Many buildings and institutions use plenum cables in order to facilitate the transfer of data, voice and video signals. These cables provide high bandwidth performance for the gigabit Ethernet standard.
However, finding the right plenum cable for your particular situation can be tricky. Different kinds of plenum cables have their own set of unique properties that make it suited for particular applications.
To help you make an informed decision about what cable you require, we’ve compiled a detailed breakdown of three cat6 plenum cables for you. After all, the more you know about your options, the easier it will be to find the perfect one for your needs.
1. Unshielded Cat6 Plenum
The most basic type of Cat6 plenum cable is unshielded. This type of cable consists of four twisted pairs of copper wires, each with a PE dielectric insulation. However, the wires inside the cable are not insulated from each other, so any noise in one wire will be transferred to the others.
They also don’t have any EMI shielding. This means that they can pick up radio frequency interference (RFI), which can interfere with nearby equipment.
If you’re not sure if you’re going to need shielded or plenum-rated Cat6, unshielded Cat6 can be a useful starting point. Plus, they’re quite affordable too. It’s often used for patch cables, where a shielded cable wouldn’t be necessary.
2. Cat6e Plenum Unshielded
For an unshielded Cat6 plenum cable, some manufacturers will add a ground wire to provide some protection from EMI. This type of plenum cable is often referred to as Cat6e unshielded plenum.
Like unshielded Cat6, it’s not intended to be used in plenums. However, it’s usually fine for in-wall use. Still, it’s not recommended for use in plenums since it doesn’t provide any RFI shielding.
3. Shielded Cat6 Plenum cable
Like shielded Cat6 cable, shielded plenum Cat6 cable also has two copper conductors and two copper shields. It’s made with a special type of insulation known as FEP.
The FEP insulation is designed to be resistant to heat and moisture. This type of shielding provides excellent EMI protection for in-wall use since it allows the cable to be installed in a way that prevents the shield from touching the wall, or other nearby cables.
This prevents the cable from picking up EMI, which can cause signal loss or degrade the performance of nearby equipment. It’s also safe for use in plenums, which is why it’s called shielded Cat6 plenum cables.
While the shielded Cat6 plenum cable is the most expensive of the three options listed in this column, it’s also the best choice for high-end installations. As such, it is usually used in large commercial buildings, data centers, and other high capacity networks.
So, rest assured that it is well worth your money in situations where you want to ensure your network is operating at peak performance.
To Sum It Up
When you’re buying Cat6 plenum cables, it’s important to know the different kinds of Cat6 plenum cables that are available. Each one has benefits for specific situations and locations.
Hopefully, you’ll find the information you need to make an informed buying decision about which type of Cat6 plenum cables to buy.