Is Cat 8 better than Cat7?

Is Cat 8 better than Cat7?

When it comes to networking cables, there are various types available, each with its own specifications and capabilities. Two popular options that are often compared are Cat 8 and Cat 7 cables. In this article, we will explore the differences between these two categories and determine which one is better.

What are Cat 7 cables?

Cat 7 cables, also known as Category 7 cables, are Ethernet cables designed to support speeds of up to 10 Gigabits per second (Gbps). They are shielded twisted pair (STP) cables, meaning they have additional shielding to reduce electromagnetic interference. Cat 7 cables are backward compatible with previous generations of Ethernet cables, making them a reliable choice for high-speed networking.

What are Cat 8 cables?

Cat 8 cables, on the other hand, are the next generation of Ethernet cables. They are designed to support even faster speeds, up to 25 or even 40 Gbps. Cat 8 cables are also shielded twisted pair cables, providing excellent protection against interference. However, they are not as widely available and may be more expensive compared to Cat 7 cables.

Bandwidth and Frequencies

One of the key differences between Cat 8 and Cat 7 cables is their bandwidth and supported frequencies. Cat 8 cables offer significantly higher bandwidth and support frequencies of up to 2 GHz, compared to Cat 7 cables which support frequencies of up to 600 MHz. This means that Cat 8 cables can handle more data and provide faster internet speeds.

Is Cat 8 better than Cat7?

Cable Length and Interference

The length of the cable and its susceptibility to interference are also important factors to consider. Cat 7 cables have a maximum recommended length of 100 meters, which is suitable for most residential and commercial applications. Cat 8 cables, on the other hand, have a shorter maximum length of 30 meters for 25 Gbps speeds and 24 meters for 40 Gbps speeds. Additionally, Cat 8 cables are less prone to interference due to their shielding, ensuring a more reliable connection.

Cost and Availability

As mentioned earlier, Cat 8 cables are generally more expensive than Cat 7 cables. This is due to their higher specifications and newer technology. Furthermore, Cat 8 cables may not be as readily available as Cat 7 cables, especially in local retail stores. You may need to search online or visit specialty networking stores to find Cat 8 cables.

So, is Cat 8 better than Cat 7? The answer depends on your specific needs and requirements. If you require extremely high speeds and have a short cable run, then Cat 8 may be the better option. However, for most residential and commercial applications, Cat 7 cables provide more than enough bandwidth and are widely available at a more affordable price point. Consider your budget, cable length, and desired internet speeds when making your decision.

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