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  1. #1
    Cat 5 vs Cat 7 Ethernet Cable

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    Cat 5 vs Cat 7 Ethernet Cable
    So today I had a guy at the Cox Solutions store tell me that Cat 7 Cable will not work on internet hookups, only Cat 5 cable hookups would work. Isn't Cat 7 cable better than Cat 5 and isn't it backward compatable? Any idea why he would say that? I am specifically talking about running the ethernet cable from my new Airport Extreme (the tall one) to my 2010 Mac Mini running Mavericks for a direct hookup to get the fastest speed possible. Perhaps he was miffed that I went with a Motorola Surfboard SB6141 modem rather than a Cox supplied modem? Any insight from the brain trust here, and any advise on the modem and the Cat 5/7 ethernet cable? Thanks guys, you are all so very helpful, and I really appreciate it. These forums are a continuing education.

  2. #2
    Cat 5 vs Cat 7 Ethernet Cable
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Here's some info on Cat. 7 ethernet cable:

    CAT 7 Network Cable - Exploring Computer Network Cables

    The most important info from the link:

    "It is important to remember that your network will not perform at Gigabit speeds, unless all of the components are validated at Gigabit speeds. So you will need not only need gigabit cables, but you will need a gigabit switch, router or hub and also gigabit network cards.

    And this is if you're talking "INTRA-net" (within your home network). As far as INTER-net...typical cable modem download speeds are in the 15Mbps (mega bits/sec) range.

    With a typical cable modem setup...You don't have much of a chance of even getting even close to the theoretical max speed of 10,000 Mbps of cat. 7 cable. Even with a "Google Fiber Optic" internet connection...Google fiber tops out (I think) around 1000Mbps.

    Long story short. Unless your home (intranet) has all REALLY fast hardware...you don't need cat. 7 cable. And don't think that having cat. 7 cable will help with faster internet speeds...because it won't help here either.

    I haven't priced cat 7 cable/foot. But unless it is close to the cost of cat. 5...just get cat. 5 ethernet cable.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
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  3. #3
    Cat 5 vs Cat 7 Ethernet Cable

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    Thank You for that very informative answer. It looks like for my home internet there is no advantage at all over cat 5 cable. Thanks Nick for your help. I love mac-forums.

  4. #4
    Cat 5 vs Cat 7 Ethernet Cable
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanner50 View Post
    Thank You for that very informative answer. It looks like for my home internet there is no advantage at all over cat 5 cable.
    You are very welcome!

    Just a thought. I'm not sure if you are doing an ethernet cable setup for faster networking between devices in your home…or for your connection to the internet. If the internet…you could try two tests. Test your internet speed with the ethernet cable…and test your internet speed with the Mac-Mini's Airport.

    You may find that there isn't much difference…and if so…no need for the wires!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #5
    Cat 5 vs Cat 7 Ethernet Cable

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    Thanks, will do. I am learning so much here.

  6. #6
    Cat 5 vs Cat 7 Ethernet Cable
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    I just remembered. I have an older Mac Pro desktop computer that I purchased about 6 weeks ago that didn't have built in Airport…which I then installed an Airport card into.

    I did the test I mentioned above (ethernet cable vs. Airport) for my internet speed…and it was EXACTLY the same! No need for wires!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  7. #7
    Cat 5 vs Cat 7 Ethernet Cable

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    Exactily how do I run that speed test? Thanks.

  8. #8
    Cat 5 vs Cat 7 Ethernet Cable
    RadDave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanner50 View Post
    Exactily how do I run that speed test? Thanks.
    Hi Fanner - as Nick said, the ethernet cables you're considering are not going to make a difference in your home network - your ISP modem's input is the bottleneck - for myself, I just went to Speed Test and checked my iMac (cabled w/ Cat 5) & my MBPro (Wi-Fi - and next to my older model AirPort Extreme router) - identical DL speeds of 21.5 Mbps - that's it!

    But the router is obviously able to output w/i my home network at much higher speeds (802.11n maximum w/ dual bands) - does not help me if I'm streaming from Netflix or Amazon and Time Warner, my ISP, decides to give me less bandwidth (especially @ night when more users are doing the same), then I get 'buffering' issues on my Roku device - Dave
    If you are helped, increase the reputation of the poster -

  9. #9
    Cat 5 vs Cat 7 Ethernet Cable
    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fanner50 View Post
    Exactily how do I run that speed test? Thanks.
    Sorry about that. I must have forgotten to mention the website speedtest.net (RadDave covered it in his post). "Speed Test" is a website to test download & upload speeds of your internet connection.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  10. #10
    Cat 5 vs Cat 7 Ethernet Cable

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    Thanks guys. I've been at work all day and will check out Speed Test tomorrow. That is a good site to know.
    Thanks for telling me about it.

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