Cat 7 Vs. Cat 8 – What Are The Differences?

Ethernet cable

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Are you curious about the differences between Cat 7 and Cat 8 cables? Let’s explore these two types of Ethernet cables and find out how they differ.

Speed & Bandwidth:

Cat 7 cables offer a maximum speed of 10,000 Mbps and a bandwidth of 600 MHz (frequency). While Cat 8 cables take it up a notch with a maximum speed of 25,000 Mbps and a bandwidth of 2,000 MHz, which is a very high frequency. That’s faster and wider than Cat 7.

Shielding:

Cat 7 cables feature shielding to minimize electromagnetic interference (EMI) and crosstalk. They typically have individual shielding for each twisted pair and an overall shielding layer.

Whereas Cat 8 cables have even better shielding capabilities. They often include individual shielding for each twisted pair, an overall shielding layer, and additional shielding for each plug. This shielding reduces signal degradation and improves performance.

Cable Length:

Cat 7 cables support a maximum of 100 meters (328 feet) for 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Cat 8 cables, on the other hand, have a reduced maximum cabling length of 30 meters (98 feet) for 25 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Ethernet. Beyond 30 meters, their performance may decline.

Connector Type:

Cat 7 cables typically use the familiar RJ-45 connectors widely used in networking. Cat 8 cables often employ the newer TERA or GG45 connectors, which offer improved performance and durability compared to RJ-45 connectors.

Future Compatibility:

Cat 7 cables are backward compatible with previous Ethernet standards, such as Cat 6a and Cat 6. You can use them in existing home networks with older devices.

On the other hand, Cat 8 cables are also backward compatible with older Ethernet category standards. But they are suitable for high-speed, high-bandwidth applications. They work well for new installations or upgrading existing networks to support advanced technologies. So if you fancy an upgrade, consider Cat 8 for your router for maximum data rate. 

FAQs

Can I Use Cat 7 Or Cat 8 Cables With My Existing Devices?

Both Cat 7 and Cat 8 cables are backward compatible with older Ethernet standards. However, Cat 8 cables are best suited for new installations or upgrading networks to support advanced technologies.

Conclusion

Cat 7 and Cat 8 cables offer advantages over earlier Ethernet cable standards. While Cat 7 provides impressive speed and shielding, Cat 8 takes it a step further with even faster internet speeds, enhanced shielding, and improved connectors. 

However, the reduced cable length of Cat 8 may limit its use in certain network setups. Consider your specific requirements and future needs when choosing between Cat 7 and Cat 8 cables.