frequencies. With Cat6A cable you also have the option of using unshielded cable which is great for residential use or if you need shielding that you can use shielded Cat6A. We also recommend on using Cat6A patch cables instead of pre-made Cat7 cables you find. It is very difficult to achieve Cat7 performance and you have to really trust the source.
To offer our customer the right solutions for their cabling needs we have decided to stock Cat7A cables instead of Cat7. Cat7A cable almost doubles the frequency of Cat7 cables at 1000MHz and gives you extra benefits of being double shielded with more braid coverage. We've tested this cable and created connectors for a high performance cable you can use up to 328 feet while giving you higher frequencies and 10Gb.
We hope you found this articles on what is Cat7 ethernet cable helpful. Getting the right cable in the right place is important to any installation and while Cat7 cable might look like a great choice it might be more than you actually need. As always please reach out to use with any questions you have and we'll help you get the right cable.
Happy cabling !