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Flat Ethernet Cable vs Round: As the name suggests, flat Ethernet cable is much flatter than its round counterpart. This can be important in areas where there is not a lot of room for excess cable. When installing new Ethernet cable in a home or office, should you choose to use flat cables or round cables?

Flat Ethernet Cable vs Round

Round cable is an industry standard. There are some situations where round cable might be the best choice. For example, in a warehouse where cables are already running through the ceiling and you do not have the ability to go up to install another cable, then it may make sense for a round cable to be used. The same kind of situation could exist in some homes or offices where extra space is at minimal and there is limited options of installing more cable so that flat cables can fit exactly as you want them to in a space.

What’s the Main Difference between Flat and Round Ethernet Cables?

Flat Ethernet cables are made of thin, flexible copper strands that are twisted together to form a flat cable. This type of cable is typically used in offices or homes where there is not much movement. Round Ethernet cables have insulated wires that are round and use plastic to wrap the wires.

When the cable is bent, it’s easy for the connectors at each end to come loose. In fact, this can happen when you’re using your laptop on a table where it might be moved.

Some models of Ethernet ports are designed to accommodate both types of cables.

Bullet Points

* Flat Ethernet cables are made of thin, flexible copper strands that are twisted together to form a flat cable. This type of cable is typically used in offices or homes where there is not much movement.
* When the cable is bent, it’s easy for the connectors at each end to come loose. In fact, this can happen when you’re using your laptop on a table where it might be moved.
* Some models of Ethernet ports are designed to accommodate both types of cables.
* Round Ethernet cables have insulated wires that are round and use plastic to wrap the wires.   * When bent, these cables offer an increased risk for disconnection – potentially rendering them useless – especially when being used with a laptop on a frequent basis.
– The Cons of Flat Ethernet Cables
* Since they are made of copper, these cables are relatively heavier than most other types of Ethernet cables.
– The Pros of Round Ethernet Cables
* If you need a cable that moves frequently during the course of your workday and you’re concerned about the risk of disconnection with a flat cable, this type might be the better choice for you.
– The Benefits of Fiber Optic Over Coaxial Cables
– Which Network Cable Should You Be Using to Connect Your Router to the Computer?”

What are the Different Types of Ethernet Cables?

There are three main types of Ethernet cables: Cat5, Cat6, and Fiber Optic. While these are the most common types, there may be a few others you’ll come across as well. Though you don’t have to learn them all for this test, it’s good to know some basic differences between each in order to help you decide which one is best for your needs.

Different Types of Ethernet Cables

Cat5 Ethernet Cables

Cat5 Ethernet cables are most commonly found in homes and small business offices. As the name suggests, these cables are made out of Cat5e cable, but the connectors are different from those of Cat6/Cat6a. Cat5 cables are relatively inexpensive, but if you plan on using a lot of them in an office setting, it might be worthwhile to purchase better quality ones. The price difference is marginal though in most cases.

Pro: These cables can be used to provide 100Mbps (IEEE 802.3ab) or 1000Mbps (IEEE 802.3z) speeds.

Con: Though these cables can be relatively inexpensive, there are often better options on the market. Cat 6a/Cat7 are often more dependable and provide faster data transfer speeds. You can also find stronger cables that will last longer as well (like the ones made by Mediabridge).

Cat6 Ethernet Cables

Cat6 Ethernet cables offer better performance than Cat5. They have a better signal to noise ratio and a tighter twist on the pairs of wires. You’ll need Cat6 cable if you want to transfer data at speeds of 10Gbps in an Ethernet network.

Pro: These cables are relatively inexpensive, so it is a good option if you’re on a budget. They can also be used in homes or small businesses, and are not limited to industrial uses. However, cables made of better materials will cost a bit more money. For example, the Mediabridge Ethernet Cable is an excellent Cat6 cable that won’t cost that much more than basic ones (but don’t expect these cables to be super cheap).

Con: These cables are more difficult to terminate than Cat5. Why? Because they come in larger rolls with multiple separate coils. This makes it more difficult to get the right length of cable when you need to terminate it (or buy it in pre-terminated form).

Cat6a Ethernet Cables

Cable internet providers are beginning to offer services at speeds of at least 1Gbps, and some have started offering 2Gbps services. For speeds that fast, you will need Cat6a cables.

Due to the short distances that cat6a cables typically travel, standard RJ-45 connectors can be used.

Router Cables

If you are not sure whether you need a new cable or if your cable is already Cat6a, it is still worth having a look at the network diagram and seeing if there is any difference between these two types of cables. This will help you decide whether to buy a new cable or add an extra network port to your existing cabling system. If you do need to replace the cable, it could be cheaper than purchasing a whole network adapter (with its own transceiver).

If your existing cables can be modified, you may be able to use Cat6a connectors on them. However, this is not always the case. To make sure you get the best performance out of your network, always check with your service provider for advice.

