Difference Between CAT6 vs CAT6a

cat6 vs cat6a

In the world of network cables, one name is known to stand out – the CAT6. This is perhaps the most used cable in the Ethernet world. And with the creation of CAT6a, most people would just say, “perhaps the addition of the lower case ‘a’ makes the difference.”

The difference may not be seen in the way it looks as they can handle the basic protocols needed. However, their performance will show that one is ahead of the other. The CAT6a doubles the performance from the 250MHz of the CAT6, without allowing running longer distances (up to 100m).

Another wonderful development from CAT6 to CAT6a is the crosstalk phenomenon, wherein the decrease is due to a good insulation of the cables. However, CAT6a lowers this phenomenon even more and prevents alien crosstalk, which is generally from other cables.

Because of the capability of the CAT6a, it is heavier and bulkier than CAT6, although new models have a reduced size by twisting the insides, similar to that of a DNA. And of course in price, the CAT6a is more expensive that CAT6, so having an upgrade is influenced by how much you have in your pocket, and is not a bad idea.

Following are key Difference Between CAT6 vs CAT6a

Cat 6 Cat 6A
Cable Length 100 meters for slower network speeds and higher network speeds over short distances. 55 meters max with 33 meters in high crosstalk conditions for Gigabit Ethernet 100 meters across all systems and conditions for Gigabit Ethernet
Speed 10 Gbps over 33-55 meters (110-165 feet) of cable 10 Gbps over 100 meters (330 feet) of cable
Frequency Up to 250 MHz Up to 500 MHz
Gauges in Conductors 22 to 24 AWG wire 16 to 20 AWG wire
Cost Varies by manufacturer and length Varies by length and manufacturer


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