The difference between cat6 and CAT6A

October 26, 2023
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Cat6 cable provides Gigabit Ethernet up to 100 meters, typically using 23-gauge conductors, which equates to a diameter of approximately 0.0226 inches per wire. Cat6 cables are the current standard for Fast Ethernet cabling because they can support the speeds required for 10 Gigabit networks. However, they have limited higher standard support (164 feet), after which the ultimate speed distance of Cat6 cable is the same as Cat5e cable. At a frequency bandwidth of 250MHz, Cat6 cable can handle much faster than Cat5 cable. Other performance benefits include reduced signal loss, reduced crosstalk with other cables, and bidirectional communication on each pair of wires due to tighter twisting in the cable. Cat6 cable typically costs about 30% more than Cat5e cable because of its extra features.


Cat6a is an enhanced version of the first generation Cat6 cable and is the most advanced Ethernet cable on this list. Like Cat 6 cable, Cat 6a cable is 23 gauge. However, they are much thicker than Cat 6 cables because the wires are wound more tightly. This creates more copper per inch as well as a super thick layer of plastic around the wire itself. Compared to Cat 5e and Cat 6 cable, Cat 6a cable provides less crosstalk, less signal loss, and a greater 500 MHz frequency bandwidth—twice that of Cat6 cable. They are ideal for businesses due to their impeccably fast processing speeds. Although Cat6a cables provide the same 10 Gb per second Ethernet speeds as Cat6 cables, they can maintain these speeds over greater distances of up to 330 feet. Due to the higher speed and functionality of Cat6a cable,