The Best Ethernet Cables for 2023: Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a

Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat6a ethernet cables are the most commonly used ethernet cable categories. These bulk ethernet cable categories cater to all kinds of networking requirements. Whether you need twisted pair cables for your home network or office network, one of these ethernet cables will offer the right specifications for your needs. Cat5e is the least, Cat6 is moderate, and the Cat6a cable is the most premium quality cable. For a premium networking experience in 2023, you can choose the right ethernet cable for your requirement from these cables with varying specifications and different variants.

This blog explores the different Bulk Ethernet cables you can use to establish flawless and high-performing LAN networks in 2023. Let’s dive into it without further ado.

Buying Ethernet Cables

Twisted-pair bulk ethernet cables are produced in a variety of different variants. The most basic distinction between all the ethernet cables 1000ft is their category. Within a certain category, more distinctions are based on their jacket, conductors, shielded/unshielded, and solid vs stranded conductor. The length of the cable also matters. Cables with short lengths are called patch cables but we will be discussing cables with a 1000ft length which are also known as bulk cables.

When you are buying ethernet cables, you need to consider all of their distinct features. These features are as mentioned above: the conductor type, jacket type, etc, etc.

Cat5e Ethernet Cables

Cat5e bulk ethernet cables are the most affordable yet the least premium of all twisted-pair cables available on the market. They come in three different types of jackets, and two different types of conductors, and are available in shielded and unshielded variants.

1000ft Cat5e cables can support data transmission at up to 100 MBit/s over 100 meters with a frequency of 350 MHz. A high-quality Cat5e ethernet cable can reach data transmission speeds of up to 1 GBit/s over 50 meters.


This cable is available in bare copper and copper-aluminum conductors. Both types of conductors are also available in solid and stranded variants. A solid conductor is made from a single piece of metal whereas a stranded conductor is made from multiple strands.

There are eight 24 AWG total conductors in the cable which are twisted into tight pairs to circumvent EMI and crosstalk.


Cat5e Cable is available in three different types of jackets. Namely, plenum, riser, and POV. The plenum jacket is the most durable and the safest among the three. It is inflammable and doesn’t emit smoke either.

Then comes the riser jacket which is fairly durable and can withstand extreme environmental conditions such as heat, humidity, cold, etc. The only drawback of the riser jackets is that they emit toxic smoke in case of fire events.

The last jacket of the Cat5e ethernet cable is PVC. It is flammable and can also emit toxic smoke which is a safety hazard and you should not use it indoors. But on the brighter side, the bulk ethernet cable is relatively more affordable.


Shielding is integrated into high-quality ethernet cables to keep the interference and external noise levels at a minimum. It is a metal foil, usually aluminum, that is wrapped around the conductor pairs. Shielding can also be a braided wire mesh.

Cat5e ethernet cables are available in both shielded (STP) as well as unshielded (UTP) variants. You can choose the one that best suits your requirements. More on that later.

Buy or Not?

Should you buy this bulk ethernet cable or not? The answer depends. It depends on whether it is suitable for your needs.

If so, you should definitely buy it and if not so, you should consider the next ethernet cable on our list.

Cat6 Ethernet Cables

The Cat6 or Category 6 is a high-quality ethernet cable that was rolled out as an improvement over its predecessor – Cat5e. The main difference between the Cat6 and 5e is that the former features a spline or a wire separator and its conductors are made from 23 AWG.

This ethernet cable offers data transfer at speeds of up to 1 GBit/s over 100 meters with a 550 MHz bandwidth capacity.


1000ft Cat6 ethernet cable is also available in both CCA and 100% pure copper conductors. Pure copper conductors are easy to install and are more durable as well. The CCA conductors will not cost you as much as the copper ones but at the cost of lesser performance.

Furthermore, you have the option to buy the Cat6 cable with solid or stranded conductors. This gives you the liberty to choose the most ideal solution for your network.


Like the Cat5e cable, the Cat6 ethernet cables are available in all three different types of jackets. They are the plenum, riser, and PVC. We recommend buying the Cat6 plenum cable for indoor horizontal use and the Cat6 riser cable for indoor vertical runs. For outdoors, you can choose either one of the same two options.


Once again, shielding in this 1000ft ethernet cable is the same as it is in the Cat5e. The most important thing you need to consider about shielding in Cat6 cable is that the shielded variant is a bit tricky to install. Additionally, it costs more as compared to the unshielded Cat6 which is easy to run but entertains more EMI.

Buy or Not?

Now, let’s answer the most important question. Should you buy it or not?

To put it simply, you should buy the Cat6 ethernet cable 1000ft if you are setting up a commercial network. You can also use it for residential networks.

Cat6a Ethernet Cables

Augmented category 6 is the most premium ethernet cable on our list. It is produced in a handful of variants to keep its quality at a maximum. You can buy this cable in 2023 to set up high-performance LAN networks. The best thing about this cable is that its features are premium but it does not cost nearly as premium.

It can transmit data at blazing speeds of up to 10 GBit/s over 100 meters with a bandwidth capacity of 750 MHz. Moreover, it can also be used for all kinds of applications in ethernet LAN networks.


Bare copper is the only conductor you can buy this cable with. However, it comes in solid and stranded options. The solid conductors are ideal for long distances and the flexible stranded conductors are ideal for short distances.


Plenum and riser are the only types of jackets this cable comes with. To keep the quality standard and the performance of the cable at an optimum, this cable is not produced with a PVC jacket.

Use the Cat6a plenum cable for indoor horizontal runs and the riser for indoor vertical runs. You can choose either one of the two for outdoor use. Just note that the plenum jacket is more durable.


The Cat6a cable is available in shielded as well as unshielded variants. Although the cable has impeccable resistance against interference even without the shielding, you can still buy the shielded variant.

Buy or Not?

For commercial and residential LAN networks with a high-performance requirement, this cable is an absolute must. No other high-quality bulk ethernet cable on this list will offer you the features as these Cat6a ethernet cables 1000ft.


To put it simply, Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat6a are the bulk ethernet cables that you can buy in 2023. They are available in different jackets, conductors, prices, performance specifications, etc.

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