Speed of an Ethernet cable

We all are using Ethernet cable in our daily life to get better internet speed. If you are not using Wi-Fi, then you will go with the Ethernet (LAN) cable. About thirty years ago, we used to have a token ring but not anymore. Your work depends on the internet speed. There are mainly three types of speed that we are working with i.e. 100 Mbps, 1,000 Mbps, and 10 Gbps. It represents the Megabits and Gigabits that are transmitted per second.
To know the Speed on an Ethernet cable, it is better to learn the difference betweenthe three types of speeds.Having different speed means having different network standards.Here, we will know more about the Ethernet cable and its speed.

Fast Ethernet (100 Mbps)

To improve the Ethernet, the Fast internet standard (IEEE 802.3u) was introduced. It raised the transmission speed from 10 Mbps to 100 Mbps with improved error detection and correction rates. It was adopted fast because of its better access to Multimedia and the internet. You can commonly find this Ethernet being used for category 5 or Cat-5 copper twisted-pair cable or fiber-optic cable.

The three types of Fast Ethernet that we use are:

  1. 100BASE-TX for the level 5 UTP cable
  2. 100BASE-T4 for the level 3 UTP cable
  3. 100BASE-FX for the fiber-optic cable

1000 Mbps

The Gigabit Ethernet (IEE 802.3) was the result of creating a backbone of large networks to connect the routers, servers, and switch. In comparison to the Fast Ethernet, it is 10 times faster, transferring 1000 Mb per second. The best thing about this technology is that it is budget-friendly making it easy to replace the fast Ethernet.

Two more things make it superior to Fast Ethernet. First thing is that Gigabit Ethernet supports full-duplex operations to the MAC layer of the OSI model. Another thing is that it requires a Cat-5e copper cable with four pairs of twisted wires.

For distance up to 550 and 1000 meters, the cables used are:

  1. 1000BASE-SX for 550m
  2. 1000BASE-LX for 1000 m

10, 000 Mbps (10 Gigabit Ethernet)

10 Gigabit Ethernet (IEEE 802.3ae) is the latest one. It has a transfer rate of 10 Gbps which is 10 times faster than Gigabit Ethernet. It can also work with the copper twisted pair cable or fiber optic cable. Cat-6a or Cat -7 cables are needed for it. It used fiber optic cables that can cover a distance up to 10,000 meters or 6.2 miles. They are:

  1. 10GBASE-LX4
  2. 10GBASE-ER
  3. 10GBASE-SR


As the development in the Ethernet cables, internet is getting faster. Ethernet is getting criticized for not able to achieve the speed rate as per the real world usage. You cannot exceed the speed rating as they are already at the maximum value.You cannot use any kind of formula to increase the speed. To understand this concept you need to learn about the Ethernet speed.  The information above will give you an idea about the Ethernet speed and how it works.