Cat6 Indoor vs. Outdoor Rated Cable: Which One to Choose

Cat6 Indoor vs. Outdoor Rated Cable: Which One to Choose?

Cat6 Ethernet network cable is one of the most widely used cables in the networking industry right now. This category 6 networking cable is ideal for both domestic and commercial purposes. This cable is packed with some important specifications such as frequency, quality, and protection against data leakage.

Cat6 is a successor of cat5 and cat5e. Its backward compatibility makes it even more useful. This cable can be used for both indoor and outdoor installations because of its outer jacket variations. There are three types of outer jackets for Ethernet cables; plenum, riser, and PVC. Plenum and riser-rated cables are for indoor installations while polyvinyl chloride or PVC is used for outdoor installations. As the name indicates, Cat6 plenum cables are for plenum space in your home or office and riser-rated cables are for riser spaces.

Let’s talk About the Frequency of this Cable

This cat6 Ethernet network cable offers 550MHz while catering to the high data transfer rate of 1000Mbps. The larger the distance will be, the better performance you’ll get with this cable. This cable is also good with high-speed gigabit Ethernet applications.

The inner wire of this cable has a gauge of 23AWG. There are four twisted pairs with eight conductors in total. Now, these conductors can be both shielded and unshielded. In a shielded cable, there is an extra layer around the conductor pairs. Cat6 Ethernet network cable is highly efficient against all sorts of crosstalk and data leakage. This cable usually comes in a box with 1000ft of cable inside it. These cables are ISO certified and comply with RoHS and other important certifications.

Cat6 Indoor/Outdoor Rated Cable

Cat6 is divided into two categories based on its outer jacket cat6 indoor-rated cables and cat6 outdoor-rated cables. These two variations of this cable have only one difference which is their jacket. If the outer layer is plenum or riser rated then this cable can be used for indoor installations. If the jacket is made of PVC then this cable is ideal for outdoor installations.

Cat6 with the plenum-rated jacket is ideal for plenum spaces. These spaces are used for air ventilation, air conditioning, and heating purposes. Plenum spaces usually have pathways for air to cross which makes them dangerous in an event of a fire. If you install plenum-rated cables in these spaces, in an event of a fire, the plenum-rated cable would burn slowly with a lot of smoke making it easier to detect fire. Also, these cables have a coating of a fire retardant material.

Riser spaces are also similar to plenum ones. These are vertical spaces like an elevator shaft or water pipeline. Make sure to get a cable that is compatible with these spaces.

Cat6 outdoor-rated cable has an outer jacket made of polyvinyl chloride or PVC. This stuff is hard and gives perfect protection against outdoor challenges like extreme weather conditions and rising temperatures. There are also several colors available in this cable so that you can locate the faulty cable without any hassle.

Cat6 CCA Cables

CCA stands for copper-clad aluminum. Before getting into further details, first, let us talk about the internal structure of an Ethernet cable. Cat6 cable or any Ethernet cable is made of wires. These wires are twisted together in pairs to avoid crosstalk and data leakage. Usually, these inner wires are made of pure copper which is a very good conductor. In some cases, manufacturers use aluminum coated with copper. This is what you called a CCA cable.

Cat6 CCA cable works just as well as any pure copper would do. There is also a price difference between a pure copper cable and a CCA cable. Copper-clad aluminum cables have low prices as compared to pure copper ones. Cat6 CCA cables have the same conductivity and data transfer rate as any copper cable. Many people use this cable as an alternative to copper cables due to budget but surely these cables are tough to beat.

Cat6 CMP Cables

Cat6 CMP cables or cat6 plenum cables are preferable by everyone when it comes to high-speed and fast connectivity internet. Since these cables have plenum-rated jackets so these cables are only used for indoor installations in plenum spaces of a building. Plenum spaces are mostly used for air ventilation and air conditioning. These places are in the path of direct air crossing which makes them highly flammable if a fire breaks out.

Plenum-rated cables have a special coating of a fire retardant material on them to make them almost fireproof. If a fire breaks out, the cat6 CMP cable would burn slowly producing a lot of smoke.

These cables are the best when it comes to your building safety.

The Ethernet cables just like any other cable consists of copper wires twisted together in a pair. Now, these pairs can be shielded and unshielded. The outer jacket comes in a variety of colors. This LAN cable comes in two shapes; round and flat. You can get either one based on your requirement.