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Ethernet cat 5e, 7 or 8?

So, my internet speeds are 2.4 ghz and 5ghz on a modem that has a router in it, a 2 in 1. I was going to buy an ethernet cable but didn't know what would be best for me? Does a cat 7 or 8 fit any modem?

If this helps, my modem is about 15 feet away from my computer, so I would need that length.

3 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    Your Internet "speed" is NOT 2.4Ghz or 5Ghz.  Internet bandwidth is measured in bits per second (bps).  Your WiFi router is capable of supporting IEEE 802.11AC which supports 2.4Ghz and/or 5Ghz carrier frequencies, which has ZERO to do with your network throughput. 

    Your Internet "speed" (better known as bandwidth) is what you acquire from your Internet service provider.  You need to call them and ask them what bandwidth you're supposed to be getting, that is the only way to know.   You can test if you're actually getting the bandwidth your paying for by measuring it at  

    As for your cable, you don't need anything better than Cat5e.  Cat6 is only required when you are going to be running 10Gbps Ethernet over twisted pair.  Cat7 and Cat8 are intended for 40Gbps Ethernet.  Your home router isn't capable of supporting Ethernet speeds faster than 1Gbps.  Cat5e is sufficient for up to 5Gbps Ethernet.  Just to set context, a 10Gbps copper Ethernet port costs around $500ish per port on a switch/router.  There are no consumer routers with 10Gbps copper ports.  Most places that run 10Gbps Ethernet do it over fiber optics.  

    There is a common misconception that if you use the best possible wire your Internet will go faster.  That is fake news.  Your Internet can't go any faster that what you pay for from your service provider, very few consumer Internet service providers offer anything faster than 250Mbps (which is 1/4 of 1Gbps).  Therefore paying for Cat6 for a home network is a total waste of money.  

    Above being said, if you were going to wire a home for Ethernet, where the cable will be behind sheetrock and not easily changed, I would use Cat6.  You don't need shielded Cat6.  Shielded cable is only necessary in very electrically noisy environments, like a factory floor or a battleship.  Shielded cable is challenging to work with and must be grounded properly for the shield to work.

    Source(s): 30+ years experience as a network engineer, I worked with the original 10BaseT (10Mbps Ethernet) products. I've helped countless organizations with wiring issues.
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  • BigE
    Lv 7
    2 months ago

    Unless > 1Gb connection, use 5e.  No home routers/switches are > 1Gb.  If you were to install it behind a wall, then maybe for future purposes Cat 6, if you can't rewire easily.

    The only real difference is how well shielded and in spec. It won't make it run any faster.

    • I Like Stories
      Lv 7
      2 months agoReport

      Not all Cat6 is shielded.  The difference between Cat5e and Cat6 is the number of twists per foot.  There is such as thing as shielded Cat6, but unless it's installed correctly it's no better than unshielded Cat6.

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  • 2 months ago

    CAT5e is fine.

    The 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz are the radio frequencies used by WiFi and totally unrelated to data speeds or Ethernet.

    The standard for all present consumer-grade Ethernet is 1 Gbit / sec.

    Older or simpler/cheaper equipment worked at 100 Mbit / sec.

    Ethernet is not an adaptive or variable-speed system, it works at fixes speeds. 

    Those speeds are guaranteed to work over cable lengths of at least 100 metres (~330 ft) between pieces of equipment.

    Just get a 5m or 10m Ethernet cable, any grade from CAT5e up, the only thing that is different is the cost - there will be zero effect on speed or reliability.

    [If you were laying in long runs of fixed "trunk" cabling into a building, then using a higher grade to support future, faster Ethernet such as 10Gbit could make sense, so it would not have to be replaced - but for now, for normal plug-in cables, there is no point.

    Just get the cheapest 5m or 10m CAT5e ethernet lead you can find & it will work perfectly].

    [Electronics designer & network installer for many years].

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