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Streamline Your Network With the Best Keystone JacksLast updated: 10 Jun 2022Ethernet connections have become one of the most successful LAN technologies in the world. It’s used everywhere in networking from giant tech firms to online gaming at home — it’s the backbone of the modern internet. But what’s a cable without a connector? This is where keystone jacks come in. They’re super affordable and easy to use and allow you to connect multiple Ethernet cables to perform everyday tasks. But picking the perfect keystone jack can be hard. With so many options out there on the market, you don’t know who’s telling the truth. Well, we’ve curated a list of the top keystone jacks for 2022 along with a buyer’s guide to help you pick the optimal device for your networking needs.Show Contents
A Buyer's Guide to Choosing a Premium Keystone Jack
What Is a Keystone Jack?
Before we get into the nitty-gritty of what you should look for in a keystone jack, let’s first discuss what they are and what they actually do. A keystone jack is basically a plug-in product used for mounting low-voltage electrical components in keystone wall plates, surface mount boxes, and patch panels. It’s also referred to as a module and has an Ethernet port in the front. The opening of the port, or jack, is lined with microns of gold, and the jack is used to connect different kinds of modular plugs, usually shielded or unshielded in the form of RJ45 connectors.
The wires are inserted into the back to create a connection using a punch-down mechanism — usually in a T568A T568B wiring scheme. Once that’s done, you can connect your keystone jack with your devices and you’re all ready to go.
Factors to Consider When Buying a Keystone Jack
Knowing the category of the keystone jack you want to buy is really important. You want to make sure that your jack is compatible with your cable, so you don’t limit its performance. Picking the right module also makes sure that the wires fit nicely in the contact area.
Shielded or unshielded
This largely depends on your environment and where you plan to use your product. For most cases where there’s no EMI present, like homes or commercial buildings, an unshielded keystone jack will work just fine.
90 or 180-degree jacks
The orientation of the module decides how the wires and the cable will be connected to the jack. So picking the best orientation really is mostly upt to personal preference and comes down to where and how you want to install your jack.
How We Choose Our Top Keystone Jacks
Brand value is an important aspect of how we decide which keystone jacks are worth it. Every brand brings something new to the table and promises features that stand out from the competition.
Looking at what features a particular brand offers with their keystone jacks, and how they hold up against the competition, is another aspect that we looked into when choosing the best products.
Going through reviews and studying some first-hand user experience is a really important step in how we choose keystone jacks.
The Different Types of Keystone Jacks
RJ-11 or CAT3
These modules are perfect for use in phones, modems, and fax lines. CAT3 or RJ-11 jacks streamline and stabilize the connection for the installation of these communication lines and are pretty easy to set up themselves.
CAT5E is one of the most versatile types of keystone jacks out there. They’re perfect for use in both commercial and residential settings, and the style of this jack makes replacing blades look like a thing of the past. This punch-down style jack comes with a phosphor-bronze termination contact and it makes it easier than ever to switch from keystone jacks to other patch panels.
CAT6 keystone jacks are the cream of the crop. The best of the best for both business and personal use. They’re compatible with almost all modern tech and are super affordable. Some CAT6 modules have a punch-down feature and come with phosphor-bronze contacts and strain-relief caps.
Comparing the Leading Keystone Jacks of 2022 in Detail1
The keystone jack by Cable Matters is one of the premier products on the market right now — both in terms of price and features. It comes with an RJ45, Cat6 heavy-duty modular jack perfect for patch panels, surface mount boxes, or wall plates with standard keystone ports. The 10-Gigabit Ethernet promises a smooth and powerful experience at the price of a Cat5e cable — making it an incredible choice for almost anyone. This option also comes in multi-packs, is super easy to punch down, and its gold-plated contacts provide a secure and corrosion-free experience.
It’s amazing in terms of durability as well with its heavy-duty construction with impact resistance and fire-retardant housing. The outstanding durability of this device helped us judge it as the best overall on this list.
