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How to connect and use an Ethernet cable | BT Business

How to connect and use an Ethernet cable

It's really easy to connect an Ethernet cable and set up an Ethernet connection between your computer and your hub.

Simply plug one end of your Ethernet cable into your computer and the other into one of your hub's Ethernet ports. That's it, you can now enjoy fast, reliable internet.

To find the right Ethernet cable for you, see our selection of networking cables

What's an Ethernet cable

It’s a type of network cable that connects devices within a local area network (LAN)

Ethernet cables are the ones that carry broadband signals between your computer, router, and modem, or any other wired, internet-ready devices that you may have in your home (like gaming consoles and laptops). Ethernet cables look like landline phone cables (but slightly thicker with more wires) and plug into Ethernet ports.

Ethernet cables are internationally recognised and all computer manufacturers support their use. They can be used with most hardware, apart from a few ultra-modern laptops. You can still connect these devices to an Ethernet cable you just need to get an Ethernet adapter.

Does Ethernet have advantages over wi-fi?

If your computer stays in one place, sometimes an Ethernet cable provides a faster, more reliable internet connection. This is because it’s not affected by factors that can interfere with wi-fi like the weather, distance from the router, or things blocking the signal.

What are the different types of Ethernet cable?

The most common types of Ethernet cable are:

  • Category 5 (Cat5) is the fifth generation of Ethernet network cable can support speeds of up to 100Mbps. Cat5e is an enhanced version that supports up to 1Gbps. Until recently it was a standard choice for most businesses.
  • Category 6 (Cat6) a tightly twisted cable that can support speeds of 1Gbps at 100 metres; even more over shorter distances.
  • Category 7 (Cat7) is more durable and has a longer lifespan than Cat5 and Cat6, supporting speeds of 10Gbps and higher. It uses shielded twisted pairs significantly improving noise resistance.
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