Cat6 cable is still a common ethernet cable and is available in three varieties: Cat6 Plenum Cable, Cat6 Riser Cable, and Cat6 PVC Cable. The requirements of the three models vary slightly, but their applications are drastically different. Cat6 Plenum cable, for example, can be used in both plenum and riser spaces. The Cat6 Riser Cable, on the other hand, cannot be used in this manner. Why is this so? We will respond to this question later.
Cat6 cable has dominated the networking market since its introduction and has remained popular to this day. EIA (Electronic Industries Association) and TIA (Telecom Industry Association) have standardised Cat6 cable (Telecommunications Industry Association). It is, as the name implies, the sixth edition of ethernet cables.
Cat6 Cable: How Does It Work?
Cat6 can transmit data at a rate of 1 Gbps (Gigabits per second) over a distance of 330 feet. When the distance is reduced to 165 feet, it is capable of supporting a data transfer rate of 10 Gbps.
Its three models support a bandwidth frequency range of 550MHz to 750MHz. The Cat6 family includes four pairs of twisted wires and eight copper connectors; you can use all four pairs to achieve superior signal efficiency. The Cat6 family, like its predecessors, employs the RJ-45 standard connector.
Cat6 cables can be either UTP or STP.
UTP is an abbreviation for Unshielded Twisted Cable. To defend against EMI, four color-coded wires are twisted around each other in this cable (electromagnetic interferences). STP is an abbreviation for shielded twisted pair. This form of cable has an additional layer of EMI security. This additional protection is provided by a foil shield. UTP is typically used in homes or enterprises, while FTP is typically used in industries.
Let us now look at the requirements of each of its three forms.
Plenum Cat6 Cable
Cat6 plenum cable is designed specifically for use in plenum spaces. The plenum is the space in buildings where heating and air conditioning systems are mounted. This area houses networking cables, such as ethernet cables. Cat6 Plenum Cable has “Communication Multipurpose Cable, Plenum” (CMP) jackets for added security. These cable jackets have a fire-retardant coating that prevents fire progression and are suitable for use in both commercial and residential settings.
Furthermore, the Cat6 Plenum Cable complies with one of the most strict Underwriter Laboratories (UL) protection standards, UL910. Because of these requirements, the Cat6 plenum is often used as a substitute for the Cat6 riser; it cannot be turned around. It has a maximum bandwidth of 550MHz and data transfer speeds of 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps over distances of 100 and 50 metres, respectively. This bulk Cat6 cable can be used for local area network applications due to its superior connectivity speed.
Plenum cables are made of high-quality PVC jacket material that has excellent compound safe capacities and electrical properties. Plenum cables of the Cat6 family can operate smoothly in temperatures ranging from -25 to 125 degrees Celsius. Cat6 plenum is also UV immune.
Cat6 Adapter Cable
Cat6 Riser Cable, like plenum cables, complies with a variety of security standards. This form of cable is also UL certified, which means that Cat6 Riser Cable is made entirely of strong copper.
The Cat6 riser has a UL security certification of UL1666, which is more linear than the Cat6 plenum. The Cat6 riser’s CMR jacket material is also of decent quality, but not as fine as that of plenum cables. As a result, riser cables cannot be used as a substitute for plenum cables.
Cat6 risers have a maximum bandwidth of 550MHz and data transfer speeds of 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps over distances of up to 100 metres and 50 metres, respectively. This cable is made of 23 AWG wire.
PVC Cat6 cable
Cat6 PVC cable is the third version in the Cat6 band. This model is ideal for outdoor installations. Cat6 PVC cable has a PVC (polyvinyl chloride) jacket. 4 pairs of twisted wires and 8 copper connectors, much like the other two versions. This bulk Cat6 cable version also supports a bandwidth of 550MHz and data transfer speeds of 1 Gbps and 10 Gbps over distances of up to 100 metres and 50 metres, respectively. PVC cables are 23 AWG wires as well.
This cable also provides excellent EMI, near-end crosstalk, and alien crosstalk security. Cat6 PVC Cable, like riser cables, cannot be used as a substitute for plenum cable because its jacket content is flammable.