Last updated: August 7, 2021

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With the right Lan cable, network performance at home and in the office can be massively increased. If you use the wrong cable, it can also happen that faults occur and, in the worst case, cross-over cables or buried cables have to be laid again.

Here we present our Lan cable test 2022. We want to help you find the right cables for your network. We have listed and compared the different Lan cables with their bandwidths. We would like to support you in your purchase decision.




Summary

  • Well-shielded LAN cables enable high transmission rates and an interference-free connection.
  • There are now very flexible network cables with high bandwidth and good shielding.
  • High-end cables enable high-quality transmission in the multimedia sector.

The Best Lan Cable: Our Picksh

Lan cable: buying and evaluation criteria

Next, we will show and explain the most important criteria that are relevant for buying a cable. This way, you can choose the right one from the huge range of Lan cables.

In the next sections we will show you what you should look out for.

Size

Lan cables are available in various lengths. However, not every cable length is recommended, as the length plays an important role for a good transmission rate.

From a cable length of 100 m, the attenuation is an important aspect when choosing the right length.

For example, CAT 5 and CAT 6 network cables should not exceed 100 m in length. Cables without shielding should be a maximum of 10 m, otherwise the quality of the transmission suffers.

The attenuation should be chosen as low as possible so that the maximum cable length can be used. The transmission quality and speed are then at their highest.

Furthermore, the cross-section of the cable is of paramount importance. Round cables are stable, while flat ones are very unstable because they cannot shield well. Flat cables are nevertheless often laid where there is no space.

Bandwidth

The higher the selected frequency, the more data material is transmitted simultaneously.

Cat 5 with 100 MHz is used in home networks as well as in offices. However, the usual home devices are only designed to receive 1 gigabit per second as standard.

Cat 6 with 250 MHz is used in the transmission of data, multimedia, ATM and voice. CAT 6a can already achieve 10 Gigabit Ethernet with 500 MHz.

Cat 7 with 600 MHz is used in video surveillance systems. Cat 8 with 1600 MHz is used more in data centres.

Shielding

Proper shielding is also an essential factor in ensuring that satisfactory data transmission arrives at the end. The unshielded cables are marked with a U or UTP and should be laid with the maximum length of 10 m with distance to other cable.

Lan cables without shielding should not be laid close to power cables, as this may cause interference.

They have a sheathing made of plastic. It is more flexible and easy to lay cable.

The letters S or UTP or FTP mean light shielding. Here the shielding is done with copper or aluminium. However, the cable is stiffer and poorly bendable. This shielding is a good alternative to a non-insulated cable.

In addition, the double sheathing offers twice the protection. These cables are called S/STP or S/FTP. Here, the individual cores are double-sheathed with copper or aluminium and therefore offer the best protection.

Flexibility

AWG stands for "American wire gauge" and describes the thickness of a wire in the network cable. The smaller the value, the larger the inner core in the cable. A UTP cable, for example, has a value of AWG 23 or 24.

They are considered particularly flexible, unfortunately with very poor shielding. Flexible is called "stranded" and rigid is called "solid". You can use these values and designations as a guide.

Sometimes it helps to take the cable in your hand and bend it. With a rigid cable, you should check whether the bendable radius is sufficient. These are also used for the installation.

Lan cable: Frequently asked questions and answers

In the next section we will answer the most important questions about Lan cables. We have compiled the important questions for you below. We will answer them briefly.

For whom is a Lan cable suitable?

For those who want a stable network, a LAN cable is best suited. In contrast to WLAN, the Lan cable is more secure, more stable and faster. In addition, the performance is better than that of the WLAN.

If the WLAN system is configured correctly, it is also more secure. On the other hand, tapping data via a Lan cable is impossible than from radio signals. The LAN cable would have to be "tapped".

In terms of speed, a LAN cable can transmit up to 10 gigabits per second of data.

The WLAN, on the other hand, can only manage a maximum of 2.5 gigabits per second.

Radio signals can be disturbed by other signals that do not occur with the LAN cable. For this reason, using the LAN cable is the better choice.

What types of Lan cable are there?

Lan cables are classified into "CAT" categories. They are divided into classes 1 to 8 and standardised. The higher the category, the more powerful the network cable. Cat 5, Cat 6, Cat 7 and Cat 8 are used for setting up a spatial network.

CAT 5 is the classic. Here, data transmission already takes place at a frequency of 100 MHz. This means that 1 Gitabit per second can be transmitted. The special advantage is: no data loss and the data transmission can take place over several distances.

