What gauge ethernet cable do I need? ?

I have the latest modem from Rogers Telecommunications (Ignite box-a Wi-Fi connection) and I have been told by a Rogers Rep that I can hook up my other laptop which only connects via ethernet. 

I would like to connect my second laptop but am not sure what gauge cable I need ie: Cat5e, Cat 6,7,8 or should I just use the laptop for target practice?


I notice that there is now a cable called a "flat cable". Any idea what that means? (other than the cable is flat?)

4 Answers

  • L.N.
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favourite answer

    Cat5e will work fine. The flat cable is intended for permanent runs. It works well under carpets and shallow run channels. It is usually not shielded. Round cables are more durable and can be purchased with a shield for installation in electrically noisy environments. 

  • 1 month ago

    As stated, the wire gauge itself isn't much concern.  The types of twisted pair cables are Cat5e, Cat6, Cat7 etc.. 

    The Cat# refers to the number of twists the pairs of wires have per inch.  Inside the jacket are four pairs of wire, each of the pairs is twisted together. 

    Cat5e supports up to 2.5Gbps Ethernet at segment lengths up to 100m (~330 feet).

    2.5Gbps is primarily used for IEEE 802.11ax backhaul, so it's unlikely that your laptop supports Ethernet speeds faster than 1Gbps, therefore Cat5E is sufficient for your purpose.  The Ethernet standard (IEEE 802.3) defines the following speeds - 10Mbps, 100Mbps, 1Gbps, 2.5Gbps, 5Gbps, 10Gbps, 40Gbps and 100Gbps.  10Mbps can run on Cat3, 100Mbps, 1Gbps and 2.5Gbps require Cat5e, 5Gbps & 10Gbps require Cat6, 40Gbps and above use fiber.  Although industry is working on 40Gbps over twisted pair technology.

    Flat cable is just referring to the physical characteristic of the cable having a flattish profile.  Providing the pairs inside are twisted together (easier to do in a round jacket) it should work fine.  

    There is ZERO benefit to use, for example, Cat6 with 1Gbps capable hardware.  The difference between Cat5e and Cat6 is the number of twists per inch for the pairs and "quality" of the RJ45.  Sometimes Cat6 is shielded, which is only of value if you ground the shield at one end, which means you need special connectors on your computer or router/switch - no "consumer" computer equipment that I know of does that.   Your computer/network hardware dictates the maximum speed, not the cable. 

  • Sandy
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    ask your ISP. they'll know.

  • BigE
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    Its type not gauge.  The wire is the same, the construction differs.

    Cat 5e will work fine, it can do 1 Gig speed which is probably the switch and your client max can handle.  Cat 6 is fully compliant, it has less noise but of course an extra cost.  Personally, I have so much Cat 5e around, I just use it.  I have never had to use Cat 6 except at work with 10 gig copper.

Still have questions? Get answers by asking now.