|Computer Networking FAQ #14|
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Q. "We recently bought 250 ft. (76 m) of CAT5 cable for our home networking project. When it arrived, the box said that the cable was 'stranded.' We were wondering if we may have bought the wrong type and should we have bought solid instead?"A. Generally speaking, stranded CAT5 is more commonly used in home networking than solid CAT5. Stranded cables are more flexible than solid ones, that allows cabling to be moved around the home without fear of cracking the wires inside. Stranded cables also cost less than solid cables... (see below
... . Solid CAT5 cables have their advantages, too. Theoretically speaking, solid CAT5 supports a higher level of performance due to its superior electrical properties compared to stranded cables, though the benefit can be negligible in practice. Businesses that are accustomed to wiring inside office walls or under floors to fixed locations, and are willing to pay more for the possibility of improved network performance, often prefer solid cabling.
Finally, when working with CAT5 cable, it's important to know that several different types of RJ-45 connectors exist. One type, designed for use with stranded cables, generally is incompatible with solid cable. Other types of RJ-45 connectors may work with both stranded and solid CAT5.