The Differences between Coaxial Cables and Twisted Pair Cables

Coaxial Cables  – These cables connect one computer system to another using a cable that is also called a “receiver”. They are also commonly called “copper” cables due to the metal inside the cable. Coaxial cables can be either UTP or STP depending on their installation.

Pro: Coaxial cables can be found anywhere and for many different systems, including in homes, offices, and small businesses. They are relatively inexpensive.

Con: Coaxial cables can be difficult to terminate. For example, you might have trouble finding the right length of cable if you need to cut it to fit an outlet. Plus, they tend to be noisy when moved or bent around corners or around other objects.

STP Twisted Pair Cables  – These cables connect two computer systems together through a pair of wires. The wires are also called “pairs” and are either hard-wired together or connected by a wire that is twisted around them. STP cables are also called “copper” cables.

Pro: These cables are relatively inexpensive and they can be installed with ease. They are very common in offices or homes and are used for many different types of networking applications.

Con: These types of cables tend to be more difficult to install than coaxial ones. If you don’t have prior experience with these kinds of cables, it may be a good idea to hire an expert to help you out.

Office networks

Office networks are composed of office devices connected to a network. These office networks are often composed of many office desktops, office servers, office printers and other office hardware.

Office cables offer the ability to connect one device to another. They provide the power and signal connection needed for data exchange.

Office network cables come in two types: copper or fiber optic cable. Copper is relied on for its ruggedness and high data-transmission speeds, while fiber optic cable is relied on for its durability as well as flexibility and bandwidth options.

Layers of Filler

is divided into four: the inner conductor, the cladding fibers, the first insulating material (Ll) and the second insulating material (Ll). The inner conductor is the qualified conductor which is the core of the cable, and surrounded by the cladding fiber. The first insulating material (LL1) has two functions: add strength to the cable and prevents moisture absorption. The second insulation material (LL2) conveys electrical insulation to sections or branches of network cables.

Flat cables can be bent at any angle without deformation because it adopts straight lines for its construction. Moreover, all of its layers are parallel because it uses only one kind of cross-sectional circle for both sides of flat cables. Due to this feature, flat cables are significantly easier to handle and install than round cables.

Network cables are made up of several layers. The list below includes descriptions of various layers that make up a typical network cable:

The conductor is the metal inside the network cable. This wire conducts electricity signals and typically consists of copper or aluminum. The insulator is a material that doesn’t allow the current to flow through it, but it is still able to be compressed in order to allow the current to go around bends – this keeps short circuits from happening within your cables when they’ve been bent in tight areas. For most types of networking cable, varnish is applied onto the conductor and insulator as an additional layer. This helps shield against damage so these two materials are protected from snapping inside your network device (like a server or a router).

The jacket is the outer covering of the cable. It protects the wires inside and gives it flexibility (so that it can be bent). The jacket also contains the outer coating to help protect against moisture, chemicals, and abrasion. In some cases this coating is plastic and designed to withstand multiple layers of corrosion. The jacket also keeps a network cable’s wire gauge consistent so that your network device will have enough room to fit all the wires inside them. The material used in network cables varies a lot based on use case and cost.

The metal cladding is often found on older networks, though it can still be found on some newer cables. The purpose of this cladding is to protect against EMI and other fields that could interfere with your network. Older network cables often used silver cable for their cladding while newer ones use copper.

The outer casing of a network cable (the sheath) is designed to protect the cable from outside physical damage and does its best to keep the inner wires safe and secure. The sheath protects the inner wires from physical damage and the wire gauge from variation in pressure/temperature changes in different areas of the world.

A high quality cable will be made with a very durable outer casing, and also with a good inner conductor. But it’s worthwhile to remember that no matter how well the outer casing or inner conductor might be designed, there is always a chance of the cable wearing out and failing over time. As far as this goes, some network cables (like Cat5) are kept in great shape by their manufacturers while other newer ones (Cat6 etc.) have to be treated more carefully in order to get the longevity they provide.

Recently, some new technologies have been introduced. These are mostly focused on network cables that have been designed to improve the flow of the data, in order to make the switching of data faster. The two most common technologies that have been introduced are vidicon and SFP+ – they can be seen as both technological and design improvements to the older technologies.

Cat7 is considered an improved form of Cat6. Cat7 is able to reach speeds up to 10 Gigabit/s and, even though it is not widely used across the global networking industry yet (like Cat6 is), it promises a lot of potential for a very high bandwidth. In fact, this cable has been designed with almost no measurable loss between paired cables (inductance). This is a huge improvement over even Cat6, which still has measurable loss.

The advantage of this kind of cable comes from the fact that it can be easily put into an existing network infrastructure because it uses standard RJ45 plugs and jacks. This allows users to improve their network by simply upgrading the devices that connect to the network (such as switches, firewalls, routers) without having to change wiring or install new cabling between different buildings.

