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An Ethernet plug

Ethernet is a type of computer network. Using this system, computers are connected using Ethernet cables, which are designed for high-speed data transfer. Wireless internet (WiFi) has been progressively pushing Ethernet in obsoletion, but it has not fully succeeded yet. Although WLAN (Wireless Local Area Network) connections are convenient, they still have difficulty competing with the speed of Ethernet. Additionally, cybersecurity experts generally agree that using hard-wired (cable) networks like Ethernet rather than wireless/WiFi, can increase computer security and home security when combined with other appropriate technology.


As networking and networkable devices improves, Ethernet has done so as well. While a 10Mb/s connection is enough for some, others need a greater transfer speed. Through experimentation, a variety of "categories" or types of Ethernet cables have been created.

Category Cable type Maximum Data Transmission Speed Maximum Bandwidth Maximum reliable length Notes
3 (station wire) UTP 10 Mb/s 16 MHz 328 ft (100 m)
5 UTP 10 Mb/s or 100 Mb/s 100 MHz 328 ft (100 m)
5e UTP 1000 Mb/s 100 MHz 328 ft (100 m) Reduced crosstalk
6 UTP or STP 1000 Mb/s 250 MHz 328 ft (100 m) Better insulation and thinner wires
6a STP 10 Gb/s 500 MHz 180 ft (55 m)
7 (class F) SSTP 10 Gb/s 600 MHz

See also