Skip to main content

What's an Ethernet cable?

Written by KCOM Support on 22/03/2022. Posted in Broadband.

An Ethernet cable, also known as a Cat-6, Cat-5e, Cat-5 and RJ45 cable carries the broadband signals between your router, computer or other devices. The cable comes in different colours such as yellow, green, red and blue and is included with any routers that we provide.

You can find out what version of Ethernet cable you have by looking on the cable itself. The version should be printed on the side.

Ethernet Cable

What's a Cat-6 cable?

A Cat-6 cable can handle speeds of up to 10Gbps (10000Mbps).

This cable is a perfect choice for Lightstream, just like the Cat-5e cable. Your speed won't be limited by using this cable.

What's a Cat-5e cable?

A Cat-5e cable is an upgraded version of the most common cable - the Cat-5, and it can handle speeds of up to 1Gbps (1000Mbps).

This cable is a brilliant choice for Lightstream connections and in fact - it's what we provide to you as part of your Lightstream installation. Your speed won't be limited by using this cable.

What's a Cat-5 cable?

Cat-5 cables are the most common and can handle speeds of up to 100Mbps (tested at 100 meter length). This cable is most suitable for customers using ADSL broadband.

Although this cable can be used on Lightstream, we don't recommend it as it will limit your speed to 100Mbps. For example, if you have a 400Mbps Lightstream package and plug a laptop into your router, you'll only get a quarter of your available speed.



You cannot use this cable to plug your router into the ONT (Optical Network Terminal) as this will limit the speed to 100Mbps for your entire connection.

More useful information on Ethernet cables

You don't have to plug your devices in via an Ethernet cable and not all devices support connecting this way - most devices allow you to connect wirelessly instead.

It's worth noting that connecting your devices by an Ethernet cable where possible is superior to connecting wirelessly. The reason for this is because it can handle greater speeds, it can't be affected by wireless interference and you'll also be hardwired directly into your router.

If you have issues with your connection speed while connecting wirelessly, try connecting using an Ethernet cable instead. If your speed increases, the issue is more than likely with your wireless connection. Check out 'How do I get the best Wi-Fi signal?' for help with getting the best from your wireless connection.

Was this article useful?