Cat7 Ethernet cable??

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Can someone explain to me why these are not easily purchasable? What/who are they used for?

I ask because I was reading about them and I need to replace my Cat5e cables at home. I came across Cat7, but when I looked into actually buying a cable, I can only find Cat6a. Have I missed something? Are they not meant for consumer use?

To complicate it further, I had Virgin Media pop round to replace my router today and the chap told me that Cat7 will be available to everyone soon - is that nonsense?
 
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The reason it isn't available is because there is close to no appropriate use for it, especially in the home. I wouldn't pay much attention to what the virgin guy says, it's very likely he hasn't got the foggiest idea what he's on about.

What is it that makes you think you require anything above cat 5e? Do you have any equipment that utilises 10Gbps? Even if you do, Cat 6a will suffice for 100m. For anything above this, I think you'd be better off with fibre.

Cat 7 isn't even really a thing, not like the other categories at least :p
 
Soldato
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You can get Cat7. Not sure if they are considered a competitor to here, as they are all about networking, but you can get it here: https://www.blackbox.co.uk/gb-gb/fi/1237/12236/Category-7-S-FTP-Bulk-Cable/

Problem is that it is VERY expensive. About 3-4x that of decent Cat6a. And they are both just "rated" to 10GBps, although the Cat 7 has been tested much faster. It also has a bit more bandwidth.

Category 6a
Cat6a can support bandwidth frequencies of up to 500 MHz, twice the amount of Cat6 cable, and can also support 10Gbps like its predecessor. However, unlike Cat6 cabling, Cat6a can support 10 Gigabit Ethernet at 100 meters. Cat6a cabling on the other hand, can transmit the same speeds at up to 37 meters. Cat6a also features more robust sheathing which eliminates alien crosstalk (AXT) and improves upon the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). The stronger sheathing makes Cat6a cabling considerable thicker than Cat6.

Category 7
Cat7 can also support 10 Gbps, but laboratory testing has successfully shown its ability to transmit up to 40 Gb at 50 meters and even 100 Gb at 15 meters. The cabling can support frequencies of up to 600 Mhz. Cat7 offers extensive shielding to reduce signal attenuation and is relatively stiff in comparison to previous generations of cabling. The shielding needs to be grounded and Cat7 also requires special GigaGate45 (CG45) connectors.

To be honest, for home networking, I can't imagine there being any need for Cat 7. By the time consumer grade products are cheap enough for home use, the next big thing will be around anyway. I mean, how many PC's have 10Gbps NIC's in them just now? They are mostly just 1 Gbps. As are most switches and stuff. And even at 10 Gbps, you'd be needing pretty fast SSD's to saturate the network, if I understand it correctly. So I'd save the money, and go Cat6a.
 
Soldato
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Unless VM starts offering routers with 10gb I see no reason to go with Cat 7. Cat 6a/6 and even 5e will be enough for gigabit connections, just make sure they're proper copper and not CCA/aluminium.
 
Soldato
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To be honest, for home networking, I can't imagine there being any need for Cat 7.

Mans needs to get them backups done quick!


But as everyone else is saying, even if you're happy to fork out the extra expense for the cables, i'm pretty certain your NICs won't be rated for cat7 speeds, and you'll probably need a switch, so added expensive.

Then looking at the practical sides, all the above will do is put the bottleneck back to your PC, unless you're running a flash array or something. So quite a bit of expensive for very little gain.
 
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I've only seen Cat7 used in server/data centres to connect switches and servers. Advantage with Cat7 is looking at transmitting up to 100gb (short distance) but most people would choose fibre at this point. For a SOHO environment I wouldn't say it's over kill, i would say it complete annihilation!..
 
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Thanks for the replies! As far as Cat7 goes, it's more clarity I needed than anything, and the VM guy threw me off.

I don't 'need' a Cat6a cable, perse, but I am having problems with my connection and my current cables are very old and looking a little bit sorry for themselves. It's more that I need to purchase new cables, so I may as well get what is more future-proofed, I guess!
 
Soldato
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For that just buy a decent quality Cat5e cables.

You'll see Zero benefit from buying anything else.

Higher category cables are likely to be thicker and less flexible which could actually make them worse than the Cat5e alternative.
 
Soldato
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I regret fitting CAT6.

I actually bought it accidentally because it was cheaper than the CAT5 300m box and I just clicked buy on the wrong tab.

When it arrived I didn't think much of it, but by the time I came to fitting it the following month it was a nightmare to work with.

Whatever you buy just make sure you're buying solid core if you plan on using it on patch panels.
 
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I regret fitting CAT6.
but by the time I came to fitting it the following month it was a nightmare to work with.

But you've done it now right, all is well?

For the majority on the forum Cat5e is perfectly fine and does the job, its flexible and easy to root. If your planning on chasing it through walls/floors and hard to reach places I would recommend Cat6 shielded.

The added spine makes it more rigid and harder to damage the twisted cables. Yes, it's a sod to manipulate but that's the point!

It's no fun when you've rooted Cat5e only to find you have a break in the cable...somewhere, it's no fun trust me.
 
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