How to Choose Ethernet Cable for Security Cameras?

Updated on Jan 6, 2022

Ethernet cable can be an important point to be considered when installing a wired security camera for home or business. As we all know, choosing the right security camera Ethernet cable types or cabling is critical to ensure your security camera system functions properly. This article will mainly guide you to choose the right Ethernet cables for your security cameras.

What Types of Security Camera Do You Use?

Before selecting the right Ethernet cable for your security camera, you first need to make it clear what type your security camera is. There are some new Network Cameras for security on FS.

IP Security Camera

An Internet Protocol camera, or IP camera, is a type of digital video camera that receives control data and sends image data via an IP network, they require no local recording device, only a local area network. You can install an IP camera with Power over Ethernet (PoE) in a simple way. This kind of security camera can provide gold standard in video surveillance, making it possible for the power, video and audio to be fully integrated into a single connection cable. There are 4K/5MP/1080p/720p security cameras, of which 1080p are suitable for the general-purpose video surveillance and 4K IP cameras are prevailing now as the latest HD security cameras. IP security cameras are perfect for newer buildings with new Cat5 or Cat6 cable wiring.

Analog Security Camera

Analog cameras record images and then send the signal over a coaxial cable to a DVR (Digital Video Recorder). The DVR converts the video from analog to digital signals, compresses the file, and stores it on a hard drive.

An Ethernet cable is ideal for both IP security cameras and Analog security cameras. In addition, you can also choose RG-59 Siamese cables for Analog security camera.

Nevertheless, the differences between IP security camera and Analog security camera can be the following aspects: resolution, storage, flexibility and scalability. To know more about IP cameras and Analog cameras, please click: Difference Between IP Cameras and Analog Cameras

Everything You Need to Know About Ethernet Cable

An Ethernet cable is a common type of network cable used with wired networks. Ethernet cables connect devices such as PCs, routers, and switches within a local area network. The Ethernet cable resembles a traditional phone cable but is larger and has more wires. The eight insulated copper wires are split up into four pairs, and the wires are twisted around each other within each pair so as to reduce the signal interference.


There are two main functions of Ethernet cable. First of all, the Ethernet cable does help in connecting your IP security cameras to your home or office network, making it possible for you to access, manage and view your security cameras. Second, suppose you have a Power over Ethernet (PoE) switch, the Ethernet cable can connect your security cameras to power. Adoping this kind of cabling method, you only need one cable that runs to and from your security cameras.

Besides, Ethernet cables are beneficial for you in other aspects. You'll most likely experience lag with your security cameras, and there will be times when they completely cut out, Ethernet cable will be a nice helper to make those above situation much less. And another important point is that Ethernet cables are generally cheaper than RG-59 Siamese cables, which is great for analog security camera setups.

What Ethernet Cables Can You Use for Security Camera System Wiring?

When it comes to selecting Ethernet cable for your video security camera system, the process may not be as straightforward as one would hope. Currently, there are ordinary Ethernet cable and bulk Ethernet cables on the market, and the Bulk Ethernet Cables will be a nice choice for large scale security cameras' installment.

The common types of Ethernet cable include Cat5, Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a, and Cat7, the latter kind of Ethernet cable is the updated version of the former one. Here is the performance comparison of the above Ethernet cables.

Category Max Transmission Speed (at 100 meters) Max Bandwidth
Cat5 10/100 Mbps 100 MHz
Cat5e 1000 Mbps / 1 Gbps 100 MHz
Cat6 1000 Mbps / 1 Gbps >250 MHz
Cat6a 10000 Mbps / 10 Gbps 500 MHz
Cat7 10000 Mbps / 10 Gbps 600 MHz

Recommended Ethernet Cable for Security Camera

Security cameras with different resolution require different bandwidth. Security cameras with higher resolution will generally require more bandwidth than older and standard-definition devices. However, most IP security camera systems use less than 100Mbps of bandwidth even for the high resolution IP cameras currently. Given the total cost and the technical capacities of IP cameras, we recommend Cat5e and Cat6 instead of Cat6a or Cat7.

Taking the 1080p security camera using 5mbps bandwidth and 4K resolution camera using 30mbps bandwidth for example, we can see the remaining bandwidth of Cat5e and Cat6. Please kindly note that beyond 165 feet, Cat6 is only capable of supporting about 1,000 Mbps of bandwidth, the same as cat5e. With Cat5e and Cat6, there is no need to worry about the bandwidth.

1080P @ 5/mbps 4K @ 30/mbps
Cat5e Remaining Bandwidth 995/mbps 970/mbps
Cat6 Remaining Bandwidth (less than 165 feet) 9,995/mbps 9,970/mbps
Remaining Bandwidth (165 feet) 995/mbps 970/mbps

Taking the above into consideration, you may have some choice of Etherner cable for security camera. For home and business applications, you can select Cat5e cabling as it is not necessary to transmit more than 1,000Mbps, even in full 4K resolution. For large network infrastructures, Cat6 would be a wise choice because it can transmit several Gigabytes of data per second.


You might be interested in