Cat7 vs. Cat8: Which is the best Ethernet cable?

by Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Vlad Turiceanu
Passionate about technology, Windows, and everything that has a power button, he spent most of his time developing new skills and learning more about the tech world. Coming... read more
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  • Cat7 and Cat8 Ethernet cables might confuse clients in search of a good option to set up their Internet network.
  • But their specifications are quite different, and it's good to take a look at each one, whilst not forgetting about previous cable versions.
  • Care to know more about wiring your network? Check out our Ethernet cables section for some inspiration.
  • And then you can also scroll through our Accessories & Peripherals Hub for even more interesting ideas.
cat 7 vs cat 8

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As if three types of Ethernet cables were not enough, electric equipment producers moved on to launch two more options, much to the confusion of many regular clients.

So now, besides Cat5E and Cat6 (not to mention Cat6A), we also have Cat7 and Cat8 Ethernet cables. Besides the marketing reasons that led to this evolution, for sure there’re also some safety standards involved.

What makes these last two the so-called next-generation Ethernet cables and which is the best – that’s what we’re trying to explain in the following.

What’s the difference between Cat7 and Cat8 cables?cat7 ethernet cable

In short, it’s all about performance.

Cat7 Ethernet cables

The Cat7 Ethernet cables support high-speed ethernet communication of up to 10 Gbps, with a larger bandwidth than its predecessors, of 600 MHz.

They are made of twisted pairs of wire, and each pair is cover in a shield, complying with the strictest specifications for reducing crosstalk.

Cat8 Ethernet cables

Cat8 Ethernet cables are also fully shielded. They bring a huge difference from the previous versions, supporting a frequency of 2 GHz, with a speed of 25 Gbps or in some cases 40 Gbps, over up to 30 meters.

They can be terminated with RJ-45 or non-RJ-45 connections, which makes them compatible with previous cable versions.

Both cables are sturdier as compared with the previous versions, which are more flexible.

This is what makes them more time-resistant, with a life span of up to 15 years, according to tests.

Cat7 or Cat8, which is better to use?

Cat7 cables are perfect to get more speed over wider distances. And so they are the preferred cables type for large enterprise spaces and datacenters.

For a regular home, a Cat7 cable will do the job but might be overrated, since most homes don’t have switches that require more than 1Gb.

On the other hand, Cat7 cables are not recognized by the TIA/EIA standards (applicable in the US, for instance).

Also, Cat7 does not use standard 8P8C RJ-45 connectors, but GG45 connectors for top performance.

Cat8 cables are the most expensive of all cables categories because they have a lot of features that increase costs.

Depending on where they are used, the distance limitation can be a blocker.

So now that you know more about Cat7 and Cat8 Ethernet cables, you can make an informed choice.

Don’t hesitate to get into contact with us by using the comment section found below this guide.

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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Yes, if you can afford one and if you’re looking for a next-generation cable.  If you don’t need such a great speed, a Cat6 or Cat5 cable will do just fine.

  • Cat7 is the perfect cable for gaming applications since it supports a maximum speed of 10 Gbps.

  • It depends on what you need it for exactly. The maximum cabling length of Cat7 is 100m with 10 Gbps speed, while Cat8 provides 30m with 25 Gbps or 40 Gbps speed.

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