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Networks Avoiding fake cat 6a or 7a ethernet cables

Discussion in 'Tech Support' started by alfabet0, 28 Sep 2015.

  1. alfabet0

    alfabet0 What's a Dremel?

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    I'm trying to find a decent make of ethernet cable cat 6a or 7a that avoids the bad quality (copper Clad Aluminium) ethernet cables that are everywhere online some erroneously labeled cat 7a, which most people buy unwittingly never knowing the difference rather than the proper copper cables which I'm looking for without having to resort to using flame test described in the below video:

    How To tell the difference between CCA and COPPER wire cable and FAKE ETHERNET cables
    [​IMG]

    I appreciate that I'll be paying a premium price for anything over cat 5a which I'd probably never be able to tell the speed difference over a cat 6a or 7a but I'd like some future proofing, and given I'm looking to buy a 15 metre and a 30 metre cable may factor into it.

    In my desperate search for a good ethernet cables I've been looking on Amazon Best Sellers in Ethernet Cables and it goes without saying I'm relectunt to go by Joe public recommendations as everyone tends to just buy the cheapest cable they can get there hands on but having said that I've bought a Duronic CAT6a Cable in the past Duronic CAT6a Cable which comes highly reviewed and looks to be of a high quality and one of the very few company branded cables/none generic cables on the market but they are on the chunky side which would makes running it under a carpet a big no no,ticking a few boxes in Amazon Shielded, High Speed, High Preformance bring only one result Vandesail® which I've had no experience with reviews look good but it does appear that the none braided version is a bit on the fragile side and as for the braided it only comes in black and without proper testing there's no telling if Vandesail® lives up to the high cat 7a rating and looking at the description it does not come with the same host of reassurances as Duronic's Duronic patch cables are made from 100% pure copper
    All Duronic cables are shielded, perfect for use in high-noise environments where shielding helps
    Duronic cables are FTP (Foiled Twisted Pair) and these have a higher specification then UTP (Unshielded twisted pair)


    My search also brought me to new egg which now ships to the UK there are three brands to choose from Link Depot, Rosewill, and only Coboc comes in cat 7 and when any are added to the cart a somewhat disturbing message appears (WARNING The products listed on this page contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, or birth defects or other reproductive harm.) all prices are on the steep side compared to the UK stuff

    There's also the following own brand?
    Maplin Network Cable Flat Cat 7 at £44.99 for 30m it's high price might be an indicator of quality but knowing Maplin they just love to over over charge, any thoughts?


    That brings me to the end of my search thus far.
    Thanks for reading.
     
    Last edited: 28 Sep 2015
  2. Lankius Maximus

    Lankius Maximus Minimodder

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    Mate, I put in a couple of 15m runs of cat 5e cable into my house a couple of years ago and it has lasted with no issues.

    I got mine (plus all the tools and face plates) from ScrewFix.

    http://www.screwfix.com/p/philex-data-cable-cat-5e-utp-50m-beige/10218

    I know its not the Cat 6 or 7 you were quite looking for, however, as you mentioned, how much of a difference will there actually be in usage. Also if you route it with future upgrades in mind it should be too hard to swap out when something bigger or better comes along.
     
  3. wolfticket

    wolfticket Downwind from the bloodhounds

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    I would hazard a guess there's a way of testing the makeup of ethernet (and other) cables without stripping them (resistance or some kind of metal detector maybe), but I would imagine it's a pretty specialist (ie. expensive and difficult) thing.

    I would imagine the Duronic ones are a fairly safe bet.
    They very overtly say 100% copper and have a prominent brand and big sales attached to that claim. It wouldn't be difficult for one person the find out if they were lying and that would be pretty terrible for their reputation. I can't see them doing it.

    The other options that don't involve trust would be to by a short cheap version of whatever cable you are thinking of buying then strip it down and test it yourself.
    Or, the only true way to have a full understanding of your cabling would be buy it by the reel then cut and terminate it yourself.

