How to Choose Boot Cover and RJ45 Plug for Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a Bulk Ethernet Cables?

Bulk Ethernet cables, the network cable without connectors and boot covers, are popular among people as it is cost-effective and free of length limitation. One can customize the length of the cable and select RJ45 plugs and boot covers by themselves. This tutorial spells out how to choose suitable boot cover and plug for Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a bulk cable.

What’s the Connector/Plug of Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a Bulk Ethernet Cable?

For different purpose, bulk Ethernet cables are matched with keystone jacks or connectors/plugs. If applied for the patch cable, connectors are needed in the installation as they can put conductors in the right order and prevent cables from falling off. Usually made of plastic, it is mainly deployed in connecting network interface card, hub, switch, wired phones and so on. There are three types of connectors in the market, that is, RJ45, RJ11 and RJ12. This part will focus on how to choose RJ45 modular plug for Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a bulk Ethernet cables.

FS RJ45 Modular Plug, bulk cables

Things to Consider When Buying RJ45 Connector/Plug

for Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat6a Bulk Cable

Performance Level

The first and foremost element to consider is the performance level. To effectively increase bandwidth speed, it is recommended to play Cat5e bulk cables with Cat5e plugs, Cat6 bulk cables with Cat6 RJ45 plugs, and cable Cat6a with Cat6a RJ45 plugs, say, match two components with the same performance level.

Conductor Gauges Supported

Conductor gauge refers to the size of the conductor cross section. It goes oppositely from the diameter, as the larger the figure is, the thicker the conductor looks. When punch down bulk Ethernet cables, the eight conductors should cling to the 8 contacts in the standardized order and they should be identical in gauge size. 23 AWG, 24 AWG and 26 AWG are supported by FS RJ45 connectors/plugs.

Cable Construction

According to cable construction, the network cable can be classified into stranded cable and solid cable, which is correlated with the contacts in the plugs. The first contact shown in the picture has the contact prongs that straddle the conductor, suitable for both solid and stranded cables. The second one suits only the solid cable as the jagged end pierces jacket and embeds into the strands of the conductor. The third one adopted by FS is applicable to both solid and stranded cables. Its long contact prongs spread apart to accept the conductor, ensuring the connectivity and reliability.

Three common bulk cable contacts, bulk cables

Shielded Vs. Unshielded RJ45 Connector/Plug

Shielded plugs are more expensive than unshielded ones, as shielded plugs have a metal outer shell and are often specified in areas where a shield or ground connection is required. Areas with high electrical noise use shielded cable and plugs.

What Is the Boot Cover?

Boot cover is a cable device that protects the connector from bulk cable snags while providing strain relief. It is slid over the RJ45 connector. An advantage of an RJ45 strain relief boot cover is that it completely closes the connection between the connector and the connection. This means that dust can not be added and the chance of malfunctions is reduced. One should first make the boot on the cable and then attach the connector. When you do this in reverse order, the connector can not be put over it anymore.

RJ45 Boot Cover, bulk cables

Things to Consider When Buying Boot Cover for Cat5e, Cat6 and Cat6a Bulk Cables

Cable Diameter

The diameter of the cover’s inner circle cannot be smaller than the cable diameter. Otherwise, the boot cover cannot be slid into the cable. FS provides different sizes of boot cover for bulk Ethernet cables: 5.8mm, 6mm, 6.5mm, 7mm and so on.

Cable Construction

Compared with solid cables which only contain one conductor, stranded cables that consists of several conductors woven together are more flexible. The boot covers for the two types of network cables are different. FS specifies them according to the cable construction for the customers.

Shielded Vs. UnShielded

Shielded bulk cable has an additional shielding jacket around the conductors, so it is thicker than the unshielded one. You must make clear the type of your network cables before buying the boot cover, to avoid unnecessary cost waste caused by improper selection. FS provides boot covers designed specially for the shielded bulk cable.

Bulk cables purchasing guide


This tutorial tells the art in choosing boot cover and RJ45 plug for Cat5e, Cat6, Cat6a bulk cable. Things you have overlooked before may cause unnecessary economic loss. Apart from the perspectives mentioned above, you can also choose these gadgets according to the color for easy identification. FS provides high-quality Cat5e, Cat6 and cat6a patch cables and bulk cables, as well as the match boot cover and RJ45 modular plugs. For more details, please visit

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