Indoor-outdoor living is more popular than ever. People love being able to enjoy their outdoor space and still have the luxury of all their devices and appliances. For a premium setup, you need to be able to connect items that are outside to a computer network, calling for an outdoor ethernet cable. Learn about the different options and how they can work for your needs.
Your Outdoor Ethernet Cable Choices
An ethernet cable is used to transmit data between devices in a network. It is the most commonly used type of cable for wired networks. Ethernet cables are available in different categories, each designed for a specific purpose.
When it comes to using Ethernet cables outdoors, there are a few things to consider. Outdoor ethernet cables need to be able to withstand the elements, such as rain, snow and extreme temperatures. They also need to be able to resist UV radiation from the sun, which can cause the cable and its casing to degrade over time. In addition, an outdoor ethernet cable needs to be able to endure physical damage, such as being run over by a lawnmower or chewed on by animals.
What makes a good outdoor ethernet cord? Take a look at the different types of ethernet cords.
Cat6 Ethernet Cable
A Cat6 ethernet cable is an improved version of Cat5e ethernet cable and is designed to support higher bandwidths. It is also better suited for outdoor use. Cat6 Ethernet cables are made with higher-quality materials and are designed to be more durable. They are also better able to withstand moisture and extreme temperatures, making them a good choice for outdoor use.
However, while Cat6 Ethernet cables are more durable than Cat5e Ethernet cables, they still may not be suitable for all outdoor applications. They can still be susceptible to UV radiation, so look for products that are specifically rated to stand up to the sun.
Cat7 Ethernet Cable
Cat7 ethernet cables are the latest and most advanced type of ethernet cable. They are designed to support even higher bandwidths than a Cat6 Ethernet cable and be more durable than both Cat5e and Cat6 Ethernet cables. Cat7 ethernet cables are made with high-quality materials that are more resistant to moisture, extreme temperatures and UV radiation.
Cat7 Ethernet cables are the best choice for an outdoor ethernet cable, especially in areas with lots of sunlight. They are also ideal for applications that require high-speed data transfer over long distances. However, Cat7 Ethernet cables are more expensive than Cat5e and Cat6 cables.
Cat5e Ethernet Cable
A Cat5e ethernet cable is the most basic type of ethernet cable, suitable for many indoor applications. However, it is not recommended for outdoor use. Cat5e ethernet cables are not designed to withstand the elements and can easily become damaged when exposed to moisture or extreme temperatures.
If you have an enclosed patio or sunroom that is not fully outside, you may be able to use a Cat5e cable for simple applications.
When To Use an Outdoor Ethernet Cable
Now that you know how to choose the right cable, think about where you need to use it. There are some projects that could be fine with a Wi-Fi connection from the house, but others would be better served with a wired connection for the best reliability.
Outdoor Security Cameras
Ethernet cables can be used to connect outdoor security cameras to a network. This allows you to monitor your property from a remote location and keep an eye on potential security threats. The consistency of the connection also reduces the chances of a lapse in security coverage.
Outdoor Wi-Fi Access Points
If you have a large outdoor area that needs Wi-Fi coverage, an outdoor ethernet cable can be used to connect an outdoor Wi-Fi access point to your network. It can provide reliable Wi-Fi coverage for guests or anyone working outside, making it more enjoyable to spend time outdoors.
Outdoor Video and Sound Systems
Entertainment is a big part of indoor-outdoor living, so you may want to install a TV that can stream from the latest services and a great outdoor sound system. Ethernet cables can be used to connect all these devices to a network. You can host outdoor movie nights or stream music reliably without worrying about your wireless connection.
Outdoor Lighting Control Systems
Ethernet cables can be used to connect outdoor lighting control systems to a network. You can control the lighting in your outdoor space from a mobile device or remote location. A wired connection ensures the lights will be responsive in every scenario.
An outdoor ethernet cable can be used to connect sensors, controllers and other devices in a greenhouse to a network. This allows you to monitor and control the environment in the greenhouse, such as temperature, humidity and lighting. You can also use a wired connection to automate sprinklers in your yard.
Overall, when you need to make sure that your internet connection is strong and consistent to keep all of your devices and systems operating smoothly, use a cable rather than relying only on Wi-Fi.
Ethernet Cable Maintenance
Once you install your cable, you should have a plan to keep it in good working order. There are a few things to consider. First, add regular inspections to your to-do list to make sure there are no cuts, kinks or other damage along the cord. Burying the cable offers more protection, but if it's above ground, keep it clean by removing dirt and debris. Also check any connectors to see if they are loose or damaged and replace them as needed.