What is the best data cabling for WiFi?
Looking into building a new network and wondering what the best data cabling for WiFi is. Well here is our simplest recommendation?
We recommend that either two Cat6a or two Cat6 cable runs are installed to each wireless access point (AP) location.
- We’re going to rely more on WiFi and we’ll need it to be fast, have a high bandwidth and low latency, so you’ll need a good feed to each of your APs.
- Some APs have a console port, enabling you to interrogate and configure the AP via an Ethernet link. This requires a second cabled link but it is particularly useful if the AP is difficult to access.
- A second cable feed could be used to drive an additional AP in the future, to give you more bandwidth.
- It’s likely that the better APs in the future will need PoE Type 3 or 4 to power them. Anything less that Cat6 cabling would struggle to cope with this without overheating.
- You current WiFi installation might be okay with single Cat5e cable runs but if and when you upgrade, it may not be good enough.
- Cables for AP outlets are often trickier to install, being in harder to reach locations and spaced further apart, so much of the cost is for the labour, not the materials. Two cables might only cost 20% more than a single cable.
- A Cat6a cable will support a 10Gb/s link up to 100 metres, including cords.
- Depending on the length, a Cat6 cable will support between 1Gb/s and 10Gb/s. If you have Smart Port Technology on your switch and AP, it will determine and use the fastest speed possible for that link.
As always, we’re happy to give honest advice without the hard-sell, so call us if you need any help.
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