    BTW I wouldn't worry about the California "this may kill you warning".
     
  4. phuzz

    phuzz This is a title

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    I've used bog standard cat 5e for 10Gb with no problems, so what exactly is the point of cat 6+?
     
  5. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    Back in my days as a cable monkey, I worked with both Cat5e and Cat6 (and fibre, and token-ring co-ax 'cos why throw anything away if it still works, but that's a different kettle of fish.) Cat6 is an absolute pain in the arse: the inner skeleton is awkward, and to keep its rating you need to shift it through massive, gentle curves. I only used it for particularly long gigabit runs; everything else was Cat5e, and took half the time to run and terminate. Never had a problem, either.

    Unless you're doing hundred-metre runs, or are in a particularly noisy environment - any heavy plant equipment at your house? - I wouldn't bother with the expense and hassle of Cat6 or higher.

    Oh, and I've never bought a reel of fake cable, either, even when opting for the cheaper brands.
     
    alfabet0 likes this.
  6. Mr Evil

    Mr Evil What's a Dremel?

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    At 30m, the total resistance of the cable should be high enough to measure with a common multimeter. Aluminium has a resistivity about 67% higher than copper, so it should be possible to tell the difference without too much trouble.
     
  7. alfabet0

    alfabet0 What's a Dremel?

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    I live in a house thats had it's electrical wiring done in the seventies, safe to say it's a mess that I wouldn't touch with a barge pole, the router is located in my father's office which reflects his state of mind a mess of phone cables, triple plugs Devolo network plugs, chargers printers etc the idea is that ethernet cables with shielding or cat 6-7 rating would stop any electrical interference and as I live in something of a bermuda triangle of unpredictable/bad broadband speed when compared to the surrounding houses that enjoy better more stable speed, bottom line I need to eke out as much speed as I possibly can.

    Thanks both (wolfticket) and (Mr Evil) for your input in regards to testing but I'd rather not go down that route, thought my 1st thread post would suggest otherwise, in the end I think I'm fooling my self that cat 6-7 is best.
    I'll not pretend to be any kind of expert your obviously more advanced in this area of expertise, and anything I've posted on this thread is mere biassed based on mismatched Google searches/web articles, having handled only small length of Duronic cat 6a I can atest to how awkward it might be to handle, I haven't the required skill to deal with spindels of ethernet cables and ataching heads on my self but relay on pre-cut cables with the heads on, I've likely underestimed the difficulty involved in laying cat 6 cable along a winding staircase.

    I take it that even given the age and seventies wiring of my house I would still not benefit from cat 6 ethernet cable, what is your opinion of this Vandesail® cable it's smaller more manageable size and if I went for the braided version would be more robust?
    If a cat 5e what cable brand or cable would you recommend to end consumer like me?
     
  8. Gareth Halfacree

    Gareth Halfacree WIIGII! Lover of bit-tech Administrator Super Moderator Moderator

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    My house dates from the late 1800s and has the dodgiest wiring I've seen in a long time. I use "1200Mb/s" Powerline connectors from the office on the second floor to the router in the ground-floor living room, and it syncs at around 700Mb/s. Given I've got 76Mb/s broadband, that's good enough for me!
    You're thinking about Cat7 *shielded* for a five metre run? Crazy talk. Buy this and save your pennies - that'll be more than good enough for gigabit at that length, and would more than likely do 10Gb if you had any suitable equipment to hand.

    Seriously: don't buy shielded, and only buy Cat6 or above if you're doing long runs - I'm talking approaching the hundred-metre mark - in a structured cabling scenario. If you're talking about snaking cabling up the stairs and using cable-clips hammered into the wall, certainly don't buy Cat6 or higher - it's not rated for that kind of unstructured installation, meaning that by the time you've finished installing it it's not Cat6 rated any more.
     
  9. Chairboy

    Chairboy I want something good to die for...

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    www.comms-express.co.uk

    It's all legit and reasonably priced too. But as others have said, CAT5e will probably do what you're after anyway.
     

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