Bulk Cat6 Cables are the most common sight in all LAN networks whether it is commercial or residential. These cables are not only fast and efficient but also affordable. In addition to their desirable features, Cat6 cables are available in a multitude of variants. One variant, however, the Cat6 plenum cable, is considered to be rather expensive as compared to other bulk cat6 cables.
Is it really expensive? If so, why? This is the question we are discussing in this blog. We will also discuss what it has to offer in detail, so be sure to read.
Cat6 Cables Explained
Before we embark on explaining the Cat6 Plenum Cable, it is important to know the ins and outs of the entire category 6 in general because only then can we explain the cost and features of the plenum Cat6.
Cat6 is short for category 6. This is the category introduced after the fifth and enhanced the fifth category of ethernet cables. The need for this cable arose from the fact that its predecessor, the Cat5 could not support 1 GBit/s data transfer at 100 meters. And users had to install it at 50 meters to access the gigabit ethernet applications.
The cable had more twists per unit length in the 23 AWG conductor pair which enabled it to transfer data at mighty speeds of 1 GBit/s.
Is Cat6 Plenum Expensive?
No. When you look at it technically, the Cat6 plenum is not expensive. In the long run, it provides more value than its cost by ensuring the safety of your property and everlasting high-speed and efficient data transfer.
Of course, if you look at only the market price, it costs a fraction more than its other counterparts such as the Cat6 riser and PVC but the long-term value that it provides makes it feasible and ideal for all sorts of networking needs.
How it ensures the safety of property and provides high performance will be discussed in the next parts.
Why is the Cat6 Plenum Expensive?
The cable jacket is made out of low non-toxic smoke emitting materials called LSZH (low smoke zero halogens) which are state-of-the-art cable jacket materials. This material is the primary reason it would cost you a little more than a good old PVC cable.
Cat6 Plenum Shielded
If you are looking for the shielded cat6 plenum cable, you will find it listed at a higher price than an unshielded cat6. That is because of the integrated shielding around the cable conductors and beneath the cable jacket. This shielding is installed in the cable to ensure a smooth data transfer without the interference of EMI, crosstalk, and external noise.
Shielded Cat6 plenum cable is mostly used in networks where the number of cables is too much insofar as to create obstructions for signal transmission.
However, you can also use this cable in long-distance transmissions which ensures the integrity of signals and keeps your data packets intact.
Cat6 Plenum for commercial LAN
Although the Cat6 Cable 1000ft is used in all kinds of LAN networks, it is seen more frequently in commercial networks such as schools, hotels, offices, factories, hospitals, etc. The reason being its cost. Ironically, the cable questioned for being expensive turns out to be affordable for almost all businesses. Big and small alike.
To reiterate, the cable returns far greater value than its price in long term. Not just this cable but all bulk Cat6 cables typically last for about 10 years which is a pretty long period. In fact, it is more likely for the cable to be outdated than to be worn out.
Cat6 Plenum for Residential LAN
In addition to commercial LAN networks, this cable is also ideal for residential LAN networks. Its high-speed data transfer rate and bandwidth capacity make it most desirable for home networks considering the increasing number of people working or running businesses from home.
If you too are running a business from home or working a remote job, you certainly need a higher bandwidth with a reliable data transfer speed. So the plenum-rated category 6 cable is the best choice for you. You can also choose Cat6 patch cables to connect your devices indoors.
Simply put, the cat6 plenum cable is not expensive if you look at the long-term return on value. But the net cost can go slightly above as compared to its counterparts. And this fractionally more price is due to its plenum-rated jacket that is made out of the state of the art, pre, premium quality LSZH material.