While Cat 6 has a higher frequency of 250 MHz, it can also transmit 1 Gitabit per second of data. However, the maximum distance is limited to 100 m. Since the quality of data transmission decreases with longer distances, the cable should be well insulated.

lan-kabel-test

Powerful Lan cables enable high transmission rates and thus fast and smooth Internet. (Image source: Stephen Phillips /unsplash)

Cat 7 reaches 10 gigabits per second with a frequency of up to 600 MHz. CAT 8 achieves 40 gigabit Ethernet with an operating frequency of 1600 to 2000 MHz. To reduce interference, it is important to insulate the cable well and to keep it at the right distance from other cables.

Category Speed Frequency in megahertz
CAT 5 1 Gitabit per second 100
CAT 6 1 Gitabit per second 250
CAT 7 10 Gitabit per second 600
CAT 8 40 Gitabit per second 1600 - 2000

What does a Lan cable cost?

The different market prices have a wide price range. The prices for Lan cables vary between 0.30 and 30.00 euros per metre. The decisive factor is whether the cable is a buried cable, cross-over cable or patch cable.

You can get a high-quality Lan cable with a length of 10 m for 10.00 euros. Installation cables, on the other hand, are more likely to be offered in 100 or 50 m lengths. There are also high-end streaming cables for 30.00 euros per metre.

Type Price per metre
Lan cable approx. 0.30 to 30.00
CAT 5 approx. 0.29 - 0.33
CAT 6 approx. 0.90 - 1.50
CAT 7 approx. 0.70 - 8.00
CAT8 approx. 0.80 - 10.00

What alternatives are there to Lan cable?

Alternatively, you can always first check whether the existing connection can be improved. If it can, you can improve the connection by using a higher-quality cable. Otherwise, we have listed three alternatives below.

Alternative Description
W-LAN Wireless Local Area Network or also called Wireless Lan or WLAN. A wireless local area network is used to establish a connection from the router to the computer.
DLAN With direct-Lan, the connection is routed via the power cable. This method is suitable for saving on cable material.
Surfstick The surfstick is a practical mobile solution. As a radio modem, it establishes a connection to the Internet. The particular advantage is that it can be used quickly almost anywhere, but the transmission rates are low.

What is a Lan cable?

Lan or Local Area Network is a network that requires a specific cable to establish a local network. Lan cable is also called network cable, patch cable, computer cable, internet cable or twisted pair cable.

lan-kabel-test

With the right Lan cable, the network performance at home and in the office can be massively increased. (Image source: Markus Spiske / unsplash)

This cable is used to connect various devices, for example: router, printer and PC. The cable contains an RJ45 plug. It has a latching lug and as soon as it is pressed into the socket, it locks into place. The bend protection is located between the plug and the cable. This protects the cable at the sensitive point between the cable and the head.

However, if you hardly ever move the cable, you can leave out the kink protector. The following types are available: Patch cable, cross-over cable and installation cable.

The patch cable is the classic and most common type of cable. It is used to connect computers, switches and routers to form a basic network. The version is available with copper cable as well as with glass fibre.

The cross-over cable is used to connect several PCs directly, without a switch or router. The lay-over cable is used when a widespread network infrastructure is being set up.

What do I have to consider with Lan cables?

It pays to think before you buy. Because if you take the wrong network cable, you may already have to replace the cable because of interference factors. That would be very annoying. Furthermore, it could be that certain cables or bandwidths are required due to new equipment purchases.

There may be electromagnetic fields in the vicinity or the cable routing may run close to your electricity box. It is therefore advisable to use well-shielded cables.

lan-kabel-test

Round Lan cables are more stable than flat ones. (Image source:Allan Gavin / Unsplash)

If the cable is moved frequently, kink protection is a good idea. It is also important to know what type of cable should be used. The types are briefly described in the last chapter.

In addition, it is decisive how many gigabits per second are to be transmitted. Therefore, the question of the cable category arises. These have been listed in the table. Then you should look up which plugs are needed.

How do I lay a Lan cable?

Preparation: First make a plan of where the cables are best laid. Short distances are recommended. Now choose which cables are suitable for you according to the above criteria.

If long distances of up to 100 m are involved, you can use a CAT 5 network cable. If the route is occupied by electromagnetic fields, you should then pay attention to good shielding.

If high speeds and trouble-free networking are important to you, you can also choose a CAT 6 or CAT 7 cable. Depending on how many gigabits your network needs.

Implementation: You should place your router in a central location in the house. First check in all rooms whether the connection is working. The routes can already be covered with cable ducts or pipes.

As soon as you have connected the Lan cables and you get a positive signal, the channels can be closed.

Conclusion

Installing a network with a LAN cable has clear advantages over WLAN. Stability, security and speed are important criteria for enabling streaming services and downloads, for example.

Those who place high demands on their network should consider some aspects when buying, but also look to the future. Important purchase criteria are bandwidth, size, shielding and flexibility. We hope this has given you a good overview.

Picture: 123rf.com/ 13558007

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