Flat vs Round Ethernet Cable – What’s the Difference?

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Short Answer

Flat Ethernet cable offer the same functionality as the Round Ethernet cable if used within its specifications. However, flat Ethernet cable is less likely prone to tangling and can be easily coil into a bag while traveling. The only difference between them is that the Flat Ethernet cable is a little more expensive in comparison to Round Ethernet cable.

Flat Vs Round Ethernet Cable

You often hear about the terms Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, and Cat7 Ethernet cable from the people setting up their wired internet connection or a home network.

But there are quite a few of them who knows there is also a one more different type of classification when it comes to choosing the best Ethernet cable for your home networking, which is flat Ethernet cable and a round Ethernet cable.

So for the rest of those who are not familiar with these terms, I am going to put up a comparison table of Flat Vs Round Ethernet cables and also mention the main differences between these cable types.

So without further ado lets begin…

Flat Ethernet Cable

Flat Ethernet Cable

Cicoil, the first manufacturing company of flat Ethernet cables came out with this design for the ease in packaging, usage, and it’s ability to generate less electronic noise & vibration during operation.

A flat Ethernet cable has a twisted copper pairs in the shape of the thin flat wires wrapped inside the flat insulated jacket.

Most of the time you won’t see any type of shielding on a flat Ethernet cable, as it is very difficult to compensate the shielding material in a flat shape against the round one.

This absence of outer shielded protection is one of the reason that a flat Ethernet cable is more prone to external Electromagnetic Interference which you wouldn’t find in a round Ethernet cable.

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Round Ethernet Cable

Round Ethernet Cable

The Round Ethernet cable is the combination of insulated copper wires in the round shape with the combination of layers of filler elements. This filler element strengthen the round shape of the Ethernet wire and also minimizes the heating produce inside the Ethernet cable due to the friction.

The filler element not only solves the problem of heating but also protects the Ethernet cable chord from outer elements.

If you own a data center or a telecom room then you are most likely to buy a Round Ethernet cable against the flat type Ethernet cable.

Flat Ethernet Cable vs Round Ethernet Cable: How Do They Differ?

Flat Ethernet cable and Round Ethernet cable both have their own applications in the telecommunication industry, but they have their own advantages & disadvantages too over one and another.

And further from right hereon I am going to explain each and every difference between the flat Ethernet cable vs round Ethernet cable.

  • Because of the fact that flat Ethernet cable doesn’t have good amount of filler element, so there is always high amount of noise generation or cross talk in the cable.
  • Flat Ethernet cables are easy to handle in comparison to Round Ethernet cables. And also they are more appropriate for buying when you have to do the wiring under carpets, wood flooring, etc.
  • As the Round Ethernet cable is twisted into pairs, and each pair is twisted with the different interval. This process protects the cable from the interference of other signals from other electrical devices.
  • The flat shape of the flat Ethernet cable makes it more resistant to tight bends in comparison to the Round shape Ethernet cable which is less durable.
  • The cost of producing a flat Ethernet cable is comparatively high in comparison to the Round shape Ethernet cable.

Conclusion – Is flat Ethernet cable as effective as round Ethernet cable?

As I have already stated in my short answer there is not much difference in both the type of Ethernet cables. But the fact cannot be denied that both of them have their own merits and demerits.

And it totally depends on the requirement which Ethernet cable is best suited for you needs. For example – if you are looking for light weight and cheaper option, then Flat Ethernet cable is the best option.

And if you are looking for durable and sustainable Ethernet cable, then Round Ethernet cable is the best suitable option.

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