More and more organizations are now adopting this kind of technology for their networks because it’s easy and fast to implement in existing infrastructures. The real questions have to do with price – Cat6 is already relatively cheap but Cat7 definitely isn’t (in comparison).

Electronic Noise

Electronic noise in the network cable will be induced by electromagnetic interference of electronic equipment as well as electromagnetic generators. The interference signals are often in high frequency range and they will add into the twisted pair cable’s signal by electromagnetic induction, which will cause transmission errors.

Electronic Noise in Network Cables

The length of network cables can be regarded as a part of its transmitting antenna, causing more noise when it is longer. In order to achieve the best transmission effect, you need to take measures such as choosing lower-noise equipment and arranging network cables properly.

Fiber Management Software Open Source

Electrical qualities of network cables

Electrical properties of electrical wire are electrical properties that are intrinsic to the electrical wire’s construction and composition. The electrical properties are measured using extensive setups and equipment, such as a test circuit. They include electrical resistivity, electrochemical environment, magnetic flux density or intensity, and electron mobility. The electrical resistivity is the resistance that the wire develops when it is in contact with an electric field with opposite polarity to what its electrons prefer to flow. Electrochemical environment refers to how well-prepared a metal is for use in a corrosive acidic environment. Metal corrosion can happen when two dissimilar metals come into contact with one another due to their different electrochemical environments: one metal may be better suited for more acidic environments and the other may be better suited for less acidic environments. Magnetic flux density or intensity refers to the amount of magnetism, which is how well a metal is structured to absorb and hold its own magnetic fields in a strong magnetic field. Electron mobility describes how far an electron will travel in a conductor through an electric field.


  • Performance : If your link is less than 10 metres, you are unlikely to notice or care about the slight drop in capacity of a flat cable that will probably be compensated for by the error correction routines in the Ethernet interfaces. (
  • With 100% chance any CAT 6 cable will work just fine. (
  • And at almost a 100% any CAT 5e cable will work exactly as fine. (
  • In this situation it is unlikely that in-house cable issues are the problem, you don’t get a big lag from 10 metres of cable from a bedroom to the router. (
  • In this situation it is unlikely that in-house cable issues are the problem, you don’t get a big lag from 10 metres of cable from a bedroom to the router. (
  • Maybe face the fact some people are never going to be able to play international FPS as all the cards are held by people with a 100% fibre network all the way to the server, which is in their country. (
  • A cable tester (used to certify cables) would likely be over $1000. (
  • The tech discovered that an animal (likely a groundhog) had chewed off most of the insulation for about 3 feet of the fancy direct burial coax, from the ground to 3 feet up the pole. (
  • So, according to this table, Cat 7 runs at 600MHz, and has a maximum data rate of 10Gbps, while Cat8 runs at 2000MHz and has a maximum transfer rate of 25Gbps or 40Gbps. (
  • So, according to this table, Cat 7 runs at 600MHz, and has a maximum data rate of 10Gbps, while Cat8 runs at 2000MHz and has a maximum transfer rate of 25Gbps or 40Gbps. (


Generally, users prefer to choose among the Cat5 , Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat7 Ethernet cable types.

Also the lacking of fillers, insulating tapes, and other material reduces the weight and volume of the flat wires which offer more space efficiency.

Flat Vs Round Ethernet Cable: What is the Main Difference?

Due to the multiple layers of wires and other material which are used to reduce the heat inside the round cable, a fractional amount of heat is generated.

But, they play a significant role in network speed and accuracy along with its stability depending on the type of the cable.

Round Ethernet Cable The round Ethernet cable is a form of an insulated wire that contains some layers of filler substances.

Such filler material also protects the cord against some outer elements.

The round cables are more durable, easy to install, and can fit in any tight space quite comfortably.

The electrical quality of the conductors in the flat network cable remains constant as they are maintained parallel to each other.

All these together keep the original circular shape which in result helps in minimizing the heating in the Ethernet cables due to the friction. (

The round cable consists of low-frictional cables, insulating tapes, and fillers which helps in reducing the weight and volume of the cable itself.

Flat cable – Lightning cables, HDMI cables. (

Maintenance: The flat cable design is for permanent installation and is not recommended for standard patch leads.

This gives you all the ports in the front and cable management becomes a breeze! (

Angelina Li , Marketing at Fiberstore (FS.COM) Answered 4 years ago · Author has 122 answers and 438.5K answer views Flat patch cable slender design allows it to work around your networking area in an unobtrusive manner, providing plenty of ventilation room for server equipment.

The round cable design has been developed to optimise: Cost: A circle has the smallest ratio of perimeter to enclosed area.

Are we talking about the same quality of materials or cable design? (

Prefer flat ones for patch cables, it takes less space and looks good and also lighter. (

Flat Ethernet Cable vs Round