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Ethernet cables come in all shapes and sizes. Here's what you need to know

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Edmond Garcia
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All Ethernet cables serve the same basic purpose — to connect devices to networks, like the internet.

Ethernet designations, like many things in modern networking standards, can be difficult to interpret and understand.

A general rule of thumb is that the higher numbers represent faster speeds and higher frequencies, measured in Mhz.

As is the case with most technologies, newer cables tend to support higher bandwidths, and therefore increased download speeds and faster connections.

Keep in mind that longer Ethernet cables will result in slower transmission speeds, though cables bought for personal use rarely exceed 100 meters, so are unlikely to experience much speed drop-off.

In recent years, the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) unveiled a new Ethernet standard that promised to dramatically improve transmission speeds on Cat 5 and Cat 6 cables.

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Edmond Garcia
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