A guide to Cat7 cabling

Category 7 cables, commonly referred to as Cat7, are an advanced choice in network cabling, supporting the infrastructure for high-speed data transmission required by modern applications. Let’s explore Cat7 in greater detail, especially in comparison with its predecessor, Cat6, and delve into its varied applications.

A category 7 cable primarily known as cat7 cables are widely used for cabling infrastructure of 1000 Gigabit Ethernet. The performance of cat7 cable is up to 600 Mhz. The cat7 cable is the preceding version of all the previous Ethernet cable standards including cat5 and cat6 cables. Every preceding advancement in technologies has its own leverages and exceptions from the previous ones.  The foremost advantage of the cat7 cable is the shielded twisted pairs eliminating the noise disturbances and cross-talks.


Detailed Comparison with Cat6 Cables

Cable Type Cat 3 Cat 5 Cat5e Cat 6 Cat 6a Cat 7
Max Speed 10 Mbps 10/100 Mbps 1 Gbps 1 Gbps 10 Gbps 10 Gbps
Bandwidth 16 MHz 100 MHz 100 MHz 250 MHz 500 MHz 600 MHz

Cat7 cables offer several improvements over Cat6 cables, which are also widely used for gigabit Ethernet networks. Here’s a closer look at how Cat7 outperforms Cat6:

  • Frequency and Performance: Cat7 cables support frequencies up to 600 MHz, double that of Cat6 cables, which support up to 250 MHz. This higher frequency allows for faster data transmission and greater bandwidth.
  • Shielding and Crosstalk: Cat7 cables use shielded twisted pair (SSTP) technology, where each pair is individually shielded, and an additional layer of shielding covers the entire set of pairs. This is superior to the more common shielded twisted pair (STP) or unshielded twisted pair (UTP) used in Cat6. The additional shielding in Cat7 reduces signal attenuation and crosstalk between the pairs and external sources.
  • Transmission Speeds: Both Cat6 and Cat7 cables support speeds up to 10 Gbps. However, Cat7 cables maintain this speed over 100 meters of cabling, whereas Cat6 cables may require signal boosters or a reduced maximum length to sustain the same speed.


Applications of Cat7 Cabling

Cat7’s robust performance makes it ideal for several key applications:

  • Data Centers: Cat7 is highly suited for data centers where high data transfer rates are crucial. The superior shielding helps maintain data integrity across dense network environments where interference is a common issue.
  • Server Rooms: Similar to data centers, server rooms benefit from Cat7’s enhanced bandwidth and frequency capabilities, facilitating faster data access and greater efficiency in server-to-server communications.
  • High-Performance Computing Networks: Cat7 is beneficial in environments where large volumes of data are processed and transmitted rapidly, such as research facilities conducting complex simulations and analyses.
  • Office Buildings: For businesses requiring a reliable and future-proof network infrastructure, Cat7 provides the necessary speed and reliability to handle extensive VoIP, video conferencing, and data communications.
  • Smart Home Installations: As homes become smarter and more connected, the need for high-speed internet with minimal latency is increasing. Cat7 can support a wide range of smart home devices simultaneously without compromising on speed or quality.


Extended Network Requirements

  • Backward Compatibility: One of the significant advantages of upgrading to Cat7 is its backward compatibility with previous Ethernet standards (Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6). This makes Cat7 a versatile choice for upgrades or new installations, as it can easily integrate into existing network setups.
  • Future-Proofing: Opting for Cat7 cabling is a decision that can future-proof an installation, anticipating advancements in technology that demand higher data speeds and more reliable network connections.

Upgrading to Cat7 from Cat6 or earlier versions offers a noticeable improvement in network performance due to its higher frequency support, enhanced shielding, and superior speed consistency over longer distances. Whether for industrial, commercial, or residential use, Cat7 cables provide a robust infrastructure capable of supporting the demands of current and future network applications. By choosing Cat7, organizations and individuals can ensure their network infrastructure won’t be a limiting factor in data communication and internet connectivity needs.

Although being the expensive cable than cat5e and cat6 cables, the cat7 cables have a longer lifespan. This reduces the overall the investment costs and is preferred to be the best choice for future cabling.



Although Cat7 Ethernet cable is a bit expensive than the Cat5 and Cat6 cables, the lifespan of Cat7 cables is longer. This reduces the overall investment cost up to 50%.


Advantages of Cat7 in Home Networks

Whether using Cat7 cabling in a home setting is considered overkill depends on several factors including the current and anticipated networking needs, budget constraints, and the desire for future-proofing the home’s network infrastructure. Here are some considerations to help determine if Cat7 is a suitable choice for home use:

  • High-Speed Internet: If you have a gigabit or faster internet service, Cat7 cables ensure you are getting the maximum speed your service offers without any bottleneck at the cabling level.
  • High Bandwidth Needs: For homes with significant streaming, gaming, or home office needs, especially where multiple devices are used simultaneously, Cat7 can provide the necessary bandwidth and speed.
  • Reduced Interference: The shielding in Cat7 cables can significantly reduce signal interference from other cables and devices, which is beneficial in densely wired environments.
  • Future-Proofing: As home technologies evolve, having Cat7 cables installed could mean fewer upgrades in the future, supporting higher-speed internet services as they become available.


Considerations for Home Use

  • Cost: Cat7 cables are typically more expensive than Cat5e and Cat6 cables. The installation might also be more costly due to the stiffer, shielded cables which are less flexible and harder to manipulate.
  • Necessity: For most typical home internet usage scenarios, Cat6 and even Cat5e cables are sufficient to handle the speeds provided by the internet service provider. Cat6 cables, which can also support up to 10 Gbps and bandwidths of 250 MHz over shorter distances, might be entirely adequate for current needs.
  • Device Compatibility: The full benefits of Cat7 cabling can only be utilized if the other elements of the network, such as routers, switches, and modems, are designed to handle such high specifications.


Scenario Analysis

  • High-End Usage: If your home is packed with the latest technology, including high-speed gaming rigs, numerous smart home devices, and multiple streaming services running simultaneously, investing in Cat7 might make sense.
  • Average Home Use: For most homes where internet usage is confined to browsing, streaming at HD or even 4K, and moderate gaming, Cat7 is likely more than what is needed, and the additional cost may not translate to noticeable improvements.

For most residential scenarios, Cat7 could be considered overkill. Cat6 or even Cat5e might be more cost-effective and still provide all the necessary functionality for a home network. However, for tech-savvy households with high demands and future-oriented investments in technology, Cat7 offers a robust solution that could be worth considering.