Cat 5 vs Cat 7 Ethernet Cable

Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Messages
56
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Florida
Your Mac's Specs
Late 2014 Mac mini with 16GB RAM & 1TB SSD and a 2018 Mac Book Air with 256GB SSD.
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.
 

pigoo3

Well-known member
Staff member
Admin
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
44,223
Reaction score
1,432
Points
113
Location
U.S.
Your Mac's Specs
2017 15" MBP, 16gig ram, 1TB SSD, OS 10.15
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
 
OP
F
Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Messages
56
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Florida
Your Mac's Specs
Late 2014 Mac mini with 16GB RAM & 1TB SSD and a 2018 Mac Book Air with 256GB SSD.
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.
 

pigoo3

Well-known member
Staff member
Admin
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
44,223
Reaction score
1,432
Points
113
Location
U.S.
Your Mac's Specs
2017 15" MBP, 16gig ram, 1TB SSD, OS 10.15
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
 
OP
F
Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Messages
56
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Florida
Your Mac's Specs
Late 2014 Mac mini with 16GB RAM & 1TB SSD and a 2018 Mac Book Air with 256GB SSD.
Thanks, will do. I am learning so much here.
 

pigoo3

Well-known member
Staff member
Admin
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
44,223
Reaction score
1,432
Points
113
Location
U.S.
Your Mac's Specs
2017 15" MBP, 16gig ram, 1TB SSD, OS 10.15
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
 
OP
F
Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Messages
56
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Florida
Your Mac's Specs
Late 2014 Mac mini with 16GB RAM & 1TB SSD and a 2018 Mac Book Air with 256GB SSD.
Exactily how do I run that speed test? Thanks.
 
Joined
Jan 20, 2012
Messages
5,117
Reaction score
479
Points
83
Location
North Carolina
Your Mac's Specs
Air M2 ('22) OS 14.5; M3 iMac ('23) OS 14.5; iPad Pro; iPhone 14
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 :)
 

pigoo3

Well-known member
Staff member
Admin
Joined
May 20, 2008
Messages
44,223
Reaction score
1,432
Points
113
Location
U.S.
Your Mac's Specs
2017 15" MBP, 16gig ram, 1TB SSD, OS 10.15
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
 
OP
F
Joined
Oct 14, 2013
Messages
56
Reaction score
0
Points
6
Location
Florida
Your Mac's Specs
Late 2014 Mac mini with 16GB RAM & 1TB SSD and a 2018 Mac Book Air with 256GB SSD.
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.
 

Shop Amazon


Shop for your Apple, Mac, iPhone and other computer products on Amazon.
We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon and affiliated sites.
Top