What Are Ethernet Cables and Their Functionality

While a number of networks now rely on Wi-Fi for devices to interface with the Internet, such technology is often unable to match the speed, reliability, and security of Ethernet cables. Ethernet is a set of networking technology standards, permitting communication between computer stations, printers, and other various electronic equipment. Serving as a component that helps establish wired networks, such cables allow the creation of a local area network that may be useful for many reasons.

In general, Ethernet cables have the appearance of a traditional phone cable, albeit coming in a much larger size for the cable diameter and connector interface. The plug and its shape is also quite similar, though double the amount of wires are typically present within the Ethernet cable. Ethernet cables also come in a wide variety of colors, but their ports are always the same. Ethernet ports may be present in a number of areas, including PC motherboard connection points, wall Ethernet plugs, routers, modems, and more.

With an Ethernet cord, electronic devices may be connected to one another with the use of ports and connectors. Once two devices are connected through cabling, signal transfer may be conducted with ease, allowing for communications on a local network. Ethernet cables are commonly used for connecting computers and devices to modems and Internet access points, permitting a hard connection to the Internet for security and reliability.

Ethernet cables follow one or more industry standards that have been developed over the years, common ones ranging from Category 5 to Category 8 cables. These standards are typically referred to as CAT5 or CAT8 when searching for purchasable parts. Additionally, Ethernet cables also may either be solid or stranded types, each of which present varying characteristics. Solid Ethernet cables are capable of providing high amounts of performance and protection against electrical interference, often implemented for business networks, offices, and laboratories. Stranded Ethernet cables, on the other hand, are designed with increased physical protection, making them very transportable and beneficial for consumer use.

When procuring Ethernet switch, cable, and connector components, it is crucial that one understands the inherent limitations of certain parts. A cable will always have a specific maximum distance capacity, that of which is the distance a signal can travel before losing quality or power. Distance and signal capacity is often determinable by a particular cable’s CAT standard, CAT5 cables being able to send signals upwards of 328 feet while CAT6 cables can reach up to 700 feet. The CAT standard also dictates the maximum data rate, and CAT5 cables feature a max data rate of 1000Mbps while more modern CAT8 cables are capable of transferring upwards of 40Gbps. Despite these increased qualities, higher performance cables will often have an increased price, thus the decision will often fall upon the particular individual’s network requirements and financial capabilities.

Ethernet cables may be beneficial for a number of systems and applications, thus it can be advantageous to acquire such components for establishing or modifying a network. Jet Parts 360 is a trusted distributor of aircraft parts and other aerospace components, providing customers the ability to compare quotes for every product that we carry. Dedicated to quality, we ensure that all parts have undergone various measures such as visual inspections, document verification, testing, and more as needed. Furthermore, we are also the only independent distributor with a strict no China sourcing pledge, meaning that all items ship alongside their qualifying certifications and manufacturing trace documentation as applicable. Give our team members a call or email today to get started on the procurement process, and we will be happy to help you every step of the way.


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