The Cat6 Plenum and riser 1000ft cables are the most common ethernet cables out there. These two types of cat6 ethernet cables offer all the features you would need to set up a high-performance LAN network. Whether you want to run cables in a commercial or a residential scenario, these cables cater to all settings.

There are, however, a few differences between both cables. The most common and prominent one is the cable jacket itself. And then there are different uses for each cable along with different specifications at various levels.

We will go through all of these differences between the Cat6 plenum and the Cat6 riser in this article. Keep reading till the end to learn everything.

Cat6 Ethernet Cable LAN Networking

As mentioned earlier, Cat6 ethernet cable is a popular choice for LAN networking. It is affordable, high performing, and above all easy to install.

Wired LAN networking cables need good signal integrity over long-distance transmissions. That is a requirement because even in local area networks, cables run up to hundreds of feet. This causes the cables to lose data packets which results in slower transmission speeds.

Cat6 cable with its higher signal integrity and resistance to interference ensures that your data is transferred at longer distances at faster speeds.


The cat6 cable 1000ft has a data transfer rate of up to 1 GBit/s over 100 meters. This reaches up to 10 GBit/s over 50 meters of run length. Moreover, the bandwidth of this cable is tested up to 550 MHz.

You can use this cable for all kinds of high-speed ethernet applications including PoE.

Further, it has tightly twisted conductor pairs which are critical for fending off EMI. The cable core also features a spline, also known as a pair separator. It ensures optimal performance while also making the cable easier to install.

Cat6 Plenum 1000ft

Cat6 plenum 1000ft is the best-selling variant of the Cat6 ethernet cable. The reason is its plenum jacket.

The plenum jacket is highly durable and it is also highly resistant to heat, humidity, and other types of harsh weather.

Further, the Cat6 plenum cable is designed to prevent the propagation of flame in event of a fire. In case it catches fire, it will not emit toxic smoke. That is why this cable is used in indoor air-handling spaces.

Cat6 Riser 1000ft

The Cat6 riser 1000ft cable is the more affordable iteration of the Cat6 bulk ethernet cable. It has a CMR jacket that is quite durable and easier to handle.

In indoor use, the cable is run in vertical installations which are often enclosed. This makes sure that in case the riser jacket catches flame in a fire event, it does not emit toxic smoke into inhabited rooms.

Further, the cable is run between the floor and through elevator shafts. This helps with it being a highly durable and flexible cable.

When compared to the other bulk ethernet cables in category 6, the Cat6 riser 1000ft is highly sought after. That is due to its low cost, ease of installation, and upscale features.

Be warned, nonetheless, it can emit toxic smoke. So you should never run it in indoor open spaces.

Difference Between Cat6 Plenum and Riser 1000ft

The main question we are dealing with is the difference between the Cat6 Riser cable and the Cat6 plenum 1000ft. 

What are the major differences and how do you choose the right one for your use case?

Cat6 plenum 1000ft and Cat6 riser cable have the same cores. Meaning that both cables have the same number of wires which is 8. These wires are twisted into pairs, 4 in total. 

However, the main differences arise due to the cable jackets. Because both Cat6 ethernet cables have different jackets, their uses also vary.

For example, you cannot install the CAt6 riser cable where you would install the Cat6 plenum.

The Exception

But again, here’s an exception. You can install the Cat6 plenum where you would not install its riser counterpart. Why?  Because the plenum 1000ft ethernet cable is durable and safe enough for riser applications. 

Whereas the riser cable is not as safe as you would want a cable for the plenums to be.


Installation is also quite different for both Cat6 bulk cables.

For instance, the plenum jacket is thicker because it is required to be safer by regulatory bodies. Whereas the riser cable jacket is thinner because it does not have to be as thick as its plenum counterpart.

Now, the key to understanding here is that because the riser is a thinner jacket, it is easier to install. Similarly, the cable is also easier to handle even in patching applications.


Cost? Cat6 plenum cable costs more, needless to say. Although, it is pertinent to mention here that both types of Cat6 cables are quite affordable. However, the riser is more affordable because it utilizes fewer materials.


In short, the Cat6 plenum cable and the Cat6 riser cable differ on the basis of their outer jackets. Because their jackets are different, they have different use cases, installation procedures, and costs. But from within, both cables have the same construction.