- Cat6 connectors provide a reliable connection
- Easy to punch down
- The contacts and retaining clip ensure a secure connection
- The fit is a little tight in the keystone panel
The UL-listed VCE Keystone Jack is another great option. It uses female to female Cat6 connectors that can be connected with two Cat6 Ethernet ports for a fast and stable connection. The RJ45 contacts can easily fit in all keystone wall plates and patch panels. The contacts themselves are gold-plated and have easy snap-in retaining clips, providing a reliable and corrosion-free connection.
The Cat6 passes through the keystone inline coupler to accomplish tasks like home networking, home office, audio, video, and more. The package includes 25 keystone couplers and comes with an 18-month warranty — so you can use this product without worrying.
- Transmission speed of 1Gbps for a fast experience
- Fire-retardant, high-impact ABS plastic ensures safe installation
- Retaining clips are stiff and fragile
The keystone jacks by Verbex Telecom are UL-listed which is a testament to their quality. This product supports and comes with color-coded T568A T568B wiring and Krone dual-type termination. These jacks are incredibly versatile and are compatible with practically all versions — from Cat6 down to Cat5e and Cat5. The contacts are gold-plated too, enabling a secure and fast connection with over 1Gbps of speed. This product even comes with a limited-lifetime warranty from the manufacturer.
This option is available in different packs from 10, all the way to 100 — depending on your needs.
- Fire-retardant ABS construction makes them super safe
- 1Gbps+ connection provides a fast and stable connection
- Easy compatibility
- Comes in a variety of different packs
- Can sometimes break during punch down
The Cablecreation keystone jacks are definitely a great product when it comes down to value. This option includes RJ45 Cat6 modular jacks that are easily compatible with any keystone wall plates, patch panels, or surface mount boxes. These heavy-duty jacks support T568A T568B wiring and come with 110 color-coded blocks. They even provide support for 110 or Krone dual-type termination and are compatible with 23 or 24 AWG, solid Ethernet cables.
This device is also TIA/EIA 568-C.2 verified, RoHS compliant, and has gold-plated connectors for a more reliable experience. The package includes 20 keystone modular connectors, and it comes in packs of 10, or even packs of five — so you have a lot of choices in how many connectors you want to get.
- Heavy-duty, modular jacks offer a secure connection
- Super affordable
- Support T568A T568B wiring
- Has color-coded diagram next to wire clips
- Side-by-side connection is difficult because of the width
Another VCE keystone jack on our list is the Cat6 RJ45 five-pack version of the product. Much like the one we’ve already listed, this option also includes a double, female-type connector. The Cat6 couplers are also super easy to pair with any Cat6, Cat5e, or Cat5 Ethernet cables as well as keystone wall plates and panels. The gold-plated RJ45 contacts, along with the easy snap-in retaining clips, provide a secure, reliable, and corrosion-free connection.
Another big feature of this product is the Cat6 keystone-inline coupler that can be used for home networking, home office, voice, audio, video and more. The product is UL-listed too and comes with five keystone couplers in a pack — perfect for most small tasks. This product even includes an 18-month warranty, allowing you to use the couplers without worrying about having to replace them.
- Provides 1Gbps of speed with the Cat6 Ethernet cable
- Easily compatible with wall panels and Ethernet cables
- Safe installation with the fire-retardant, high-impact ABS design
- The clips are stiff and fragile, and can break off easily
People Also AskedWhat is a high-density keystone jack?
High-density keystone jacks are basically the same as standard versions. The only real difference is that they’re slimmer and allow you to install more jacks.What’s the difference between a CAT5E cable vs a CAT6?
CAT6 are made thicker with copper wires and allow more insulation compared to CAT5E.Why do keystone jacks use 50-micron gold plating?
This is primarily because of gold’s non-corrosive and highly conductive properties — making it the perfect material for Ethernet connector plugs.