The new cable is here! The new cable is here! (an homage to Steve Martin…)
BlueJeansCable is the real deal for ethernet and hdmi (and other) cables. It’s also expensive.
I try to hard-wire everything I can. I have cable tunning from my 24-port switch running all over the place, including out into the living room (via under the house) to yet another living-room switch.
I have a 1 GB connection for my internet, and a very fast router/wifi and DOCSIS 3.1 cable modem. (Nope: not rich – it’s all for my business, which is internet-based.)
My router is 25 feet from the switch, so a 50′ round trip (modem to router to switch). I put CAT 6a cable in that route, and everything else is regular cat 6. there may be some cat 5 in there somewhere.
The difference between 5, 6, 6a and so on is really “bandwidth” which then translates into “speed”. Think of it as a highway system, where “bandwidth” equals “lanes.” The more lanes you have the more cars you can push down the road.
If you have a two lane road, then at full speed, you’ll only get two cars down it at any give time. If you have a 5-lane road, then everyone can scream down the road at full throttle.
So: it’s not only top speed, but how many cars are simultaneously trying to get down the road? For me and my wife, it’s only the two of us, plus a few devices (Tivo, AppleTV, her computers and mine). In reality however, if you ever look at LAN and internet traffic, you’ll likely be surprised by the amount of stuff going on -all- the time, such as IMAP mail checking; apps checking the background for updates or to make sure they are authorized; AntiVirus software; automatic updates, devices on the LAN checking their status or reporting it… the list goes on and on. Most of that stuff is in very brief spurts, but it is nonetheless there, all the time, in the background.
So, our worse case scenario is something like
Recording something on TIVO off the net;
running AppleTV to watch something;
Doing a Zoom conference in my office;
running a video on Nora’s computer.
Use can pile up higher for families with teenagers who keep their iPhones on wifi 100% of the time.
So, I pay a lot of $$ for my high speed internet access, and I have a LOT of things hanging off my net. I don’t want anything to slow this mess down. I popped the big bucks for CAT 6a cables up to my switch. I buy “real” regular CAT 6 for most uses, and one of these days when I can get my old bones under the house again, I’ll probably replace the CAT 5 to the living room with CAT 6… maybe.
It “ain’t broke” now, so we’re good meanwhile.
Yes: I’m “over the top” about some of this, but equally, I don’t regret the money and effort I’ve spent either.
I buy all my cable from bluejeanscable.com. That way, I know what I’m getting: each cable comes with a printed report from a $10,000 Fluke testing machine that verifies the cable’s specs are met.
Here’s the article that worked to sway me:
Do I notice the difference between their cable, and Amazon el-cheapo? Yes. It didn’t blow the doors off (well: in one case it did) but I live in this system 10 hours a day, 6 or 7 days a week, so I’m more sensitive to changes than the average person would be.
(I also upgraded all my HDMI cables to products from BJC and I could literally see the difference between theirs and the no-brand stuff.)
Finally: no, I’m not shilling for them; just a happy customer. YMMV.