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Flat Vs Round Ethernet Cable: Which is Better?

Setting up a home or office network requires some specific equipment such as routers, modems, switches, hubs, ethernet cables, crimpers, RJ45 connectors, etc. Some of them are optional and only needed if you have higher setup requirements, while some of them are mandatory, like the best ethernet cables.
Generally, users prefer to choose among the Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat7 Ethernet cable types. But many of them don’t know that there are actually two different types of network Ethernet cables are available in the market; Flat Ethernet cable and Round Ethernet cable. Today, I will make a comparison of Flat Vs Round Ethernet cables and show you the main difference between these cable types.

Flat Ethernet Cables

Flat Ethernet cables are revered for the electrical quality of their conductors. When conductors remain parallel to one another, that quality remains constant, which is convenient for the user’s sake. The coveted balance that flat Ethernet cables provide is not often found in round cables.
The structure of this type of Ethernet cable tends to be more high maintenance than round Ethernet cables since it doesn’t have as reliable of self-sustaining features against heat as round cords.
Flat Ethernet cables typically have a reduced volume and weight when compared to round cables because they lack fillers or low-friction wires, which is beneficial for storage and installation purposes.
Flat Ethernet cables are usually sold at a lower price than round wires.

Round Ethernet Cables

Round cables produce much less heat than flat cables because of their build. They contain several layers of wires and additional components that aim to reduce internal heat.
Round cables are very user-friendly, as they have a simple installation process, are flexible for tight spaces, and are super durable. Their flexibility and durability make them the popular choice for data center applications over flat Ethernet cables.
These Ethernet cords have a higher uptime, or level of operational performance, than flat Ethernet cables.

Flat Ethernet Cable vs Round Ethernet Cable: Advantages and Disadvantages

Both the types of Ethernet cables have their advantages and disadvantages. Accordingly, they are used in different industries and sectors.
Lack of filler substance in flat Ethernet cable generates high noise and cross talk.
Flat Ethernet cables are easy to handle and therefore, they are perfect for under carpet or floor cables.
Round Ethernet cable has insulation and prevents interference.
Flat Ethernet cables are suitable for tight bends but they are comparatively pricey.

Differences Between Flat and Round Ethernet Cables

Cable Design
Flat cables do not include any protective filler. They are perfect for electrical quality and remain constant with one another. Compared to round cables, it requires more maintenance. However, it does have reduced weight and volume as it does not come with low friction wires. Flat Ethernet cables are also pocket friendly in comparison to round cables.
The structure of round cables contains different layers of wires along with additional components. This helps to reduce the internal heat. It further helps to increase durability and offer a high level of operational performance. Round cables are also very flexible that making them easily fit into tight spaces.
Maintenance
Since flat cables are for permanent installation, they require more maintenance. This makes them offer reduced up time when compared to round cables. In contrast, round cables offer more uptime with less maintenance.
Insulation
Flat Ethernet cables do not come with any insulation or filler that are available in round cables. However, it does have similar insulation as in electrical properties. This means that it is much vulnerable to electromagnetic interferences. It can happen particularly during long distances.
If you compare it with round Ethernet cables, they come with more insulation. It helps them offer better protection against EMI. The shielded design also helps to offer long lasting performance. The conductors help to maintain the strength of the cable while running in a parallel route.
Attenuation
In flat Ethernet cables, the attention can be often worse. It can happen as it increases the chances of electromagnetic interference which makes it suffer from attenuation. It is very unsuitable for long distances.
Even over long distances, round Ethernet cables are not prone to attenuation. It makes them perfect for long distances as there is no degradation of data. The thick insulation helps to provide better protection against EMI.
Installation
Talking about installation, flat Ethernet cables can be a great choice when you happen to install them on the carpet. Their flat structure allows them to have better adaptability on different surfaces including ground.
However, round cables offer better convenience as you don’t have to deal with any hassle. The solid core wiring makes it a reliable choice for long-distance cabling. You must always look for a solid round cable when you happen to pass them through walls. Round cables also offer better insulation and protection.
Overall Execution
The electrical conductor quality offered by flat cables is constant. It makes sure that the physical strength remains the same while using. Flat cables can be great for limited spaces even though it requires more maintenance compared to round Ethernet cables.
Round cables are more durable as it has multiple layers of insulation and other wires. The structure also makes them perfect for data centers. Additionally, it has the ability to reduce heat generation from the inside due to the repetition of wires.
Cost
As round Ethernet cables have a complicated structure and more components, it is higher in cost compared to flat cables. Even if they happen to be of the same length, round cables are more expensive. In case you are looking for a pocket-friendly round Ethernet cable, you need to look for a suitable alternative.

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