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Cat6 Max Speed

by Quan Thach on May 04, 2020
cat6 max speed

If you're in the market for some ethernet cables chances are you've come across Cat6 cable. Cat6 cable is just one of the many ethernet cable categories in the market today. It's becoming very popular in residential installations and business for it performance capabilities. Depending on your network requirements Cat6 cable can be a very good choice so lets dive into what is the Cat6 max speed.

What is the Cat6 Max Speed Capabilities?

According to TIA standards the maximum speed you can expect is 1Gb and 250MHz. This is the specification of Cat6 that was created to give an overview of the performance you can expect out of each cable rated as Cat6. These standards are set in place to give manufactures, customers and businesses clear expectations on what should be the capabilities of certain cable types. This group of industry experts routinely get together to set up new standards or define new aspects to the current ones.

Cat6 cable according to TIA 568.2-D has a maximum speed requirement of 1Gb and 250Mhz up to 328 feet (100 meters). This length of cable is composed of 90 meters of cable backbone and 10 meters of patch cables. At this maximum recommended distance you can expect to achieve the 1000Base-T gigabit performance. With the requirements for more speed you'll see many cables labelled with higher frequency performance. Some of the Cat6 cables we carry are labelled as 550MHz and 600Mhz. This means that these cables are tested to these numbers which are above industry standards. This does not guarantee a certain performance but shows that these cables can achieve up to this frequency.

As technology has advanced so has the need to push more speed out of category cables. With the introduction of 10GBase-T this gave the ability to use Cat6 cables for it up to 180 feet. With this feature of Cat6 cables this technically gives you a max speed of 10Gb. However this should be noted that thought it can achieve up to 10Gb it's not guaranteed and requires everything to be ideal and correct in setup. If you are planning your network for 10Gb then it's best to use a cable specified for that which is Cat6A.

The Addition of More Standards

With the addition of more standards from the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) came even more capabilities out for Cat6 cable. IEEE standard 802.3bz defined that Cat6 cable can perform at 2.5GBase-T and 5GBase-T up to 328 feet (100 meters).It can do this by having the layer of transmission be based on  10GBase-T but perform at a lower signal rate. By lowering the signal rate of the transmission you give yourself more option of what cables can perform to this. One of those cables being Cat6. We'll also throw in again that this is no guarantee to get these speeds.It's nice to know however that your Cat6 cable can go above its spec in certain scenarios.

Transmission Requirements

Not only are their speed requirements for Cat6 cable but there is also transmission requirements that need to be met. To briefly cover these some of the transmissions that are required for Cat6 is Return Loss, Insertion Loss, NEXT Loss, PSNEXT Loss, ACRF and PSACRF. You can see in your cables specification the performance for these different parameters.

Using Cat6 Cable

With Cat6 cables max speed of 10Gb at 180 feet or gigabit speeds up to 328 feet this makes it a great choice for residential installations. Cat6 speed gives you enough power to run a gigabit network and some future proofing benefits should 10Gb be a need or want for your network. It also makes this a great choice for business as well. Cat6 improves over Cat5e by giving you better performance against near end cross talk.

Final Thoughts

Anyone looking to upgrade or refresh their network will want to take a look at Cat6 cables. 

Cat6 cable speed has a standardized maximum performance of 250 MHz and 1Gb up to 328 feet (100 meters).

With the inclusion of newer technology came the ability to perform 2.5GBase-T and 5GBase-T with IEEE 802.3bz.

Running 10GBase-T on Cat6 cable is also possible up to 180 feet (55 meters).

Hope you found this article on Cat6 max speed helpful. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

Happy Cabling !


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