Category 7, also known as Cat7, is a cable standard for Ethernet and other networking technologies. A Cat7 network cable usually utilizes four pairs of twisted copper wires. Compared to Category 6 components, Category 7 cabling conforms to stricter guidelines for alien crosstalk and system noise. For interference reduction, shielding is placed on each pair of a Category 7 cable’s twisted copper wires, and then an overall shield covers the entire cable. The Cat7 standard supports 10 Gigabit Ethernet. Reliable Ethernet installations will run Category 7 cable to a maximum length of 100 metres. This cable category can transmit data with frequencies of up to 600 MHz. An Augmented Category 7 standard, referred to as Cat7a, delivers a performance of up to 1000 MHz.

Category 7 Cable with SSTP Wiring

The double-shielded Category 7 cable incorporates Screen Shielded Twisted Pair (SSTP) or Screened Foiled Twisted Pair (SFTP) wiring. The shielded twisted pair construction is beneficial in high-speed networks that are Ethernet-based, specifically 1000BASE-T or 10GBASE-T infrastructures. Cat5e and Cat6 cables can be more cost-effective; however, higher performance Cat 7 cabling often comes with a longer estimated lifespan.

Class F Network Cabling Offers Backward Compatibility

The term “Class F” also refers to Cat 7 cabling, with Class FA as the designation for the augmented standard. Described as next-generation technology, Class F network cabling is backward compatible with previous Cat6 and Cat5 standards. Commercial entities that require specific noise resistance and bandwidth capabilities may consider Cat7/Class F cables.

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