Types of Ethernet Cable


Choosing the Right Ethernet Cable Type for Your Needs

When running Ethernet cable for your home or business network, you have several cable varieties to choose from depending on your specific application and building requirements.


PVC or CMR cable represents the most common and budget-friendly indoor Ethernet cabling. It works well in enclosed spaces without airflow to inhabited areas, making it ideal for wiring network closets and back offices.

Plenum/CMP Cable

Plenum-rated or CMP Ethernet cable meets stringent fire safety standards, producing little smoke and no toxic fumes when burned. Use plenum cable when running lines through plenum spaces – large ceiling areas sharing airflow with rooms below. Building codes often mandate plenum-rated cabling in these ducted areas to limit fire risk.

Gel-Filled Cable

Gel-filled Ethernet cable contains a water-resistant gel encasing the interior wires. The protective gel enables direct underground burial without conduit, resisting ground moisture that degrades other cable types. Gel-filled lines combine nicely with UV-resistant jacketings for exterior runs.

UV-Protected Cable

For outdoor cable runs along rooftops and fencing, choose Ethernet lines with UV-resistant jackets. These protect the interior components from deterioration due to years of sunlight exposure. Underground sections benefit further from gel-filled UV cable.

Shielded Cable

Electrical interference from nearby motors, generators, and radio towers can disrupt unprotected cables. Shielded Ethernet lines incorporate an internal conductive barrier to block disruptive electromagnetic signals when properly grounded. Medical, industrial, and other high interference areas often require shielded data cabling.

Flexible Patch Cables

Handy patch cords connect servers, computers, phones, switches, and routers to your Ethernet jacks and panels. Choose flexible, thin-profile cabling with molded boots preventing cable slippage or tab breaks from movement and strain. Color coding patch cable ends aids organization and troubleshooting in busy equipment rooms.

Evaluating your unique connectivity needs and operating environment allows identifying the ideal Ethernet cabling for a reliable network infrastructure. Connect with a knowledgeable low voltage electrical contractor early in your project to ensure the proper cable specifications