With the ever advancing cable technologies today you are probably asking yourself when should I use cat6a cable?
Let’s first start with what is cat6a? Category 6 (augmented) is the advanced version of regular cat6. Its speed travels along greater lengths of
10gbps over 100 meters or 328 feet of bulk cable. The big difference comes in terms of its frequency. Regular cat6 cable has a frequency of up to 250mhz and cat6a has frequencies of up to 500 mhz. The increase in frequencies will give you greater amounts of data transmission capabilities.
The length is restricted in cat6 if you are looking to get 10GB of required performance. The maximum length you should run cat6 at is 100 meters where you want to get 1GB if yo need 10GB the maximum length should be 55m. Slower speeds occur at longer distances so this is where cat6a cable comes in to play. If you want to achieve 10 gigabits of data transmission over longer distances cat 6a cable is your choice. It can do 10GB over 100 meters. This will give you more consistency in your run on higher speed and frequency applications. You'll see from time to time cat6 cables marked in eye catching areas as 10GB, yes they can do 10GB over 55m, but proper conditions have to be ensured to achieve this such as where the cable is, correct terminations and cable quality. To be safe it is always a smarter choice to go with cat6a cable when doing longer runs and want 10GB.
When deciding on what cable to choose costs are another factor that come in to play. Cat6a is a little more expensive than cat6 cable and if you're coming from cat5e cable then it is alot more expensive.
Cat6a cables comes in many different types or ratings as well. You might see solid, UTP, STP, Riser, Plenum and its gauge could be 23.
So choosing the right cable first depends on what category you needs. You might want cat6 or if you are looking for grater performance and greater frequencies, then go with cat6a.
Where you are putting the cable is another question to ask yourself. There are different ratings of the cable and they each have specific locations that are required. For areas inside ceilings or air duct areas you are going to want to go with Plenum. For installation in the walls you want to use riser cable.
Plenum cable has a higher fire retardant ratings and it is actually the law to install these in plenum rated areas.
Choosing the right cable for you can come down to many different factors but we hope this can help assist in your decision making.
If you have any further questions regarding cat6a or any of our other cables please feel free to contact us today.