We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links. Learn More


Cat6 vs Fiber Optics Cabling: What is the Difference

The field of networking is growing more and more as the days pass by. It was not much long ago when we used to wait for a couple of hours just to buffer a video on the internet and nowadays it’s only a matter of minutes till we get the whole movie downloaded.

Technology has come very far from where it was in the early 2000s and so we can clearly see all the newer and faster technology available to us. Talking about networking you must have heard about the cable called “Cat6 cable” and also the newer technology of cables called the “Optic fiber cable”. To know what these types of cables are we would have to dig deeper into them and get a better understanding of what they are.

What is Cat6 Cable?

Cat6 cable is sometimes also known as Category 6 cable, it is a type of cable that is usually found in the Gigabit Ethernet and also among different types of other networking systems. As we know that the sixth generation of Ethernet cables was formed from a couple of twisted copper wires, well Cat6 also consists of four pairs of these wires which is very much similar to the Cat 5 (Category 5 cable) cables. Although the most obvious difference between the two of them is that the Cat6 cables take advantage of all the four pairs of the wires inside it and thus supporting communications at almost twice the speed of Cat5e. This allows the Gigabit Ethernet to go at a speed of almost 1 gigabit per second which is really fast.

A closer view at the Cat6 cable

This fast speed of the Cat 6 cables is the major reason that the Cat6 cables are widely used for VoIP. VoIP is actually a method to deliver voice communication and multimedia sessions over the internet protocols, just like the Internet. These cables transfer data at a very fast speed which makes it a choice for many users. But these cables also have their own drawbacks and one would be the length restrictions when you are using these types of cables. For starters when you are using these cables for 10/100/1000BASE-T, then the restrictions that would be imposed on you would be that you would be left with a range of 100 meters and when the Cat6 cables are used for 10GBASE-T then the restriction that would be imposed on you would be that you would only be left with a range of 55 meters. Yes, that’s right just 55 meters of range. We’ve also covered the best ethernet cables.

What is Optic Fiber cable?

Optic Fiber is a relatively newer type of technology available in the networking sector. These types of cables are also widely known as Optical Fiber and they are also getting more and more popular these days. The Optic Fiber Cables are totally different from the Cat6 cables, the primary reason would be because of the working of the Optic Fiber Cables. The Optic Fiber cables, unlike the Cat6 cables, work by drawing light instead of electrical power and thus use it for the transmission of signals.

The method of the transmission of signals by the Optic Fiber Cables make them extremely fast and that is because we all know at what rate the light travels. Light travels at an extremely fast speed, making it the fastest method of transmission of data. On top of being fast, the Optic Fiber Cables also deliver a cleaner signal when compared to the normal copper wires. It is faster than any type of method of data transfer that involves copper wires in it. The Optic Fiber Cables also do not have the range limitations like the Cat6 cables because light can travel great distances and that too at a super-fast speed.


Well, we can clearly see who the real winner between the two of them is which the Optic Fiber Cabling is obviously. Although the Cat6 may have some advantages over the previous generation Cat5 cables however, it cannot beat the Optic Fiber when it comes to speed and convenience. The Fiber Optic is a newer technology and it is said to be the technology that is going to completely change the networking world, with its extremely fast data traveling speeds.


Bill Wilson

Bill is a certified Microsoft Professional providing assistance to over 500 remotely connected employees and managing Windows 2008 to 2016 servers.