How to Buy the Cat6a Bare Copper Cable Like a Pro
Are you looking to buy the Cat6a pure copper cables for a home or an office network? Before you make any purchase, you must know about these three pure copper Cat6a Ethernet Cables.
Although all augmented Cat6 cables are ideal for home and office networks (kudos on your decision and choice), some of them are particularly excellent choices.
What are these cables and how can you buy them like an expert? These are the questions we are answering in this blog. Join us.
What makes the Cat6a ideal?
Cat6a or the augmented Cat6 cable is the enhanced version of its predecessor, the category 6 ethernet cable. The main factors that make the Cat6a ideal for use in all kinds of networks are its high-performance capabilities, everlasting performance, and affordability.
The cable has a much better resistance against electromagnetic interference which translates directly into better performance. High-performance of the cable is also on account of its tightly twisted conductor pairs and the spline that separates the individual pairs as a result, minimizing the effect of internal crosstalk.
These are some of the features that make the Cat6a Cable ideal for all kinds of use. Other factors could make it not so ideal. For instance its price. Compared to other ethernet cables such as the Cat6, it costs more. Although this means that the cable is better built, the enhanced specifications would be unnecessary for some users. This makes the cable not ideal for them.
Imagine you want a cable for a home network that does not require lightning-speed data transfers and voluminous bandwidth capacity. In such cases the Cat6a specifications are unnecessary and a simple Cat6 cable is used better.
Bare copper conductors
Conductors of the Cat6a cable are made from bare copper. This is the best conductor material out there. It is malleable, ductile, corrosion-resistant, and easy to install. Bare copper is also highly efficient a conductor material.
When integrated into the Cat6a cable, it ensures easy installation and everlasting performance at high speeds.
Power over Ethernet is an important application that can only be accessed using a bare copper ethernet cable. So if you need to use PoE applications, this cable is a must-buy for you.
How to Buy the Cable (Like a Pro!)?
Buying the Cat6a pure copper cable is an easy task. What you need is an understanding of your networking requirements and the specifications required to fulfill those requirements. Well, if you know what you need to run but don’t know which specifications are needed for them, we will enlighten you now!
Shielded vs Unshielded
When buying the Cat6a cable, you need to decide whether you will need the shielded version or the unshielded one.
Buying like a pro means understanding your needs and what each detail of the cable means.
The shielded Cat6a cable is ideal for networks where there are more than three cables that run in parallel to each other. When multiple cables run in parallel, they create a lot of electromagnetic interference which in turn affects the cable performance negatively.
On the contrary, the unshielded cable is needed when the networks are not too crowded. The pro will buy the unshielded or UTP (unshielded twisted pair) cable for networks where only one or two cables are running next to each other.
Solid Copper vs Stranded Copper
A solid copper cable is made from a single piece of metal whereas a stranded cable is made from multiple strands of the same metal twisted together.
Solid copper cables are ideal for long-distance transmissions. Note that they are stiffer than your usual stranded cables which makes the installation bit trickier. And it would be fair to call it a little more difficult than installing the stranded cables.
The pro will only buy the solid cables when they have to install them outdoors and over longer distances. In other cases, such as when installing over short lengths and indoors, the pro will buy the stranded Cat6a cable.
This makes it easier to install the cable and the performance of both types of cables is almost the same. Except, the solid Cat6a has a little bit better signal integrity.
Plenum vs Riser
The cable is produced in two different types of jackets. Namely, plenum and riser. The riser jacket is designed for indoor vertical runs but it can also be used outdoors. Plenum jacket is designed for indoor vertical runs in HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) ducts but it can also be installed in riser and outdoor spaces.
If you need the cable with the best cable jacket, you should get the Cat6a plenum cable. For outdoors, get the Cat6a plenum solid copper, and for indoors get the stranded bare copper Cat6a.
However, the pro will always get exactly what they need. Meaning that although the plenum-rated cable is the best, it is also more expensive than its riser counterpart. So buying this cable when you don’t need it will be a redundant investment.
If you need the riser cable, buy the riser.
Cat6a Cable Length
The length of the Cat6a cable also matters. The longer the cable, the more costly it gets. So buying the appropriate length of the cable is important.
However, the cable is produced mostly in 1000ft lengths known as bulk. This cable however can be stored for later use. So it isn’t a waste. The cost of ethernet cables like everything else goes up with time. So buying it at an earlier point in history is a wise investment, the pro reckons.