Cat6A can comfortably handle up to 10-Gigabit networking over the entire 328-foot length. This robust option provides plenty of headroom for IT networks these days with 100 percent uptime. Why is Cat6A sturdier? That capability is due to several components.
- Cat6A has a spline or layer between twisted pair cables. This shield prevents interference from internal “bleed” from the other twisted pair and external interference due to electromagnetic interference from machinery, microwaves, and power lines in the vicinity.
- Like Cat 6, Cat6A twisted pairs have a cable gauge of 23 AWG. In contrast, Cat6A is more tightly wound than Cat6, providing more copper per inch. This higher density of copper is one reason why this grade of cabling costs more. That same thickness also provides a more robust signal path and thus reduces resistance and prevents power loss.
- Cat6A (a full 328-feet) signals reach farther than Cat6 (110-feet). Outside of a local area network (LAN) deployment, it gives installers more flexibility and real estate for connecting devices throughout a structure and between buildings.
- Cat6A has thicker casings, making it more durable in extreme weather conditions and improving the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Outdoor rated can easily handle rain, underground and extreme temperature environments.
- Cat6A is stiff and harder to bend, making it a bit more challenging to install, but the benefits in terms of network expansion and smart building deployments make it an ideal choice.
Those are features specific to Cat6A grade cables. There are other features universal to all Ethernet cables that are worth noting.